Thomas Rhett’s All-Star ‘Light’ Shines in Hot Country Songs Top 10, As Guest Reba McEntire Makes More History
Thomas Rhett's "Be a Light" enters the top 10 on the Hot Country Songs chart.
Thomas Rhett‘s “Be a Light,” featuring Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin and Keith Urban, enters the top 10 of Billboard‘s airplay-, streaming- and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart, jumping 11-7 on the list dated Sept. 12.
The song rises 4-2 on Country Airplay, up 12% to 29.5 million audience impressions in the week ending Sept. 6, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. It also drew 5.7 million U.S. streams and sold 3,000 downloads in the week ending Sept. 3.
“Light” was released on March 30 to help comfort listeners amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Rhett, who co-wrote it (in 2019), earns his 16th Hot Country Songs top 10. The sum includes the No. 1 “Die a Happy Man,” which ruled for 17 weeks in 2015-16.
McEntire nets her 60th Hot Country Songs top 10, extending her record for the most among women. Dolly Parton ranks second in the category with 55 top 10s. Among all acts since the chart began as an all-encompassing genre survey in 1958, George Strait leads with 86 top 10s.
Plus, as “Light” is McEntire’s first Hot Country Songs top 10 of 2020, she has now collected top 10s in five straight decades: the 1980s, ’90s, 2000s, ’10s and ’20s. McEntire is the fourth artist to have achieved top 10s on the chart in five distinct decades, joining George Jones (’50s-’90s), Willie Nelson and Parton (both ’60s-’00s).
Scott scores her first solo Hot Country Songs top 10 apart from trio Lady A (which boasts 14 top 10s). Urban earns his milestone 40th top 10 and Tomlin tallies his first; he’s notched 28 top 10s on the Hot Christian Songs chart.
With its five billed acts, “Light” sports most artists on a Hot Country Songs top 10 since Jimmy Buffett’s cover of Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin’,” with Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith and Strait (No. 8, 2004).
‘STARTING’ BIG Following its first full week of tracking, Chris Stapleton‘s “Starting Over” flies 50-10 on Hot Country Songs, becoming his fourth top 10.
Released Aug. 27, the song sold 16,000 downloads in the week ending Sept. 3 and arrives atop Country Digital Song Sales, where it’s Stapleton’s second No. 1 (and first to enter at the summit), after “Tennessee Whiskey” in 2015. His new single attracted 6.4 million U.S. streams in the week ending Sept. 3 and 3.9 million in radio reach in the week ending Sept. 6. It’s the title track from his LP due Nov. 13.
THAT’S ‘SOME’ DEBUT Jameson Rodgers scores his first Country Airplay top 10 with his debut entry, as “Some Girls” climbs 12-9 in its 42nd week, up 8% to 19.5 million in audience.
Rodgers, who hails from Batesville, Miss., and earned a baseball scholarship to the University of Southern Mississippi, has co-written songs for other artists, including Chris Lane’s “I Don’t Know About You,” which led Country Airplay in October 2019.
“Some Girls” is the first rookie single by a male artist to reach the Country Airplay top 10 in 2020 and the third among all acts. It follows Gabby Barrett’s “I Hope,” which led for a week in April, and Ingrid Andress’ “More Hearts Than Mine,” which reached No. 3 in May.
Rodgers is the first male to send a debut Country Airplay entry to the top 10 since Matt Stell, whose “Prayed for You” reigned for two weeks in October 2019.
McGRAW MOVES UP Also on Country Airplay, Tim McGraw banks his 58th top 10 as “I Called Mama” ascends 11-10 (19.3 million impressions, up 4%).
“Mama” marks McGraw’s first Country Airplay top 10 since “How I’ll Always Be” reached No. 3 in January 2017. He scored his first top 10 with his fourth entry, “Indian Outlaw” (No. 8, 1994). His next single, “Don’t Take the Girl,” became his first of 29 No. 1s.
McGraw moves into a solo share of the second-most Country Airplay top 10s, one-upping Kenny Chesney (57). George Strait leads with 61 top 10s since the chart launched in 1990.
Echoing Reba McEntire’s chart longevity as noted above, “Mama” is McGraw’s first Country Airplay top 10 of 2020, granting him top 10s in four different decades. He joins three other artists that have accomplished the feat: Garth Brooks, Chesney and McEntire.