CMA Awards 2018

Chart Beat Podcast: Will 'No Tears Left to Cry' Become Ariana Grande's First Hot 100 No. 1?

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Ariana Grande 'No Tears Left To Cry'

Billboard's Andrew Unterberger chats about Grande's chances. Plus, special guest Bill Danoff, who co-wrote John Denver's classic "Take Me Home, Country Roads" (as interviewed by another special guest).

Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what's on the charts … is on the charts, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.

This week, as Ariana Grande's "No Tears Left to Cry" blasts onto the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 3, Gary and Trevor chat about the song's chances to become her first No. 1; she's reached a No. 2 high to date with "Problem," featuring Iggy Azalea, in 2014. Billboard senior editor Andrew Unterberger joins in the discussion, following his analysis of which current stars have yet to crown the Hot 100, while citing who waited a few years for their first leaders, including Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran, as well as Drake as a lead artist.

Plus, we flash back to an iconic hit – John Denver's debut No. 2 Hot 100 classic from 1971, "Take Me Home, Country Roads" – with special guest, the song's co-writer Bill Danoff. Interviewing Danoff is another special guest: Gary's father, Richard Trust, who chatted with Danoff during a recent trip to a Denver tribute concert in Sykesville, Maryland. (Gary's brother, Michael, contributed most of the driving.)

Springfield, Massachusetts, native Danoff recalls that, after he began studying at Georgetown University, "We had one year where I did a lot of road trips. I just was fascinated by the countryside … barns … stuff I had only seen in pictures. I'd suddenly become a real nature fan. That's where all that 'country roads' stuff came from."

Plus, you're the next co-host of the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast! We have a brand-new hotline that you can call to leave a question or comment that could appear on an upcoming episode – including our 100th next week. Call 212-493-4021 (aka, "40-to-1" … like a countdown!) and share any chart questions or observations … and then listen to hear yourself on the podcast.

Enjoy the latest Billboard Chart Beat Podcast and check back for additional upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!