Sam Hunt Becomes First Solo Male With Four Country Airplay No. 1s From a Debut LP
The coronation of "Make You Miss Me," Hunt says, is the "cherry on top of a chapter in my life I'll never forget."
Sam Hunt banks his fourth No. 1 from his debut LP, Montevallo, on Billboard's Country Airplay chart (dated Sept. 10), as "Make You Miss Me" rises 2-1 in its 27th week, up by 4 percent to 47 million audience impressions, according to Nielsen Music.
"Miss" is the fifth officially-promoted single from Montevallo, following the No. 1s "Leave the Night On" (Nov. 15, 2014); the slightly hip-hop-influenced "Take Your Time," with its partially spoken-word verses (May 2, 2015); and "House Party" (Sept. 12, 2015). Fourth single "Break Up in a Small Town" peaked at No. 2 (Feb. 13, 2016).
"'Make You Miss Me' is an important song to me," Hunt tells Billboard. "Having it go No. 1 as the fifth single off of my first record is the cherry on top of a chapter in my life I'll never forget."
With his latest coronation, the 32-year-old singer-songwriter is just the fourth artist, and first male, to land four Country Airplay No. 1s from a debut, major-label full-length, dating to the chart's Jan. 20, 1990, launch. Hunt is the first artist to achieve the feat since Florida Georgia Line rolled four from Here's to the Good Times (2012-14): "Cruise," "Get Your Shine on," "Round Here" and "Stay."
Prior to FGL, Zac Brown Band tallied four Country Airplay No. 1s from its first major-label LP, The Foundation, in 2008-09: "Chicken Fried," "Toes," "Highway 20 Ride" and "Free." Brooks & Dunn first set the bar for rookies with four leaders from Brand New Man in 1991-92: the title cut, "My Next Broken Heart," "Neon Moon" and "Boot Scootin' Boogie."
The last comparable chart achievement for a solo country male? More than quarter-century earlier, Clint Black scored four Hot Country Songs leaders from his debut album Killin' Time; he started his run in 1989, just before the Nielsen-based Country Airplay chart's inception.
Montevallo has totaled nine weeks at No. 1 on Top Country Albums, where it debuted on top on Nov. 15, 2014, and sold 1.2 million copies to date.
"For Sam to have the most No. 1 singles on Billboard's [main] country chart from a solo male's debut [full-length] album since Clint Black in 1989 is just incredible," says Universal Music Group/Nashville chairman & CEO Mike Dungan. "Sam’s live shows are off-the-hook, and we'll have new music in a couple of months. It's great to be Sam Hunt."
(Like Hunt, both Florida Georgia Line and Zac Brown Band just missed going five-for-five atop Country Airplay out-of-the-gate. Just as Hunt's "Break Up" stopped at No. 2, so did FGL's fifth and final single from Here's to the Good Times, "This Is How We Roll," featuring Luke Bryan, and ZBB's second single from The Foundation, "Whatever It Is." Brooks & Dunn reigned with its first four singles, then reached No. 6 with the fifth and final Brand New Man release, "Lost and Found.")
Praises WBWL Boston program director Lance Houston of Hunt, he has "silenced his early critics, who said that he was too pop, or whatever. Sam's music has spoken for itself."