Chart Beat

Chart Rewind: In 1996, Rhett Akins 'Started' a Long Run of Hot Country Songs No. 1s

Rhett Akins
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Rhett Akins attends the nominees reception for the 33rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 22, 1998, at the Country Star Restaurant in Los Angeles.

With "Don't Get Me Started," Akins topped Hot Country Songs as an artist ahead of a haul of leaders as a writer for other acts, including son Thomas Rhett.

On Aug. 3, 1996, Rhett Akins' "Don't Get Me Started" topped Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. The single, which he wrote with Sam Hogin and Mark D. Sanders, became his lone leader and second of two top 10s as a recording artist, after "That Ain't My Truck" rolled to No. 3 in 1995.

Born Thomas Rhett Akins in Valdosta, Ga., he studied business and played football at the University of Georgia. Before graduating, he moved to Nashville and performed at the Opryland theme park prior to signing with Decca Records as an artist in the mid-1990s.

Including "Started," Akins has written eight Hot Country Songs No. 1s. He's penned 25 Country Airplay leaders, tied for the second-most with Shane McAnally (after Ashley Gorley's 43). He's authored six Country Airplay No. 1s recorded by son Thomas Rhett, who boasts 16 chart-toppers as an artist, and 12 as a writer.

Named songwriter of the decade by the Academy of Country Music in 2019, Akins, 51, will be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame this year.