Chart Beat

Kacey Musgraves Is Golden Atop Top Country Albums After Grammy Wins, 'Rainbow' Shines

Kacey Musgraves
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Kacey Musgraves performs onstage during the 61st Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Feb. 10, 2019 in Los Angeles. 

Also, top 10s from Luke Bryan and Chris Stapleton, plus George Strait debuts on Country Airplay.

Sparked by her wins at the 61st Grammy Awards (Feb. 10), Kacey Musgraves' album of the year winner Golden Hour returns to No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart (dated Feb. 23).

Golden rockets 19-1 on the tally, up 524 percent to 35,000 equivalent album units earned (20,000 in traditional album sales) in the week ending Feb. 14, according to Nielsen Music.

On the all-genre Billboard 200, Golden re-enters at No. 9. The set became Musgraves' third Top Country Albums leader when it arrived atop the chart dated April 14, 2018 (with 49,000 units), its lone prior week at No. 1.

Golden won Grammy Awards for album of the year and best country album, while its songs "Butterflies" and "Space Cowboy" triumphed for best country solo performance and best country song, respectively.

Musgraves also turned in a stirring Grammys performance of "Rainbow," Golden's new single at country radio, as well as AC, adult top 40 and triple A.

While Musgraves has garnered impressive career success, country radio support has been modest, as she boasts one Country Airplay top 10, her breakthrough single, "Merry Go 'Round," which hit No. 10 in 2013. That might be changing with "Rainbow," which Musgraves wrote with Natalie Hemby and Shane McAnally. In its second week on Country Airplay, "Rainbow" flies 58-40, surging by 212 percent to 2.9 million audience impressions in the week ending Feb. 17.

"Kacey has broken through with an amazing night at the Grammys," says Cumulus Media country format vp Charlie Cook. "It is incumbent on programmers to pay attention to her music and her fans. Programmers are looking to find artists that can add variety."

"Rainbow" is the third song from Golden Hour sent to country radio. Instead of designating one specific first single, MCA initially serviced "Butterflies" and "Space Cowboy." "Butterflies" debuted and peaked at No. 56 last April, while "Cowboy" did not chart.

On the airplay-, streaming- and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart, "Rainbow" opens at No. 17, marking Musgraves' 13th entry and best start. Previously, she made a pair of No. 28 bows, with "Follow Your Arrow," which No. 10 in 2013, becoming her lone top 10, and "Biscuits," which debuted and peaked at No. 28 in 2015.

Helping its Hot Country Songs start, "Rainbow" roars by 1,528 percent to 3.3 million U.S. streams and 8,048 percent to 13,000 downloads sold, as it enters Country Digital Song Sales at No. 2.

HOT "COUNTRY" SONG Luke Bryan earns his 27th Hot Country Songs top 10, as "What Makes You Country" rises 11-9. It holds at No. 4 on Country Airplay (32.4 million impressions, up 5 percent) and gains by 22 to 3.2 million U.S. streams.

RECORD RISE Chris Stapleton's "Millionaire" completes a record run to the Hot Country Songs top 10, ascending 12-10 in its 56th week. The song steps 7-6 on Country Airplay (25.4 million in audience, up 2 percent) and increases by 5 percent to 3.9 million streams.

"Millionaire," Stapleton's third Hot Country Songs top 10, passes Lee Brice's 46-week climb to the top 10 with his No. 3-peaking "Love Like Crazy" in 2010 (when the chart was solely airplay-based).

STRAIT RETURNS George Strait posts his record-extending 99th Country Airplay entry, as "Every Little Honky Tonk Bar" bows at No. 20 with 11.2 million impressions. On Hot Country Songs, it starts at No. 36, marking his 123rd visit. (Hot Country Songs began in 1958, while Country Airplay's history dates to 1990.)

Written by Strait with son Bubba and Dean Dillon, "Bar" is the first radio single from Strait's album Honky Tonk Time Machine (due March 29).

Helped by hourly plays on participating iHeartMedia stations starting Feb. 11, "Bar" marks Strait's second-highest Country Airplay debut. It trails only "I Saw God Today," which launched at No. 19, and later hit No. 1, in 2008.

"Bar" is Strait's first Country Airplay entry since "Cold Beer Conversation," which peaked at No. 33 in 2015; he ends his longest break from the chart, after he had appeared on the list every year from 1990 to 2015.

2019 Grammy Awards