Luke Bryan becomes the ninth artist to have tallied at least 20 No. 1s on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart (out of nearly a thousand acts that have appeared on the survey since its January 1990 inception), as “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” ascends 2-1 on the survey dated Sept. 15.
The track reigns with a 6 percent gain to 44.3 million audience impressions in the tracking week ending Sept. 9, according to Nielsen Music.
“I promise you there has never been, and will never be, a time when getting a song to the top of the charts gets old,” Bryan tells Billboard. “I’m grateful for each one. ‘Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset’ is a perfect, reflective song about young summer love. I knew it was special the first time I heard it, and it’s so fun watching the fans react to it on tour.”
Zach Crowell, Ryan Hurd and Chase McGill wrote “Sunrise,” which Jeff Stevens and Jody Stevens produced.
Kenny Chesney leads with 30 Country Airplay No. 1s, followed by Tim McGraw (29), Alan Jackson and George Strait (26 each), Blake Shelton (25), Keith Urban (21) and Brooks & Dunn and Toby Keith (20 each). Next in line aiming to join the exclusive club: Jason Aldean, Garth Brooks and Brad Paisley, who each have 19.
“Sunrise” is additionally Bryan’s 13th Country Airplay leader in a row, extending the longest active streak among all artists (as a lead act and counting singles promoted to country radio, excluding holiday fare). Since “Drink a Beer” led for two weeks beginning Feb. 15, 2014, none of Bryan’s lead singles have missed the pinnacle. (During that run, Florida Georgia Line’s “This Is How We Roll,” featuring Bryan, peaked at No. 2 in May 2014.) Thomas Rhett owns the second-longest active No. 1s streak: five.
“Sunrise” is the third single, and third Country Airplay No. 1, from Bryan’s album What Makes You Country, following “Light It Up,” which topped the Dec. 23, 2017-dated chart, and second single “Most People Are Good,” which led for three weeks beginning March 31. Bryan is the sixth artist with a pair of No. 1s in 2018 (during which 25 songs have topped the chart), joining Aldean, Chesney, Florida Georgia Line, Rhett and Brett Young.
On the Hot Country Songs chart, which blends airplay, streaming and sales data, “Sunrise” hits a new high (5-4). It holds at No. 8 on Country Digital Song Sales with 7,000 downloads sold (down 3 percent), while having drawn 4.6 million U.S. streams (down 8 percent) in the tracking week ending Sept. 6.
Bryan, who wrapped his first season as a judge on ABC’s rebooted American Idol in May, first crowned Country Airplay with “Rain Is a Good Thing” (his sixth entry) for two weeks in July 2010.
STILL CAN’T ‘BE’ BEAT: Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line‘s “Meant to Be” paces Hot Country Songs for a record-extending 41st week. The collaboration leads Country Streaming Songs for a record-padding 37th frame (13 million U.S. streams, down 8 percent).
YOUNG’S 14TH TOP 10: Chris Young collects his 14th Country Airplay top 10, as “Hangin’ On” rises 11-9. The song climbs with an 11 percent increase to 23.6 million in audience.
Young is seeking his fifth consecutive Country Airplay No. 1 (excluding a charted holiday track), following “Losing Sleep” (Feb. 10); “Sober Saturday Night,” featuring Vince Gill (March 18, 2017); “Think of You,” with Cassadee Pope (May 14, 2016); and “I’m Comin’ Over” (three weeks beginning Nov. 28, 2015).
All 13 of Young’s prior Country Airplay top 10s reached the top five, with nine hitting No. 1. He first ranked in the top tier with “Gettin’ You Home,” which led the Oct. 24, 2009-dated list.