Little Big Town, which won the group of the year trophy at the Nov. 2 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards Nov. 2, flies 20-6 on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart (dated Nov. 19) with new single “Better Man” (Capitol Nashville). The day before the awards, the group ended speculation about the song’s mystery writer, revealing it to be Taylor Swift.
Thanks to social media buzz surrounding Swift’s involvement, the group’s CMAs victory, its performance of the song on the broadcast and the Nov. 1 premiere of its official video, the track’s sales increase by 138 percent to 47,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen Music, pushing it 3-2 on Country Digital Song Sales. It blasts onto Country Streaming Songs at No. 8 (2 million U.S. streams, up 108 percent) and jumps 46-38 on Country Airplay (4.1 million in airplay audience, up 110 percent).
“Better Man” grants Swift her 20th Hot Country Songs top 10 as a writer and first visit to the tier since March 2, 2013, when her 10-week No. 1 “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” spent its last week in the region. Swift earns her second top 10 as a writer for another act: Her Kellie Pickler co-write “Best Days of Your Life” hit No. 9 for Pickler in August 2009.
‘CHURCH’ REVIVAL: Maren Morris also receives a post-CMAs bounce after winning the Horizon Award for best new artist and performing her launch single, “My Church.” It re-enters Country Digital Song Sales at No. 7, leaping by 879 percent to 25,000 sold.
“Church” hit No. 1 on Country Digital Song Sales for two weeks and reached No. 5 on Hot Country Songs in March; it rose to No. 9 on Country Airplay in May. Follow-up “80s Mercedes” rolls 16-15 on the Nov. 19 Country Airplay chart (19.4 million, up 2 percent).