Lady Antebellum notches its 10th No. 1 on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart (dated Jan. 18), as “What If I Never Get Over You” rises 3-1 in its 35th frame, up by 8% to 38.4 million audience impressions in the week ending Jan. 12, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.
On the Hot Country Songs chart, which is powered by airplay, streaming and sales data, “What” holds at its No. 5 high, also sporting 6.3 million U.S. streams and 3,000 sold in the week ending Jan. 9. The track was written by Sam Ellis, Jon Green, Ryan Hurd and Laura Veltz and is the lead single from Lady A’s album Ocean, which became the act’s 10th top 10 on Top Country Albums when it arrived at No. 2 on the survey dated Nov. 30, 2019.
“What” is the launch single on BMLG Records (under the umbrella of the Big Machine Label Group) for Lady A, the trio comprising Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood. The group signed with BMLG in September 2018 after departing Capitol Nashville.
“The feeling of having a No. 1 song on country radio never gets old,” Scott tells Billboard. “We knew ‘What’ was special the first time we heard it and we’re so grateful for the passion and hard work we’ve felt by everyone at BMLG Records: Scott Borchetta [BMLG president and CEO], Jimmy Harnen [president, BMLG Records] and the team. Having the support of our friends at radio over the past 13 years is something we’ll never take for granted. We are so grateful that writers Sam, Jon, Ryan, and Laura shared their incredible song with us and we can’t wait to celebrate our 10th No. 1 with them.”
“It’s a wonderful celebration with three of the most talented, hardest working and nicest people in the world,” Harnen says of the act’s new No. 1. (He was at Capitol when Lady A notched its first Country Airplay leader, “I Run to You,” on July 25, 2009.) “We send a huge and heartfelt thank you to all of the believers. This is only the beginning.”
“What” is Lady A’s first Country Airplay leader since “Bartender,” which reigned for a week in September 2014. The group logged four top 20 entries in between, including the No. 4-peaking “You Look Good” in September 2017.
The band’s five-year and four-month break between Country Airplay No. 1s marks the chart’s longest since another group, Eli Young Band, ended a five-year, five-month wait last May with “Love Ain’t.”
Plus, as “What” sprints across the Country Airplay finish line in its 35th frame, it completes Lady A’s longest journey to No. 1, besting initial leader “I Run to You” (26 weeks), which spent a week at the summit. The act’s other No. 1s, their number of weeks taken to reign and total weeks on top: “Need You Now” (14 weeks to No. 1; five at No. 1, beginning Nov. 28, 2009); “American Honey” (17; two, starting April 24, 2010); “Our Kind of Love” (17; two, starting Sept. 25, 2010); “Just a Kiss” (14; two, starting Aug. 20, 2011); “We Owned the Night” (15; two, starting Dec. 10, 2011); “Downtown” (12; two, starting April 27, 2013); “Compass” (23; one week, March 22, 2014); and “Bartender” (16; one, Sept. 13, 2014).
“What I’m Leaving For” will follow “What” as Lady A’s second single from Ocean.
‘HOME’ COOKING Kane Brown banks his sixth Hot Country Songs top 10 (a sum that includes three No. 1s), as “Homesick” pushes 11-10, up 5% to 5.9 million U.S. streams, while selling 3,000. The song holds at its No. 11 high on Country Airplay, up by 2% to 22.7 million in audience.
Brown last reached the Hot Country Songs upper tier with his collaboration with Marshmello, “One Thing Right” (Joytime Collective/RCA Nashville), which ruled the list dated Oct. 12, 2019. That track remains in the top 10, at No. 9, with 8.4 million U.S. streams and 7,000 sold.