Skip to main content

‘The Fans Have Spoken’: Maren Morris’ ‘The Bones’ Hits No. 1 on Country Airplay Chart

It's also the first song by a solo woman and no accompanying artists to have topped Country Airplay and hit the Radio Songs top 10 since Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me" in 2009.

Maren Morris earns her fourth No. 1 on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart as “The Bones,” released on Columbia Nashville, rises 2-1 on the list dated Feb. 15, up 11% to 37.3 million audience impressions in the week ending Feb. 9, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

The song is the follow-up to Morris’ “Girl,” which topped the Aug. 3, 2019-dated chart, making her the first woman to rule Country Airplay with consecutive, proper singles in lead roles since Kelsea Ballerini, whose “Dibs” and “Peter Pan” led in March and September 2016, respectively. Just before Ballerini, Carrie Underwood completed such a twofer with “Heartbeat” and “Church Bells,” which reigned in March and July 2016, respectively.

Including featured roles since 2016, Lauren Alaina tallied consecutive Country Airplay No. 1s with her own “Road Less Travelled” (March 2017) and as featured on Kane Brown’s “What Ifs” (October 2017). Morris also led back-to-back as featured on Thomas Rhett’s “Craving You” in July 2017 and with her own “I Could Use a Love Song” in January 2018 (discounting her three-week chart run with “Dear Hate,” which, featuring Vince Gill, reached No. 29 in October 2017 but was not worked as a proper single).

Meanwhile, “Bones” is the first Country Airplay No. 1 by a solo woman and no other billed artists since Morris’ “Girl.” Since then, Lindsay Ell and Brantley Gilbert ruled together with “What Happens in a Small Town” in November 2019. (Expanding to groups, Lady Antebellum led in January with “What If I Never Get Over You,” with co-lead vocals by the trio’s Hillary Scott.)

“Bones” is from Morris’ second LP, GIRL, which debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums in March 2019 and has yet to depart the chart’s top 25. The song first entered the Adult Pop Songs airplay chart last June and this week holds at its No. 7 high. It also reached No. 17 on the Adult Alternative Songs chart in December, aided by a remix with format mainstay (and fellow Columbia signee) Hozier. The track hits a new high on Adult Contemporary, lifting 21-17, and is nearing the Pop Songs tally.


On the all-genre Radio Songs chart, “Bones” keeps at its No. 10 high, up 11% to 60.8 million in audience. It’s the first song by a solo woman and no accompanying billed artists to have topped Country Airplay and hit the Radio Songs top 10 since Taylor Swift‘s “You Belong With Me” in 2009. Only five other such songs have also achieved the feat: Swift’s “Love Story” (2008-09); Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” (2006-07); Faith Hill‘s “The Way You Love Me” (2000-01) and “Breathe” (1999-2000); and Shania Twain‘s “You’re Still the One” (1998).

Since its release, “Bones” has drawn 694 million in cumulative radio reach and 244 million on-demand U.S. streams and sold 172,000 downloads.

“We released ‘The Bones’ a year ago as a [promotional] track before the album, not thinking it would be the second single,” Morris tells Billboard. “The fans have spoken on this one. It’s a real, gritty love song that I wrote years ago [with Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz sharing co-write credits]. I couldn’t be more proud that it’s become one of the biggest songs of my career to date.”

On the Hot Country Songs chart, which is fueled by airplay, streaming and sales data, “Bones” bullets at its No. 2 high for a fifth week, also up less than 1% to 9.8 million U.S. streams in the week ending Feb. 6. On the all-genre, multi-metric Billboard Hot 100, the track breaks into the top 20 for the first time (21-18).