Thomas Rhett, Maren Morris Crown Airplay; Lee Greenwood Hits No. 2 on Digital Song Sales
Thomas Rhett's "Craving You" (Valory), featuring Maren Morris, ascends 2-1 in its 15th week on Billboard's Country Airplay chart (dated July 22), increasing 7 percent to 45.2 million audience impressions in the week ending July 9, according to Nielsen Music. On the airplay, streaming and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart, it pushes to a new high, bumping 4-3.
Dave Barnes and Julian Bunetta wrote the duet/launch single from Rhett's third full-length studio album, due this fall. The love song marks Rhett's eighth Country Airplay leader, while Morris achieves her first.
"I can't believe we're sitting here talking about my eighth No. 1 single," Rhett tells Billboard. "I am so proud to be able to share this with Maren and can't thank her enough for lending her talent to this song. 'Craving You' wasn't initially written with a female vocal part, but now I can't imagine the song without her voice on it."
Rhett first led Country Airplay with "It Goes Like This," which topped the list for three weeks starting on Oct. 26, 2013. His subsequent leaders before "Craving": "Get Me Some of That" (May 24, 2014, one week); "Make Me Wanna" (March 7, 2015, one); "Crash and Burn" (Sept. 26, 2015, one); "Die a Happy Man" (Jan. 2, 2016, six); "T-Shirt" (June 18, 2016, one); and "Star of the Show" (Feb. 18, one).
Morris reigns in her fourth Country Airplay appearance. Her debut, "My Church," yielded her -previous high, reaching No. 9 on May 21, 2016. Additionally, Morris' current solo single, "I Could Use a Love Song" (Columbia Nashville), from her album Hero, ranks at No. 26 on both Country Airplay (9.9 million, up 7 percent) and Hot Country Songs. She is the second woman to top Country Airplay in 2017: Lauren Alaina's "Road Less Traveled" led the April 22 list.
RADIO STAYS ON 'ROAD': Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road" (MCA Nashville) extends its rule on Hot Country Songs to 22 weeks. Only Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" has led longer, for 24 weeks in 2012 and 2013.
"Road" likewise leads Country Streaming Songs (17.8 million U.S. streams, up 6 percent) and Country Digital Song Sales (50,000 sold, up 1 percent) for a 22nd week each.
On Country Airplay, where it ruled for three weeks beginning on the May 6-dated chart, "Road" ranks in the top five (4-5; 37.2 million impressions, up less than 1 percent) for a record-setting 15th week. It passes four tracks that each logged 14 weeks in the top five: Rascal Flatts' "My Wish" (2006-07), Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying" (2004), Faith Hill's "Breathe" (1999-2000) and Lonestar's "Amazed" (1999). (For more on Lonestar's hit, which led the list 18 years ago this week, see Coda on page 21.)
STAR-SPANGLED SALES: Sparked by the Fourth of July holiday, patriotic country hits score significant boosts in sales and streaming. On Country Digital Song Sales, Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA," which originally peaked at No. 7 on Hot Country Songs in 1984, re-enters at a new peak of No. 2, up 1,128 percent to 23,000 downloads sold in the week ending July 6. The move bests last year's action, when "USA" re-entered the sales chart at No. 9 with 19,000 sold (July 23, 2016). The song also surges by 606 percent to 2.2 million U.S. streams.
Toby Keith's 2002 Hot Country Songs No. 1 "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" re-enters Country Digital Song Sales at No. 9 (14,000, up 685 percent) for the first time since July 23, 2016, when it returned with 16,000 sold. The anthem, which reaches the Country Digital Song Sales top 10 for the first time, also hikes by 103 percent to 2.6 million U.S. streams.
NEW TOP 10s: Billy Currington's "Do I Make You Wanna" (Mercury) rises 12-8 on Country Airplay, increasing 8 percent to 29.8 million impressions. It's his 15th top 10 ... Midland achieves its first Country Airplay top 10 with debut single "Drinkin' Problem" (Big Machine), which moves 11-9 (up 7 percent; 29.8 million in audience).