Dierks Bentley and Rascal Flatts Like the Sound of No. 1 on Country Charts
Dierks Bentley earns his 11th No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, and first in nearly four years, as "Somewhere on a Beach" breaks 4-1 on the April 30 list.
The track tops Hot Country Songs, which encompasses sales, streaming and airplay, as it hits new highs on Country Digital Songs (4-2, despite a 15 percent decrease to 34,000 sold in the week ending April 14, according to Nielsen Music), Country Airplay (7-3, up by 13 percent to 40 million audience impressions) and Country Streaming Songs (5-4, lifting by 5 percent to 2.4 million U.S. streams).
Bentley cruises to his first Hot Country Songs No. 1 since "5-1-5-0," which topped the Aug. 4, 2012, chart (when the tally was powered solely by airplay). That track completed a run of three consecutive leaders, following "Home" (March 24, 2012) and "Am I the Only One" (Sept. 3, 2011).
Written by Michael Tyler, Jaron Boyer, Alexander Palmer, Dave Kuncio and Josh Mirenda, "Beach" is the launch single from Bentley's eighth studio album, Black, due May 27. The set sports guest appearances by Maren Morris ("I'll Be the Moon") and Elle King ("Different for Girls").
"When Dierks first played us new music from the Black album, 'Somewhere on a Beach' felt like the anthem he needed going into spring and summer as his tour was kicking into full gear," Universal Music Group Nashville president Cindy Mabe tells Billboard. "Having come off the depth of [Bentley's 2014 album] Riser, I think it was good to let the fans have a fun party song and let the new album evolve from there. I think this song is just the start of a sexy, different album for Dierks."
ALL ABOUT NO. 1: Rascal Flatts' "I Like the Sound of That" crowns Country Airplay in its 31st week (2-1), gaining by 4 percent to 46.6 million in audience impressions. The song is the 13th Country Airplay leader for the trio (Gary LeVox and cousins Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney).
"We love the sound of being at the top of the charts. What an honor," DeMarcus tells Billboard.
Like Bentley on Hot Country Songs, Rascal Flatts ends a nearly four-year break between No. 1s on Country Airplay, earning its first since "Banjo" (May 12, 2012). Having first led with "These Days" in 2002, Rascal Flatts ties Zac Brown Band for the most Country Airplay No. 1s among groups of at least three members dating to the chart's January 1990 inception. "Sound" is the fourth single from Rewind, following the No. 3-peaking title track, "Payback" (No. 21) and "Riot" (No. 20).
What has made "Sound" perform so well at radio? "It has definitely been the strongest song we have seen from Rascal Flatts in a while, by a long shot, especially [in] research," says Entercom Communications director of programming Mike Moore. "They've also maintained relevance and I think they are in a rebuild mode, much like Tim McGraw was a few years back."
"Sound" was written by Jesse Frasure, Shay Mooney (lead vocalist of Dan + Shay) and pop singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor. "Writing this was an absolute blast, -because it started out just sitting around talking with my co-writers," says Mooney. "I had the title in my notes, after hearing someone say the phrase somewhere, which I'm pretty sure was about a restaurant. They thought it was a cool concept, so we just started playing around with melodies and ran with it."
Trainor co-wrote "Sound" before breaking through with her own 2014 eight-week Billboard Hot 100 No. 1, "All About That Bass." Having Rascal Flatts record "Sound" was Trainor's "biggest dream come true," she said in her first interview with Billboard in 2014.
MEMORABLE MOVE: Country Airplay welcomes a new top 10, as Blake Shelton's "Came Here to Forget" ascends 12-10 (27.8 million, up 6 percent). The track ushers in his 10th studio album, If I'm Honest (May 20). Shelton scores his 25th Country Airplay top 10, becoming the 13th act to reach the milestone. George Strait leads with 61.
This article first appeared in Billboard's Country Update -- sign up here.