Maren Morris Scores First Solo No. 1 'Song' On Country Airplay Chart

Eric Ryan Anderson
Maren Morris photographed on June 10, 2017 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. 

Plus, Walker Hayes earns his first top 10.

Maren Morris' "I Could Use a Love Song" (Columbia Nashville) ascends 2-1 in its 44th week on Billboard's Country Airplay chart (dated Jan. 20), increasing 9 percent to 43 million audience impressions, according to Nielsen Music, in the tracking week ending Jan. 15.

The coronation marks the Arlington, Texas-born singer-songwriter's second Country Airplay leader and first on her own. In her prior chart visit, she led the July 22, 2017-dated list as featured on Thomas Rhett's "Craving You."

"It's an incredible feeling," Morris tells Billboard. "This is what I came to Nashville for many years ago: to be an artist and songwriter. Achieving this No. 1 with a song co-written by me [with Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz] is a fulfillment of that dream."

"An artist's first No. 1 song is a special moment and one to be celebrated. We plan to do just that," says Sony Music Nashville chairman/CEO Randy Goodman. "Maren was one of the first artist signings in our label group's new storyline, so witnessing a No. 1 song from such a talented artist and songwriter as Maren makes us proud to say we work alongside her. As we look at this snapshot in time of the early stages in a budding career, I know Maren will continue to give us all, as music fans, many great songs to sing along to."

"Love Song" is the third single from Morris' debut major-label full-length, Hero, which entered the Top Country Albums chart dated June 25, 2016. The set has earned 699,000 equivalent album units to date, with 271,000 copies via traditional sales. Hero's lead single, "My Church," peaked at No. 9 on Country Airplay (May 21, 2016), and follow-up "80s Mercedes" rolled to No. 12 (Dec. 24, 2016).

Morris' other Country Airplay hit, "Dear Hate" (featuring Vince Gill),  started and peaked at No. 29 on Oct. 21, 2017. She released the song on Oct. 1 in tribute to the victims of the shooting massacre that took 58 lives and injured over 500 others at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas. She had performed at the festival on Sept. 30. All sales proceeds from "Hate" have benefited Nashville's Music City Cares Fund.

Over on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, which blends airplay, streaming and sales data, "Love Song" hops into the top 10 (11-7). Morris notches her third top 10 on the tally, after "Church" peaked at No. 5 (March 19, 2016) and "Craving You" climbed to No. 3 (July 22, 2017).

'BROKE' BREAKS INTO TOP 10: Walker Hayes steps up to his first Country Airplay top 10, as his co-written "You Broke Up With Me" (Monument/Arista Nashville) lifts 11-10 (21.4 million impressions, essentially even week over week). "Broke" is his third Country Airplay appearance and first since 2011. Previous singles "Pants" and "Why Wait for Summer" peaked at Nos. 40 and 42, respectively, that year.

REXHA & FGL LEAD AGAIN: Pop singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha and country duo Florida Georgia Line's "Meant to Be" (Warner Bros./BMLG) rules Hot Country Songs for a seventh week.

The collaboration tops Country Digital Song Sales for a sixth week (40,000 downloads sold, down 5 percent, in the week ending Jan. 11) and Country Streaming Songs for a third frame (16.3 million U.S. streams, up 12 percent).

On Country Airplay, "Meant" bumps 33-32, rising 7 percent to 5 million impressions. Because it is also being promoted to pop radio, it escalates 20-18 on Billboard's Adult Pop Songs airplay chart and bullets at No. 21 on Pop Songs.

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