Morgan Wallen‘s “Sand in My Boots” reaches the summit of Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart dated Feb. 26. In the tracking week ending Feb. 20, the song, released on Republic/Big Loud Records, increased by 4% to 24.9 million in audience, according to MRC Data.
“I always felt this song was extremely special, timeless even,” Wallen tells Billboard of the ballad, which Ashley Gorley, HARDY and Josh Osborne co-wrote. “None of this would be possible without the incredible team that works behind the scenes. I’m blessed to work with great writers, producers, musicians and my Big Loud family. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who continues to believe in this music we are so blessed to create.”
The 28-year-old Wallen, from Sneedville, Tenn., achieves his fifth Country Airplay leader. When the song debuted on the chart dated July 10, 2021, it became his first entry since Feb. 6 last year, when “7 Summers” ascended to its No. 15 peak. In early February 2021, TMZ posted a video of him using the N-word and his run on Country Airplay halted, after he had notched his first four No. 1s, all consecutively, in 2018-20.
When “Sand” bowed on Country Airplay, Billboard reached out to stations playing the song. While none would comment on the record, when asked about the potential reception for a newly released Wallen single, a major-market programmer asking to remain anonymous said, “I think it would be a No. 1, and that he’d be welcomed back. He made a mistake and he’s apologized a number of times. He belongs back on the chart.”
All 145 Country Airplay reporters played “Sand” in the tracking week, although one – WCTK Providence, R.I. – played it just one time. All other panelists ranged from 17 plays (KKWF Seattle) to 100 (WQHK Ft. Wayne, Ind.), equaling an average of 53.2 per station in that span.
Wallen last led Country Airplay with “More Than My Hometown” for a week in November 2020. He first reigned with “Up Down,” featuring Florida Georgia Line, for a frame in June 2018 and hit No. 1 again with “Whiskey Glasses” for three weeks starting in June 2019 and “Chasin’ You” for a week in May 2020.
Meanwhile, “Sand” parent set Dangerous: The Double Album rules Top Country Albums for a 45th week (41,000 equivalent album units, up 1%). The LP is the third longest-leading album since the chart originated in January 1964, after Luke Combs’ This One’s for You and Shania Twain’s Come On Over, which dominated for 50 weeks beginning in 2017 and 1997, respectively.
Plus, Wallen is featured on ERNEST’s “Flower Shops.” The song ranks at No. 29, after reaching No. 27 to-date, on Country Airplay (4.9 million, up 7%).