Chart Beat

With Little Big Town's 'Better Man,' Taylor Swift Earns 20th Country Airplay Top 10 as a Writer

Taylor Swift performs with Little Big Town
Jason Merritt/LP5/Getty Images for TAS

Taylor Swift performs with Little Big Town during The 1989 World Tour live at Heinz Field on June 6, 2015 in Pittsburgh.

Little Big Town's "Better Man" ascends to the top 10 of Billboard's Country Airplay chart (dated Jan. 21), rising 11-10 and  increasing by 11 percent to 27.2 million in audience in the week ending Jan. 8, according to Nielsen Music. The advance marks both an achievement for the band and the song's writer, Taylor Swift.

Swift wrote the song, the lead single from LBT's eighth studio album, The Breaker (due Feb. 24), which becomes Little Big Town's eighth Country Airplay top 10 and first since "Girl Crush," which rose to No. 3 in August 2015. Meanwhile, Swift earns her milestone 20th Country Airplay top 10 as a writer, and first in more than three years, since her self-written "Red," which peaked at No. 7 in December 2013.

Of her prior 19 top 10s as a writer, Swift recorded all but one: "Best Days of Your Life" hit No. 9 in 2009 for Kellie Pickler, with whom Swift wrote the song.

Also notably, "Man" becomes the first Country Airplay top 10 written by a single author since Tim McGraw's "Humble and Kind," penned by Lori McKenna. "Humble" spent 11 weeks in the top 10, beginning April 30, 2016, and topped the survey on June 25. On the current 60-position Country Airplay chart, only one other song was written by one person: Miranda Lambert's self-penned "We Should Be Friends," at No. 33 (6.4 million, up 16 percent).

Of her 20 top 10s as a writer, Taylor Swift has penned 11 by herself.

Little Big Town performed "Man," and won the group of the year trophy, at the Nov. 2 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. The day before, the group ended speculation about the song's mystery writer, revealing it to be Swift. "She thought of us because of the harmonies," LBT's Karen Fairchild said. "She's never pitched a song to anyone before, and the minute we heard it, we were like 'Man, that is a song that we're going to cut.' "

'RED' HOT: Additionally, Dustin Lynch's "Seein' Red" becomes his fifth Hot Country Songs top 10 as it pushes 12-10. The song also lifts 9-8 on Country Airplay (30.8 million, up 9 percent).