George Strait makes history as the first artist to tally 100 entries on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart, as “The Weight of the Badge” arrives on the Oct. 19-dated tally at No. 56, drawing 1.3 million audience impressions in the week ending Oct. 13, according to Nielsen Music.
Strait’s history on Country Airplay dates to the survey’s Jan. 20, 1990, inception, when it became the first Billboard chart powered by electronically-monitored Nielsen data. By then, Strait had become an established superstar, having first appeared on Billboard‘s surveys in 1981.
(On the Hot Country Songs chart, which blends airplay, streaming and sales data, Strait boasts 124 entries, from 1981 through this year.)
Written by Strait with son Bubba Strait and Dean Dillon, “Badge,” released on MCA Nashville, Strait’s longtime label, is a tip of the hat to police officers. The ballad is the second single from Strait’s album Honky Tonk Time Machine, which arrived as his record-extending 27th No. 1 on Top Country Albums in April. Lead track “Every Little Honky Tonk Bar” peaked at No. 17 on Country Airplay in May.
Strait’s 100 Country Airplay appearances include 61 top 10s, also a record total. His 26 No. 1s rank him third with Alan Jackson and Blake Shelton; Kenny Chesney leads all artists with 30 No. 1s, followed by Tim McGraw (29). Strait most recently led the list with “River of Love” in 2009, and has since scored six more top 10s.
Here’s an updated look at the artists with the most total Country Airplay appearances.
100, George Strait
90, Garth Brooks
90, Kenny Chesney
84, Tim McGraw
82, Alan Jackson
75, Toby Keith
69, Reba McEntire
62, Brooks & Dunn
56, Martina McBride
53, Rascal Flatts
53, Blake Shelton