Kenny Chesney Hits No. 1 as Hot Country Songs Chart Turns Pink
Kenny Chesney's "Setting the World on Fire", featuring pop star Pink, climbs 2-1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart (dated Oct. 22).
Penned by Ross Copperman, Matt Jenkins and Josh Osborne, "Fire" is the second single from Chesney's 17th studio album, Cosmic Hallelujah, due Oct. 28. Debut single "Noise" peaked at No. 14 on Hot Country Songs and No. 6 on Country Airplay.
"Fire" marks Chesney's 23rd Hot Country Songs No. 1, and his first since the survey became an airplay/sales/streaming hybrid chart, splitting from the solely radio-based Country Airplay chart, on Oct. 20, 2012. The track rebounds 3-1 for a fifth week atop Country Digital Song Sales with 35,000 downloads sold in the week ending Oct. 6 (up 32 percent, likely sparked by the new album going up for preorder), according to Nielsen Music. It holds at its No. 3 high on Country Airplay (41.8 -million impressions, up 3 percent) and reaches the Country Streaming Songs top 10 (11-9; 2 million U.S. streams, down 5 percent).
"It is so rare to find songs that are truly in the moment like 'Setting the World on Fire,' " Chesney tells Billboard. "When you add Pink, you get a definite charge of two people on the brink. She helps bring the listener into the moment. At a time when the world is pretty overloaded, to hear something so fresh, and a moment so perfectly captured in a song, it's hard to resist. Finding the song was awesome and -getting Pink to sing on it was incredible."
Notably, of the recent crop of country/pop collaborations, Chesney and Pink's is the first to top Hot Country Songs. Dierks Bentley's "Different for Girls," featuring Elle King, led Country Airplay and peaked at No. 3 on Hot Country Songs, while Brad Paisley's "Without a Fight," featuring Demi Lovato, reached Nos. 16 and 23 on the charts, respectively.
While "Fire" has generated Pink's first appearance on Billboard's country charts, she's no stranger to organic stylings. Rose Ave., the album by side project You+Me, with City & Colour's Dallas Green, debuted at No. 1 on the Americana/Folk Albums chart dated Nov. 1, 2014.
Meanwhile, hit collaborations between country and pop artists are hardly new. Looking just at the last decade, among other songs, Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles' "Who Says You Can't Go Home" topped Hot Country Songs in 2006; Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson's cover of the latter's pop smash "Because of You" reached No. 2 in 2007; and Jason Aldean and Clarkson's "Don't You Wanna Stay" reigned in 2011.
BIG 'HURT' Billy Currington's "It Don't Hurt Like It Used To" crowns Country Airplay for a second week (46.4 million, up 4 percent). Currington's 10th leader on the list is his fourth multiweek No. 1 and first since "People Are Crazy" (two weeks) in 2009.
ALBUM DEBUTS John Prine's For Better, Or Worse starts at No. 2 on Top Country Albums (15,000 sold) and No. 5 on Americana/Folk Albums. The all-duets set features pairings with Kacey Musgraves, Holly Williams and Lee Ann Womack, among others.
Concurrently on Top Country Albums, Vinyl, the first full-length from William Michael Morgan, arrives at No. 5 (7,000) and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Circlin' Back: Celebrating 50 Years, Live at the Ryman Auditorium, TN (NGDB/WMN) starts at No. 11 with 3,000 (and at No. 1 on Bluegrass Albums).
WHAT TO 'KNOW' On Hot Country Songs, LoCash enters the top 10 (14-7) with "I Know Somebody", buoyed by its 62 percent surge to 12,000 on Country Digital Song Sales, aided by a 69-cent sale tag in the iTunes Store. LoCash earns its second top 10, following "I Love This Life" (No. 5, February).
Plus, Florida Georgia Line's "May We All," featuring Tim McGraw, sprints 14-10 on Country Airplay (24.3 million, up 16 percent). FGL notches its 12th top 10 and McGraw his 56th, second only to George Strait's 61.