Kane Brown Becomes First Artist To Simultaneously Lead Five Country Charts
For the first time, an artist reigns on all five of Billboard’s main country charts at the same time, as Kane Brown leads the Top Country Albums, Hot Country Songs, Country Airplay, Country Digital Song Sales and Country Streaming Songs lists dated Oct. 28.
Brown’s co-penned “What Ifs,” featuring Lauren Alaina (Zone 4/RCA Nashville), rules the hybrid Hot Country Songs chart, which blends airplay, streaming and sales data, for a second week. The song took over the No. 1 position on the Hot Country Songs chart dated Oct. 21, knocking Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” (MCA Nashville) off the top and ending its record-setting 34-week reign. (This week, “Body” holds at No. 2.)
"What Ifs" is Brown's first No. 1 on Country Airplay, rising 2-1 and increasing 4 percent to 45.9 million audience impressions in the week ending Oct. 15, according to Nielsen Music. His two previous appearances, “Used to Love You Sober” and “Thunder in the Rain,” peaked at Nos. 35 and 43, respectively. “Ifs” is Alaina’s second Country Airplay No. 1, following “Road Less Traveled,” which topped the April 22 list.
“I’ve had a good-size fan base for a while,” Brown, who first built a strong social following, tells Billboard. “Now that I’m with RCA, they were able to get radio onboard and it’s just really awesome to see their support and ‘What Ifs’ going to No. 1.”
Brown says that the song was not originally intended to be a duet, but once it was, Alaina was the clear choice. The two have a long history that goes back to their singing in seventh-grade choir together. “Yeah, we were the awkward kids,” Brown says, laughing. “Once we decided on adding a woman to ‘What Ifs,’ I knew that I wanted Lauren to sing it, and, of course, she killed it.”
The song paces Country Streaming Songs for a second frame, increasing 7 percent to 11 million U.S. streams. It’s the first hit to command at least three charts since Keith Urban’s “Blue Ain’t Your Color” dominated all four Billboard song charts (Hot Country Songs, Country Airplay, Country Digital Song Sales and Country Streaming Songs) dated Jan. 21. Brown, however, is the first artist to simultaneously command all five charts.
After the release of the deluxe edition of his self-titled debut album on Oct. 6, the set surges by 332 percent to 43,000 equivalent album units (26,000 in pure sales) in the week ending Oct. 12 and jumps 5-1 on Top Country Albums for its second week at the summit. The LP debuted atop the Dec. 24, 2016, chart (with 45,000 copies sold). It’s also the largest gainer of the week on the all-genre Billboard 200, roaring 56-5.
The Kane Brown deluxe edition includes four new songs: “Setting the Night on Fire” (featuring Chris Young), “What’s Mine Is Yours,” “Found You” and “Heaven.” The latter song grants Brown his accomplishment of being the first artist to score his five-fold Billboard chart command, as it starts atop Country Digital Song Sales (35,000). Concurrently, that’s good for a No. 10 start on Hot Country Songs. Following “What Ifs,” “Heaven” marks Brown’s -second Hot Country Songs top 10.
The Chattanooga, Tenn., native (who will turn 24 on Oct. 21) self-released the EP Closer, which -debuted at No. 22 on the Top Country Albums chart dated June 20, 2015, and peaked at No. 7 that November (hitting a weekly sales high of 8,000). Signed in early 2016 thanks in part to his robust social following, he followed with his Zone 4/RCA Nashville debut with his EP Chapter 1, which debuted and peaked at No. 3 on April 9, 2016 (23,000 sold).
LANCO GETS MORE CHART ‘LOVE’ LANCO earns its first Country Airplay top 10, as the group’s “Greatest Love Story” (Arista Nashville) bumps 11-10 in its 33rd week, increasing by 13 percent to 27.3 million impressions. It also lifts to a new peak on Hot Country Songs, moving 8-6.