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George Strait Scores 83rd Country Songs Top 10

The King of Country pushes closer to Eddy Arnold's record for most top 10s on the survey, as "The Breath You Take" advances 11-10.

STRAIT TALK: George Strait edges closer to Eddy Arnold‘s record for most top 10s on Billboard’s Country Songs chart, as “The Breath You Take” rises 11-10. The song is Strait’s 83rd top 10 on the list, a sum second only to Arnold’s 92, which the late legend collected between 1945 (a year after the chart’s premiere) and 1980.

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Strait first reached the Country Songs top 10 with his first chart entry, “Unwound” (No. 6), in 1981. He has sent at least one song into the top bracket each year since. “The Breath You Take” is the King of Country’s second top 10 this year, following “I Gotta Get to You,” which reached No. 3 in June.

Here is a look at the artists with the most top 10s in the almost 67-year archives of Country Songs. Two weeks ago, Reba McEntire extended the mark for most top 10s among women, when “Turn on the Radio” rose 12-10. This week, the song lifts 9-8.

Total Top 10s, Artist
92, Eddy Arnold
83, George Strait
78, George Jones
75, Conway Twitty
71, Merle Haggard
59, Reba McEntire
57, Ernest Tubb
56, Red Foley
55, Dolly Parton
54, Waylon Jennings
54, Webb Pierce

‘BOY’ HOWDY: At No. 60 on Country Songs, Reba McEntire debuts with her cover of Beyonce‘s “If I Were a Boy.” The original version peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 two years ago this month.

McEntire’s remake appears on her new album, “All the Women I Am,” which debuts at Nos. 3 and 7 on Country Albums and the Billboard 200, respectively. McEntire first covered the song earlier this year on CMT’s “Unplugged” and sang the track last Wednesday (Nov. 10) at the 44th Annual CMA Awards.

“If I Were a Boy” joins McEntire’s assortment of pop covers that have dotted Country Songs, including her takes on the Everly Brothers‘ “Cathy’s Clown” (No. 1, 1989), Vicki Lawrence‘s “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” (No. 12, 1992) and Kelly Clarkson‘s “Because of You,” a duet with the original “American Idol” queen (No. 2, 2007).

‘WAY’ UP: Bruno Mars becomes the first solo male in more than four years to send a debut single as a lead artist to the top of the Adult Pop Songs chart, as “Just the Way You Are” jumps 3-1 with Greatest Gainer honors. The track also logs the largest plays increase on Adult Contemporary (12-11).

Mars, who reached Adult Pop Songs earlier this year as a featured artist on B.o.B‘s “Nothin’ On You” (No. 23) and Travie McCoy‘s “Billionaire” (No. 33), is the first male soloist to top the tally with a debut single as a lead act since Daniel Powter reigned for 12 weeks with “Bad Day” beginning in April 2006, directly after James Blunt had ruled with his first chart entry, “You’re Beautiful,” for five weeks.

At No. 38 on Adult Pop Songs, 2010 “American Idol” champion Lee DeWyze makes his first visit to a Billboard airplay chart, bowing with “Sweet Serendipity,” the lead single from “Live It Up,” released yesterday (Nov. 16).