Hunter Hayes Makes History, Little Big Town Shines on Country Charts

CMA Awards Predictions: Best New Artist

CMA Awards Predictions: Best New Artist

As "Wanted" steps 2-1 on Country Songs, newcomer Hunter Hayes makes history as the youngest solo male act to top the radio tally, ringing at the top bell at 21 years and two weeks of age, surpassing a record set in 1973 by Johnny Rodriguez when he reigned with "You Always Come Back to Hurting Me" at age 21 years, three months and three weeks.

Hayes is the youngest overall since Taylor Swift's "Our Song" became her first leader in December 2007 at age 18 years and two weeks. "Wanted" is the second single from his self-titled debut album, which ranks No. 6 (7,000 sold) in its 49th week on Country Albums -- Nielsen SoundScan reports total sales of 342,000 since its October 2011 release, when it debuted at No. 7 with 17,000 sold.

Lead single "Storm Warning," stopped at No. 14 on the January 28 radio list. "Wanted" has sold briskly, with 1.2 million downloads so far, ranking at No. 4 in its 25th week on Country Digital Songs. It has spent three cumulative weeks at its No. 3 peak, posting its best one-week sum (70,000 downloads) on the August 11 chart.

Speaking of Swift, she leads Country Digital Songs for a fifth straight week with "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," which sells 226,000 downloads during the tracking week.

Concurrently, Little Big Town garners its second straight No. 1 on Country Albums and biggest Nielsen SoundScan week, as Tornado blows in with 113,000 sold. That's more than twice the vocal group's previous best, noted when The Reason Why bowed at No. 1 with 42,000 two years ago. The new album also nets a career best No. 2 rank on the Billboard 200, surpassing the opening week peak at No. 5 with Reason. Following two weeks at No. 1 on Country Songs, lead single "Pontoon" dips to No. 4, while the title track from Tornado is serviced to programmers as the follow-up radio single.

Also noteworthy on Country Songs, Lee Brice scores his third top 10 in seven tries, as "Hard to Love" jumps 13-9. His previous top 10 achievements on the radio chart are "Love Like Crazy," which rose to No. 3 two years ago, and "A Woman Like You," which topped the April 21 list. His current track bullets at No. 8 on Country Digital Songs (38,000 sold).

Kenny Chesney opens conspicuously at No. 32 on Country Songs with "El Cerrito Place," the third radio single from his "Welcome to the Fishbowl" album, which bows with airplay at 88 of the 126 stations monitored by Nielsen BDS for the chart. Lead single "Feel Like a Rock Star" (duet with Tim McGraw) peaked at No. 11 in May, followed by two weeks at No. 1 in August with "Come Over." Chesney's new single was written by fellow artist/writer Keith Gattis, who included it on his 2005 album "Big City Blues." The song was first introduced on Charlie Robison's Good Times set in 2004.