'Pretty' Good: Kenny Chesney Scores 28th Country Airplay No. 1; Midland, Home Free And Chris Janson Make Top 10 Debuts On Country Albums
Kenny Chesney’s “All the Pretty Girls” (Blue Chair/Columbia Nashville) rises 2-1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart (dated Oct. 14), increasing 7 -percent to 47 million audience impressions in the week ending Oct. 1, according to Nielsen Music. On Hot Country Songs, the single remains bulleted at its No. 7 peak.
Chesney banks his 28th Country Airplay No. 1, a roll that began more than 20 years ago on the chart dated Aug. 30, 1997, when “She’s Got It All,” his ninth entry, became his first No. 1, for three weeks.
“Few songs have as much summer in them as ‘All the Pretty Girls,’ which is why I wanted to record it,” Chesney tells Billboard of the song (which debuted on the June 17 chart, four days before summer started). “To me, there’s a special excitement that is summer and being young and alive. I think the guys caught that in the studio, and in a year that we weren’t on the road, I think I still got to be a part of No Shoes Nation’s summer through this song.”
“Pretty Girls” was written by Nicolle Gaylon, Tommy Lee James and Josh Osborne, and is the fourth single from Chesney’s album Cosmic Hallelujah. It follows “Bar at the End of the World,” which peaked at No. 10 on the Country Airplay list dated May 13; “Setting the World on Fire,” featuring P!nk (No. 1, Nov. 5, 2016); and “Noise” (No. 6, July 16, 2016).
In collecting his 28th Country Airplay No. 1, Chesney is right behind Tim McGraw’s record 29, dating to the chart’s Jan. 20, 1990, inception. Alan Jackson and George Strait share third place with 26 No. 1s apiece.
"There are only a few artists whose relevance to their fans and their genre spans decades," says WXTU Philadelphia program director Shelly Easton. "They are our superstars. Kenny Chesney continues to make music that matters to our format and, more importantly, our audience."
ALBUM ARRIVALS: Thomas Rhett’s Life Changes (Valory/Big Machine Label Group) leads Top Country Albums for a third week (27,000 equivalent album units, down 31 percent). Meanwhile, three debuts populate the top 10.
Arriving at No. 2 is Texas trio Midland’s first full-length, On the Rocks (Big -Machine/BMLG) (20,000). The set opens atop Country Album Sales with 17,000 sold.
Rocks follows Midland’s self-titled EP, which peaked at No. 38 on Top Country Albums (Aug. 5). The group’s launch song, “Drinkin’ Problem,” hit No. 3 on Country Airplay. Follow-up “Make a Little” jumps 54-41, soaring 151 percent to 3.1 million impressions.
A cappella country outfit Home Free bounds onto Top Country Albums at No. 3 with Timeless (Columbia), earning 16,000 units (almost all in pure sales) and marking the act’s strongest sales week.
Home Free broke through when it won the 2013 season of NBC’s The Sing-Off. Timeless marks its fifth appearance on Top Country Albums and fourth top 10. Its 2016 holiday set Full of (Even More) Cheer is its highest-peaking (No. 2).
Singer-songwriter Chris Janson’s second full-length, Everybody (Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville), bows at No. 7 on Top Country Albums (11,000 units; 8,000 in pure sales). The set follows his first LP, Buy Me a Boat, which started and peaked at No. 4 on the Top Country Albums chart dated Nov. 21, 2015 (19,000 sold).
Everybody has produced two singles thus far: “Holdin’ Her” peaked at Nos. 20 and 25 on Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs, respectively. “Fix a Drink” holds at its No. 10 high on Country Airplay, increasing 14 percent to 27.9 million, while leaping to a new Hot Country Songs peak (17-11).
‘ROAD’ GOES ON: Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” (MCA Nashville) continues its Hot Country Songs domination, stretching its record No. 1 run to 34 weeks.
The track adds another record, becoming the longest-leading Country Streaming Songs No. 1: 34 weeks. Although down 5 percent to 12.3 million U.S. streams, “Body” passes Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” which led for 33 weeks in 2013 and 2014.
“Body” now wears the crown for the longest reign on three of Billboard’s main country songs charts: Hot Country Songs, Country Streaming Songs and Country Digital Song Sales (31 weeks). It led Country Airplay for three weeks beginning May 6.