Bailey Zimmerman makes history on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart (dated Sept. 3), becoming the first artist to place three career-opening entries in the top 10 simultaneously since the survey began as an all-encompassing genre ranking in October 1958.
Zimmerman’s “Rock and a Hard Place,” “Where It Ends” and “Fall in Love” (all on Elektra/Warner Music Nashville/WEA) rank at Nos. 6, 7 and 10 on the streaming-, airplay- and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart, respectively. “Ends,” released Aug. 19, debuts with 10.4 million U.S. streams and 6,000 downloads sold in the week ending Aug. 25, according to Luminate. “Rock” reached No. 2 upon its entrance in June, while “Fall” hit No. 6 in July, after debuting in February. (“Fall” also jumps 22-16 on the Country Airplay chart, up 16% to 7.9 million in audience.)
Morgan Wallen has notched six weeks with at least three concurrent Hot Country Songs top 10s, paced by a record six simultaneous top 10s on the Jan. 23, 2021, tally, when his Dangerous: The Double Album entered Billboard‘s charts. The other acts with three top 10s each in a single week: Florida Georgia Line (for six such weeks); Johnny Cash (three); Taylor Swift (two); and Luke Combs, Buck Owens, Faron Young and, now, Zimmerman (one each), the lattermost, again, the first artist to achieve the feat with his first three entries on the chart.
“My life went from, like, nothing to 100, just so fast,” Illinois native Zimmerman, who boasts 1.5 million followers on TikTok, recently told Billboard. “I started reading books. [Fellow country artist] Drew Baldridge has been like a mentor for me. He was like, ‘Dude, get the book All You Need to Know About the Music Business [by Donald Passman].’ I learned how labels worked, all kinds of stuff. I still have a lot to learn, but I dove in to learn what’s going on.”
Key to Zimmerman’s success, Austin Shawn concurrently rises to No. 1 on Billboard‘s Country Producers chart, becoming the top country producer in the U.S. for the first time. He solely produced all three of Zimmerman’s Hot Country Songs hits.
Before working with Zimmerman, Shawn produced two Hot Country Songs-charting entries, both by Chase Matthew: “County Line” reached No. 29 in July 2021 and “We Had It Good” climbed to No. 44 this February.
All three of Zimmerman’s tracks simultaneously rank in the Billboard Hot 100‘s top 40, at Nos. 29, 32 and 38, as Shawn surges 9-2 on Hot 100 Producers, in addition to his Country Producers coronation.
“One of the biggest things I’ve learned is to make music that defines exactly who I am, and who the artist is, on a personal level,” says Shawn (whose co-managers are Simon Tikhman and Chief Zaruk and day-to-day manager is Tim Crane). “My goal as a producer and songwriter is to help create an artist’s unique sonic identity. I’m constantly chasing something that’s fresh and timeless.”
Shawn dethrones Joey Moi atop Country Producers, halting the latter’s record 81-week domination (dating to the chart’s June 2019 inception) – including the last 32 weeks consecutively.
On the Country Songwriters chart, Zach Bryan tallies an 11th week at No. 1, thanks to his two entries on Hot Country Songs that he recorded, and wrote solo: “Something in the Orange” (No. 12) and “Oklahoma Smoke Show” (No. 36). Bryan first led Country Songwriters on the chart dated May 7; since Country Songwriters began in June 2019, only five talents have spent more time at No. 1: Ashley Gorley (31 weeks), Blanco Brown (18), Luke Combs (15), Morgan Wallen (14) and Taylor Swift (13).
The weekly Country Songwriters and Country Producers charts are based on total points accrued by a songwriter and producer, respectively, for each attributed song that appears on the Hot Country Songs chart. As with Billboard‘s yearly recaps, multiple writers or producers split points for each song equally (and the dividing of points will lead to occasional ties on rankings).
The full Country Songwriters and Country Producers charts, in addition to the full genre rankings, can be found on Billboard.com.