Chart Beat

Kane Brown's 'What Ifs' Featuring Lauren Alaina Tops Hot Country Songs, Stopping Sam Hunt's Record Run

"34 weeks, Sam Hunt? Damn. I'm happy to get in there," Brown beams.

Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, which blends streaming, airplay and sales data, boasts a new No. 1 for the first time since Feb. 25, as Kane Brown's "What Ifs" featuring Lauren Alaina ascends 2-1 in its 44th week (on the chart dated Oct. 21).

"What Ifs" replaces Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road," now at No. 2 after a record 34 weeks at No. 1.

"All I can say is, 34 weeks, Sam Hunt? Damn. I'm happy to get in there," Brown told Billboard after hearing the news.

"What Ifs" rises 2-1 on Country Streaming Songs (10.3 million U.S. streams, up 1 percent, in the tracking week, according to Nielsen Music) and 3-2 on Country Airplay (44 million in audience, up 4 percent). It ranks at No. 2 after two weeks atop Country Digital Song Sales (22,000 sold, down 7 percent).

"What Ifs" marks the first Hot Country Songs No. 1 for (childhood friends) Brown and Alaina, the latter the only woman to top the Country Airplay chart as a solo lead this year, with "Road Less Travelled" (April 22).

Alaina is now also the first woman to crown Hot Country Songs at all in 2017. P!nk last earned the honor, as featured on Kenny Chesney's "Setting the World on Fire" for four weeks in October and November 2016. (The only other woman to rule Hot Country Songs last year: Kelsea Ballerini, with her own "Peter Pan," for two weeks in September and October.)

Of his 10 Hot Country Songs entries other than "What Ifs," Brown had hit a No. 13 high last month with "Found You." Before that, No. 15 marked his best, achieved by his first charted title, "Used to Love You Sober," in 2015.

For Alaina, her Country Airplay leader "Road" marked her previous best on Hot Country Songs, reaching No. 8 in April.