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Chart Beat Podcast: Luke Bryan & Mike Dungan on ‘Throwing Curveballs’ on the Record-Breaking ‘Kill the Lights’ Album

The superstar stops by with Universal Music Group Nashville exec Mike Dungan to chat about his career, including "Fast," his record sixth Country Airplay No. 1 from his latest LP.

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.

This week, country king Luke Bryan and Universal Music Group Nashville chairman/CEO Mike Dungan join for a wide-ranging chat with Billboard‘s country chart manager Jim Asker. First, up the trio covers Bryan’s record-breaking week on the Country Airplay chart, where “Fast” becomes the unprecedented sixth No. 1 from Bryan’s album Kill the Lights.

“When you hear accolades and achievements like that, what it took to get to this point just immediately flashes in front of your eyes,” Bryan says. “From the point where I met Mike for the first time … he saw something in me. It starts with moving to Nashville, but then you’ve got to prove that you’re gonna be able to pull this career off. We just set out to make the best music we can and have fun with it.”

On Kill the Lights, Bryan served up a variety of sounds. “After the last album [Crash My Party], Luke and I were fishing and I expressed my opinion that I know him to be multi-faceted and his talents run very, very wide and very deep,” Dungan says. “And when you’re limited to the songs you hear on the radio, you get one or two impressions of an artist.

“I said, ‘Maybe it’s time to start throwing some of those curveballs that are in your head; I know they’re in there, because I’m around you all the time.’ And I think this album is exactly that.”


Gary and Trevor also discuss Ed Sheeran‘s milestone 10th week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Shape of You” – could Bruno Mars‘ “That’s What I Like,” at No. 2, be in line to dethrone it? – and flash back to this week in 1999, when TLC‘s “No Scrubs” topped the Hot 100, with the ’90s classic now sharing writing credits with Sheeran’s smash.

Enjoy the entire latest Chart Beat Podcast and check back for more upcoming episodes with Gary and Trevor, as well as 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!