Tyler follows a trail of artists from other genres (typically rock) that have landed in Nashville, including fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and Big Machine labelmates Cheap Trick. In recent years, Darius Rucker has notably conquered country radio after leading Hootie & The Blowfish to mainstream success. He has earned six No. 1s on Country Airplay and four on Top Country Albums.
'H.O.L.Y.' SMOKES THE COMPETITION: Florida Georgia Line (Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley) collects its ninth No. 1 on Country Airplay, as "H.O.L.Y." rises 2-1 in its 13th week, increasing by 4 percent to 47.6 million audience impressions. The duo completes its fastest flight to the top, besting "Dirt," which reached No. 1 in its 14th week (Oct. 25, 2014).
"H.O.L.Y" -- penned by busbee, Nate Cyphert and William Wiik Larsen -- is the lead single from FGL's third studio album, Dig Your Roots, due Aug. 26. The set's "May We All," with its more traditional country sound, signals the pair progressing from the party-oriented style it sported on its 2012 debut smash, "Cruise." "May," which was released July 15 and features Tim McGraw, arrives at No. 6 on Country Digital Songs with 22,000 downloads sold.
"'H.O.L.Y.' has worked very well for us, and sales are fantastic," Entercom -Communications vp programming Mike Moore tells Billboard. "It feels like a musical evolution, or maturity, for them. I'm really excited to hear the whole project."
KKBQ Houston director of operations Johnny Chiang concurs. "'H.O.L.Y.' has consistently tested power for us, which obviously meant a lot to me as a programmer," he says. "However, the song has had far greater implications for FGL. If there were any doubts about Brian and Tyler's potential longevity in the format, 'H.O.L.Y' should put those to rest."
As it crowns Country Airplay, "H.O.L.Y." paces Hot Country Songs and Country Streaming Songs for a 12th week each, leading the latter list with 6.9 million U.S. streams (up 4 percent). On Country Digital Songs, it drops to No. 2 after 11 frames on top (61,000, down 1 percent).
VICTORIOUS 'VICE': Miranda Lambert's "Vice," released July 18, swoops in at No. 1 on Country Digital Songs with 64,000 sold in its first week, marking her second No. 1; "Somethin' Bad," with Carrie Underwood, also launched at the summit (June 7, 2014). On Hot Country Songs, "Vice" opens at No. 2 to become her highest debut, passing the No. 5 start for "Bad."
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Concurrently, "Vice" arrives as Lambert's highest debut on Country Airplay, at No. 18 (14.7 million in audience), fueled in part by hourly plays following its release on participating iHeartMedia-owned stations. The entrance tops the No. 26 start of "Automatic" (Feb. 22, 2014).
Penned by Lambert, Josh Osborne and Shane McAnally, "Vice" is the first single from her forthcoming sixth studio album, expected later in 2016. It's also Lambert's first new music since her divorce from Blake Shelton.
TOP 10 NEWS: Chris Lane's debut single, "Fix," enters the Hot Country Songs top 10 (11-10). On Country Airplay, it bumps 5-4 (42.3 million, up 5 percent). Plus Kelsea Ballerini's "Peter Pan" hops 11-10 on Country Airplay (28.7 million, up 12 percent). Her third top 10 follows the career-launching No. 1s "Love Me Like You Mean It" and "Dibs."
This article first appeared in Billboard's Country Update -- sign up here.