Chart Beat

Thomas Rhett Has No. 1 'Country Song,' Tenille Arts and Mickey Guyton Hit New Highs

Thomas Rhett
Jason Kempin/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Thomas Rhett

"'What's Your Country Song' was a special one from the beginning for me," Rhett tells Billboard.

Thomas Rhett's "What's Your Country Song" simultaneously ascends to No. 1 on Billboard's airplay-, sales- and streaming-based Hot Country Songs chart and Country Airplay, both dated March 27.

The track, released on Valory Music, rises 2-1 on Hot Country Songs, marking the second leader (among 17 top 10s) for the Valdosta, Ga., native. His "Die a Happy Man" dominated for 17 weeks in 2015-16.

On Country Airplay, "Country" also climbs 2-1, up by 12% to 33.1 million audience impressions in the tracking week ending March 21, according to MRC Data. It drew 7 million U.S. streams and sold 3,000 downloads in the week ending March 18.

Rhett banks his 16th Country Airplay leader (among 18 top 10s). His prior single, "Be a Light," featuring Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin and Keith Urban, peaked at No. 2 last September. Rhett last stayed in the penthouse with "Beer Can't Fix," featuring Jon Pardi, last May. He first led with "It Goes Like This" for three weeks in 2013.

Rhett co-wrote "Country" with his father, Rhett Akins, and Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley and Parker Welling. The song name-checks over a dozen country hits, including Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" (1968), Alabama's "Dixieland Delight" (1983) and George Strait's "All My Ex's Live in Texas" (1987), as well as the elder Akins' "That Ain't My Truck" (1995).

"'What's Your Country Song' was a special one from the beginning for me," Rhett tells Billboard. "When I first played a little [of it] on social media about a year ago there was a huge reaction and I was so blown away by how much everyone related. It really is crazy to see it all come full circle one year later and in such a big way."

The song is the lead single from Rhett's forthcoming LP releasing on April 30, Country Again (Side A), the first half of a double album. Country Again (Side B) is due later in 2021.

Rhett's takeover atop Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay marks the second double coronation in three weeks, after Niko Moon's "Good Time" (March 13).

'THAT' IS QUITE A FEAT Tenille Arts' debut single "Somebody Like That" reaches the Country Airplay top 10, lifting 11-10 with a 4% gain to 18.6 million impressions.

"Somebody," which was co-written by Arts, who hails from Weyburn, Saskatchewan, achieves her first top 10 as the song reaches the tier in its 58th week on the chart. It completes the longest trip to the top 10 for a song by a solo woman and the second-longest overall, after Locash's "One Big Country Song" (59 weeks, 2019-20).

Arts attains the first career-opening Country Airplay top 10 by a woman since Gabby Barrett achieved the feat with her freshman track "I Hope" on last year's March 21-dated list, before it led in April. Barrett's crossover smash has spent 27 weeks atop Hot Country Songs, starting last July, and ranks at No. 2 in its 99th week on the chart.

GUYTON'S FIRST TOP 10 Mickey Guyton's "Black Like Me" debuts on Country Digital Song Sales at No. 4. The song, which Guyton performed at the Grammy Awards, which aired on CBS on March 14, sold 3,000 downloads in the week ending March 18, up from a negligible sum.

The arrival awards Guyton her first top 10 on a Billboard chart. Her fourth entry on Country Digital Song Sales surpasses her previous high, set when "What Are You Gonna Tell Her?" hit No. 18 on the tally last September.

Following the Grammys, "Black Like Me" is being promoted to adult contemporary radio.