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The Year in Country: Luke Bryan Leads Artist List, Brett Eldredge Rules Radio

Luke Bryan finishes the year as the top overall country artist, while Florida Georgia Line's "This Is How We Roll" is 2014's top single on Hot Country Songs.

2014 could easily be hailed as the year of Luke Bryan. Then again, Florida Georgia Line, Brett Eldredge and Miranda Lambert scored noteworthy genre success, as well.

Seel All the Year End Charts Here!

Georgia native Bryan finishes the year as the top overall country artist (and the year’s top male artist). He’s also the top country albums artist, powered by Crash My Party, which has sold 2.3 million copies since its August 2013 release, according to Nielsen Music. The album yielded 4.4 million in track sales during the 2014 chart year, plus two of the year’s biggest hits on Hot Country Songs: “Drink a Beer,” which spent five weeks atop Hot Country Songs, and “Play It Again” (nine weeks).


Bryan also garnered chart credit as a featured singer on Florida Georgia Line’s “This Is How We Roll,” which finishes as the year’s top single on Hot Country Songs. As “Cruise” was 2013’s top song, the pair is the only duo/group to repeat at No. 1 in consecutive years in the chart’s 56-year history. Bryan is additionally No. 1 on the Country Digital Songs artist recap, while “Play It Again” is No. 2 for the year on Country Digital Songs. He also closes the year as the top overall artist on the Country Airplay chart.

Florida Georgia Line, meanwhile, is the top act of the year on the Country Streaming Songs recap (followed by Bryan at No. 2). The tandem, the year’s No. 1 country duo/group, leads the 2014 Country Streaming Songs list with “Cruise” (which spent the last seven of 33 total weeks at No. 1 on the chart this year) and ranks at No. 2 with the aforementioned “Roll,” which crowned the streaming tally for five weeks. The twosome ranks at No. 7 for the year on Country Streaming Songs with “Dirt,” which dominated the streaming survey for three weeks.

On the 2014 Country Airplay tally, Brett Eldredge demonstrates that radio audience exposure is more often a marathon than a sprint, as “Beat of the Music” is the year’s No. 1 song on Country Airplay. Eldredge’s track became his second No. 1 (following last year’s “Don’t Ya”) in the spring during a 39-week chart run, amassing a whopping 760 million audience impressions during its chart run. (Eldredge was honored as the top new artist of the year at the Nov. 5 Country Music Assn. Awards.)

As the genre continues to grapple with a pronounced lack of solo female artists, Miranda Lambert finishes as the year’s top female artist. She’s the only solo female in the overall artist top 10 (and the only woman to score a top five hit on Country Airplay: her “Automatic” peaked at No. 3 on the radio list in June). Solo women were slightly more visible on the multi-metric-based Hot Country Songs chart, where Carrie Underwood earned two No. 1s: her own “Something in the Water” and her duet with Lambert, “Somethin’ Bad”; the latter track peaked at No. 7 on Country Airplay. The only other woman who scored a top five Hot Country Songs hit in 2014: Cassadee Pope, whose “Wasting All These Tears” peaked at No. 5.