Jason Aldean achieves his 15th No. 1 on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart, as the guitar-driven “Lights Come On,” the launch single from his upcoming seventh studio album, rises 2-1. It’s up by 4 percent to 50.5 million audience impressions, according to Nielsen Music.
“Having a No. 1 is something we get excited about every time,” Aldean tells Billboard. “But when it’s the first song off a new record like this one, it’s especially cool to know the fans and radio are behind you.”
Penned by Jimmy Robbins, Jordan Schmidt, Brad Warren, Brett Warren and Florida Georgia Line‘s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, “Lights” expands Aldean’s span of Country Airplay No. 1s past 10 years. Following his No. 10-peaking 2005 debut, “Hicktown,” “Why” became his first No. 1 on the chart dated May 27, 2006. Dating to that frame, Aldean is tied with Luke Bryan for the third-most No. 1s; in that stretch of slightly more than a decade, only Blake Shelton (19) and Kenny Chesney (17) have logged more leaders.
“As with Luke Bryan, I really think Jason has developed his own signature sound that crosses several demographic groups,” says Cumulus Media director of Nash programming John Shomby of Aldean (who, after five nominations, won his first entertainer of the year trophy from the Academy of Country Music on April 3). “On top of all that, he puts on a great show, and that also crosses lots of age groups.”
STILL CRUISIN’: On Hot Country Songs, which incorporates airplay, sales and streaming data, Florida Georgia Line‘s “H.O.L.Y.” leads for a 10th week. With the pair’s debut, “Cruise,” having ruled for a record 24 weeks in 2012-13, FGL is the first act to earn two No. 1 runs of double-digit weeks apiece, dating to the chart’s 1958 inception as an all-encompassing genre ranking. “H.O.L.Y” also crosses over to a No. 36 debut on Billboard‘s Adult Pop Songs airplay chart.
‘PETER PAN’ FLIES: Singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini, 23, becomes the first female soloist to send her first three entries (promoted to country radio) from a debut full-length album to the Hot Country Songs’ top 10 since Taylor Swift nearly a decade ago, as “Peter Pan” ascends 12-8.
The song follows “Love Me Like You Mean It,” which climbed to No. 5 on Hot Country Songs in June 2015 and “Dibs” (No. 7, February); both songs crowned Country Airplay (where “Peter Pan” lifts 16-12, up by 14 percent to 23.3 million).
Swift arrived with “Tim McGraw,” which peaked at No. 6 on Hot Country Songs in January 2007. “Teardrops on My Guitar” reached No. 2 in August 2007, and “Our Song” became her first No. 1, reigning for six weeks -starting that December. The songs were released from Swift’s self-titled first LP, which produced two more 10 Hot Country Songs top 10s: “Picture to Burn” (No. 3) and “Should’ve Said No” (No. 1 for two weeks). (At the time, the chart was based solely on airplay.)
“To be able to have my first three songs be heard like they have been has been more than I can ask for as a new songwriter and artist,” says Ballerini. “As far as being the first since Taylor … I’m so proud to follow in the footsteps of one of my favorite artists and friends.”
‘UP’ IS UP: Dan + Shay notch their second Country Airplay top 10, as “From the Ground Up” bumps 11-9 (28.8 million, up 9 percent). Written by the pair’s Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney with Chris DeStefano, the song is the lead track from the act’s sophomore album, Obsessed. The duo earned its first Country Airplay top 10 with “Nothin’ Like You,” which topped the Dec. 19, 2015, chart.
COUNTRY PRIDE: Lee Greenwood‘s “God Bless the USA” re-enters Country Digital Songs at No. 9, up by 655 percent to 19,000 downloads sold (up from 3,000) in the week ending July 7. The July 4 favorite originally peaked at No. 7 on Hot Country Songs in 1984. It returned to a No. 16 rank following the tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001.
This article first appeared in Billboard’s Country Update — sign up here.