In its 13th week, Kenny Chesney‘s “Setting the World on Fire,” featuring Pink, ascends 3-1 on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart (dated Nov. 5), increasing 12 percent to 48.3 million audience impressions for the week ending Oct. 23, according to Nielsen Music.
Concurrently, “Fire” rules Hot Country Songs for a third consecutive week, increasing 9 percent. The hybrid Hot Country Songs chart combines airplay, sales and streaming data. “Fire” steps 3-2 on Country Digital Song Sales, increasing 3 percent and shifting 26,000 downloads in the week ending Oct. 20. On Country -Streaming Songs, it gains 11 percent, jumping back into the top 10 (14-9) with 2 million U.S. streams.
The last time that a song simultaneously dominated Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay was the Aug. 6-dated charts, when Florida Georgia Line‘s “H.O.L.Y” controlled both lists.
“Fire” — penned by Ross Copperman, Matt Jenkins and Josh Osborne — is the second single from Chesney’s 17th studio album, Cosmic Hallelujah, due Oct. 28. Lead single “Noise” peaked at No. 6 on Country Airplay and No. 14 on Hot Country Songs.
Completing its journey to the Country Airplay summit in 13 weeks, “Fire” marks Chesney’s quickest trip to No. 1 since “American Kids” pulled it off in 12 weeks, crowning the Sept. 20, 2014, chart.
With “Fire,” Pink rules in her first Country Airplay chart appearance and marks the second country/pop artist collaboration to top the survey of late. –Dierks Bentley‘s “Different for Girls,” featuring Elle King, rose to No. 1 on Country Airplay on the Oct. 1 list. It peaked at No. 3 on Hot Country Songs (Sept. 17).
“I heard the song a couple of weeks before it was released,” says Charlie Cook, PD of Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM and WKDF Nashville. “It was an instant like in my case. I think that Pink is one of the most dynamic performers in music, and Kenny remains a format favorite.”
“Pink is from the Philly area, and of course, Kenny is a country powerhouse,” adds Shelly Easton, PD of CBS Radio’s WXTU Philadelphia. “It’s a great song, perfect for WXTU, and we’ll be playing it in heavy rotation for a very long time.”
“Setting the World on Fire” marks Chesney’s 27th Country Airplay No. 1. It is his first since “Save It for a Rainy Day” dominated for three weeks beginning Oct. 3, 2015. Chesney first crowned the Country Airplay chart, which launched Jan. 20, 1990, with “She’s Got it All” on Aug. 30, 1997. His 27th chart-topper moves Chesney past George Strait and Alan Jackson (each of them have 26), and he is now in second place for career leaders. Tim McGraw is the title-holder with 28.
Speaking of McGraw, his latest, “How I’ll Always Be”, lifts into the Country Airplay top 10 (11-10), increasing 12 percent to 28.1 million audience impressions. It’s McGraw’s 57th track to clear the chart’s upper tier, second only to Strait’s 61 top 10s.
BRETT BREAKS INTO TOP 10: Elsewhere on Hot Country Songs, Brett Young notches his first top 10. His co-written debut single, “Sleep Without You”, steps 11-9 (up 9 percent). On Country Airplay, it adds 12 percent to 33.9 million in audience, lifting 8-7. On Country Digital Song Sales it sells 13,000 downloads (up 7 percent), jogging 10-8, and on Country Streaming Songs it climbs 20-17, increasing 6 percent to 1.7 million U.S. streams.
HOLY BLACKBERRY SMOKES: Country rock band Blackberry Smoke debuts at No. 1 on Top Country Albums with its fifth studio album, Like an Arrow (3 Legged Records). The set sold 18,000 copies in its first sales week. It also leads Americana/Folk Albums and bows at No. 3 on Top Rock Albums.
The 12-song effort marks the group’s second leader on Top Country Albums. 2015’s Holding All the Roses opened at No. 1 with 19,000 copies.
BAD TO THE BONES: This week’s Billboard Chart Beat Podcast will feature iHeartMedia’s syndicated morning personality Bobby Bones. The interview will post Oct. 26 on Billboard.com and iTunes.