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Chart Beat Podcast: Special Guest Kix Brooks on Hosting ‘American Country Countdown’

Brooks, who notched 20 Hot Country Songs No. 1s as half of Brooks & Dunn, reflects on his role as "ACC" host, and how his experience as an artist informs his presentation. Plus, Tom Petty & Beyonce…

Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what’s on the charts … is on the charts, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.

This week, special guest Kix Brooks chats with Billboard‘s Nashville-based senior chart manager Jim Asker about Brooks’ role as host of the syndicated, and renowned radio staple, American Country Countdown, a position that he’s held since 2006. The show, co-created by Casey Kasem in 1973, counts down the top 30 titles each week, from No. 30 to No. 1, on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart.


As half of Brooks & Dunn, Brooks charted 20 No. 1s – a record among duos – on the Hot Country Songs chart, beginning in 1991. “It’s a victory to get to No. 1. It’s something to really cheer about,” he says, noting that he monitored the pair’s performance on Billboard charts long before he held the ACC mic.

Also on the podcast are ACC writer Suzanne Alexander and producer Lonnie Napier. As for the appeal of countdowns (and charts, for that matter)? “It’s sort of like having an awards show every week,” Brooks muses. “You’re sitting there going … ‘Is my artist gonna win this week?’ “

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Plus, Gary and Trevor share memories of Tom Petty, who passed away Oct. 2, and analyze the continued chart power of Beyonce, who earns her highest Billboard Hot 100 placement since 2014 as the newly-featured artist on J Balvin and Willy William‘s “Mi Gente,” which soars from No. 21 to No. 3 this week. (Listen to the end of the podcast to hear Petty and Beyonce singing together.)

Plus, a preview of next week’s Hot 100, where incumbent three-week No. 1 “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” by Cardi B should again battle Post Malone‘s “Rockstar,” featuring 21 Savage, now at No. 2. Also discussed, a track aiming for a Hot 100 entrance next week: Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s charity single “Almost Like Praying,” which could arrive as the week’s top-selling song.

Enjoy the entire latest Chart Beat Podcast and check back for more upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!