Brett Young leads Billboard's Country Airplay chart (dated Jan. 13) for a career-best third week, as "Like I Loved You" (BMLG) remains in the penthouse. In its 25th frame, the song boasts an increase of 13 percent to 46.3 million audience impressions in the week ending Jan. 7, according to Nielsen Music.
(Most titles on the chart show significant gains, reflecting the first full week of regular programming after the holidays.)
"Loved," co-written by Young with Jesse Lee, is the second total and consecutive Country Airplay leader for Young, and the 36-year-old native Californian's first to reign for three weeks. After his first single, "Sleep Without You," peaked at No. 2 on Dec. 10, 2016, "In Case You Didn't Know" led for two weeks beginning June 10, 2017.
"For an artist and songwriter, there's nothing more exciting than a No. 1," Young tells Billboard. "Now having two multi-week No. 1 singles, those are accolades I will forever cherish. I'm very thankful for the support that country radio and the fans have given my music."
As with "Sleep" and "Case," Young's third single is from his self-titled debut full-length, which arrived and peaked at No. 2 on the Top Country Albums survey dated March 2, 2017. It has sold 178,000 copies to date.
SIX STRAIGHT On Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, which blends airplay, streaming and sales data, pop singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha and country duo Florida Georgia Line (consisting of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley) top the list for a sixth week with "Meant to Be" (Warner Bros./BMLG).
"Meant" is being driven in part by multi-format support at both pop and country radio, where it's being dually promoted. The track tops Country Digital Song Sales for a fifth week, although down 19 percent to 42,000 downloads sold in the week ending Jan. 4. It rules Country Streaming Songs for a second week, up 14 percent to 14.5 million U.S. streams in the same tracking period.
On Country Airplay, "Meant" pushes 33-30, increasing by 12 percent to 4.7 million audience impressions in the week ending Jan. 7. (It rises 22-21 on the Mainstream Top 40 airplay tally.)
"Meant" is Rexha's first Hot Country Songs entry. It's FGL's sixth No. 1 and first since "H.O.L.Y.," which dominated for 18 weeks beginning May 21, 2016.
RECORD RISE Easton Corbin achieves his sixth Country Airplay top 10, as "A Girl Like You" (Mercury) climbs 11-10 in its 50th week, increasing 20 percent to 24.4 million impressions. Corbin earns his first Country Airplay top 10 since "Baby Be My Love Song," which peaked at No. 3 on July 18, 2015.
The current single's 50-week trip to the top 10 matches the longest in the chart's 28-year history, tying Aaron Watson's "Outta Style," which rose 11-10 (its peak) in its 50th frame on Dec. 30. The previous record-holder for the longest journey to the Country Airplay top 10: Chris Lane's "For Her," which reached its No. 10 peak on Sept. 16 in its 48th frame.
HAPPY BIRTHDAYS Jan. 8 marks the 74th anniversary of the earliest origins of a Billboard country chart. On this date in 1944, the "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records" ranking premiered, topped by Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters' "Pistol Packin' Mama." (Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart launched as an all-encompassing genre survey on Oct. 20, 1958.)
Jan. 8 also marks the date that Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Miss., in 1935. Presley rolled up 87 appearances on Billboard country song charts between 1955 and 2009, including 11 No. 1s, from "I Forgot to Remember to Forget" in 1956 to "Guitar Man" in 1981. The King died at his Graceland home in Memphis, Tenn., on Aug. 16, 1977, at age 42. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1998.