The superstars combine for the second-best debut in the chart's 22-year Nielsen BDS era.
K enny Chesney and Tim McGraw rocket onto Billboard's Country Songs chart, as "Feel Like a Rock Star" debuts at No. 13. In its first week of availability, the song received airplay on 126 of the chart's 131 reporting stations, generating an audience of 22 million, according to Nielsen BDS.
The start marks the second-highest since BDS monitored data began powering the chart the week of Jan. 20, 1990. Over that 22-year span, here is a look at the list's highest entrances. Notably, Chesney boasts three of the select nine top 20 arrivals (as does Garth Brooks):
No. 1, "More Than a Memory," Garth Brooks, Sept. 15, 2007
No. 13, "Feel Like a Rock Star," Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw, April 21, 2012
No. 16, "Don't Blink," Kenny Chesney, Sept. 8, 2007
No. 17, "The Boys of Fall," Kenny Chesney, July 31, 2010
No. 17, "Once in a Lifetime," Keith Urban, Sept. 2, 2006
No. 18, "Good Ride Cowboy," Garth Brooks, Oct. 22, 2005
No. 19, "I Saw God Today," George Strait, Feb. 23, 2008
No. 19, "The Thunder Rolls," Garth Brooks, May 18, 1991
No. 20, "So Small," Carrie Underwood, Aug. 18, 2007
As for a potential predictor of future success after such a lofty launch, all of the songs above peaked at No. 1 on Country Songs except for Urban's "Lifetime" (No. 6) and Brooks' "Cowboy" (No. 3).
The handsome debut of "Rock star" was driven in no small part by co-ordinated hourly airplay on April 1 at Clear Channel-owned stations, 40 of which contribute to the Country Songs panel. (Somewhat similarly, Brooks' top start with "Memory" in 2007 resulted largely from heavily-concentrated spins across the Country Songs reporter base.)
"Rock Star" additionally arrives as the highest-bowing duet between two co-lead artists in the chart's BDS-era history, besting the No. 31 starts of Brad Paisley and Urban's "Start a Band" the week of Sept. 27, 2008, and Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett's "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" (June 21, 2003). Both songs eventually reached No. 1, while the latter track went on to spend eight weeks at the summit, a reign that tied the song with Lonestar's "Amazed" (1999) for the chart's longest command since 1966.
Chesney and McGraw premiered "Rock Star" on CBS' April 1 telecast of the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. Chesney's label, BNA, serviced the song to country radio stations during the festivities. "Rock Star" previews Chesney's 15th studio album, "Welcome to the Fishbowl," due June 19. The song was released digitally at midnight April 2 and is set to debut on Billboard's Digital Songs chart this week.
In addition to Chesney and McGraw's grand chart entrance, Lee Brice ascends to his first Country Songs No. 1, as "A Woman Like You" rises 2-1. Brice had previously peaked as high as No. 3 with "Love Like Crazy" in 2010. The song set the record for the longest stay (56 weeks) in the chart's 68-year history.
All charts, including Country Songs and Digital Songs, will be refreshed Thursday (April 12) on Billboard.com.
Additional reporting by Wade Jessen