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Taylor Swift Scores First Hot Country Songs Hit Since 2013 With ‘New Year’s Day’

The ballad from "Reputation" debuts at No. 40.

Taylor Swift charts her first entry as an artist on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs survey since 2013, as “New Year’s Day” arrives at No. 40 (on the list dated Dec. 9).

The ballad from her new album Reputation is now an officially promoted country single after radio stations embraced it quickly when Swift’s label, Big Machine Records, serviced the piano-driven track to the format via a promotional email on Nov. 15. On Nov. 13, Swift performed the song on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, in a touching show of support for the host, whose mother recently passed.


Swift makes her first Hot Country Songs debut as an artist in more than four years, as Tim McGraw’s “Highway Don’t Care,” with Swift, peaked at No. 4 in May 2013. That collab became Swift’s 19th Hot Country Songs top 10, a sum that includes seven No. 1s. “Day” is her 41st total entry. (She had last appeared on the chart dated Dec. 21, 2013, with “Red,” which had peaked at No. 2 upon its debut in October 2012 ahead of the arrival of her album of the same name.)

In between, Swift earned a No. 1 as a writer: she solo-penned Little Big Town’s “Better Man,” which topped the chart for two weeks this February. Swift received the song of the year award at this year’s CMAs earlier this month, and is now Grammy-nominated for best country song, a songwriters’ award.

Swift’s latest entrance on Hot Country Songs happens to fall a week shy of the 11th anniversary of her first top 10: “Tim McGraw” entered the tier on the chart dated Dec. 16, 2006 (rising 11-10), before peaking at No. 6 in January 2007.

“Day” debuts on Hot Country Songs sparked mostly by its No. 5 start on Country Digital Song Sales, as it sold 11,000 downloads in the week ending Nov. 23, according to Nielsen Music. The song arrives as Reputation, which spends a second week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, became widely available for purchase via all digital retailers after a week of exclusivity in the iTunes Store.

Swift notches her record-extending 33rd Country Digital Song Sales top 10, dating to the chart’s 2010 inception. (Blake Shelton is second with 25.) She earned her first 32 top 10s (including 13 No. 1s, also a record; Luke Bryan follows with nine) prior to her segue to pop on her 2014 album, 1989.


On the Country Airplay chart, “New Year’s Day” jumps 57-48, up 44 percent to 1.8 million in format audience.

While country programmers appear somewhat polarized about Swift’s return to the genre, “Day” is receiving notable play from large-market stations including WIL St. Louis (35 plays in the week ending Nov. 26), WUSN Chicago (33), WDRQ Detroit (27) and KKBQ Houston (22).