For only the third time since Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart transitioned to a hybrid data list, blending airplay, streaming and sales, on Oct. 20, 2012, a song debuts atop the survey.
Pop singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha and powerhouse country duo Florida Georgia Line‘s “Meant to Be” launches at No. 1 on the chart dated Dec. 16. Rexha makes her first visit to Hot Country Songs, while FGL earns its sixth No. 1, and first since “H.O.L.Y.” reigned for 18 weeks beginning May 21, 2016.
“Meant” is being driven in part by budding multi-format support at both pop and country radio, where it’s being dually promoted. It rises 31-28 on the Pop Songs airplay chart (up 33 percent in plays, according to Nielsen Music) and pushes 57-48 in its second week on Country Airplay (2 million impressions, up 47 percent).
On the Billboard Hot 100, “Meant” reaches the top 40 (42-40). Rexha earns her fifth top 40 Hot 100 hit and FGL lands its 10th. (All charts will update tomorrow, Dec. 5, on Billboard.com.)
The collaboration ranks at No. 8 on the all-genre Digital Song Sales chart with 25,000 downloads sold (and enters Country Digital Song Sales at No. 1), while drawing 10.4 million U.S. streams (as it enters the all-genre Streaming Songs chart at No. 46).
“Meant” is the third track to start at No. 1 Hot Country Songs, following the all-star “Forever Country” by Artists of Then, Now & Forever (Oct. 8, 2016) and “My Baby’s Got a Smile on Her Face” by the season 7 winner of NBC’s The Voice, Craig Wayne Boyd (Jan. 3, 2015).
While Rexha is new to the country charts, Florida Georgia Line has been steadily increasing its pop presence. Its 11th and most recent Country Airplay No. 1, “God, Your Mama, And Me,” features Backstreet Boys; the duo holds at its No. 53 high on the Dec. 16 Hot 100 as featured (with Watt) on Hailee Steinfeld and Alesso‘s “Let Me Go”; and the pair hit No. 16 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs in April as featured on The Chainsmokers‘ “Last Day Alive.”
“Meant” is an “undeniable smash,” beams Phathead, program director of Country Airplay reporter WJVC Nassau, New York, which played “Meant” 15 times in the tracking week. The twosome is “on the pulse of hit-making and the current sound of music. I’m in the FGL business and, for my listeners, business is good.”