Zach Bryan & Luke Combs Make Inroads for Country on the Billboard Global 200
Bryan's "Something in the Orange" and Combs' "Tomorrow Me" debut.
The May 7-dated Billboard Global 200 chart includes 21 debuts from a range of artists spanning genres and continents, including Argentine producers, South Korean pop singers and German rappers.
Two of the new titles are from American country acts, as Zach Bryan‘s “Something in the Orange” and Luke Combs‘ “Tomorrow Me” arrive at Nos. 107 and 150, respectively. Bryan and Combs bring the latest of just 10 country hits to appear on the Global 200 so far this year. Both songs fall short of the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart, which is on trend for their genre as no country artist has yet appeared on the Excl. U.S. tally in 2022.
“Orange” and “Tomorrow” yielded 9.6 million and 7.6 million global streams, respectively, in the week ending April 28, according to Luminate. For “Orange,” 92% of those streams were from the U.S. For Combs’ “Tomorrow,” 85% were domestic. This falls perfectly in line with the debut frames of other country global hits this year, from Morgan Wallen’s “Don’t Think Jesus” (93%) to Walker Hayes’ “AA” (90%) and Maren Morris’ “Circles Around This Town” (83%).
The 10 country songs, by nine acts in lead roles, that have charted on the Global 200 this year have averaged 82% stateside streams in their debut weeks. For context, the average among all songs on this week’s global charts is 23% from the U.S., less than one-third the country genre average. Beyond Bryan and Combs’ country tracks, Latto’s “Big Energy” has the biggest American share on this week’s chart, at 62%, marking one of only two songs to draw more than half of their streams from the U.S. (Encanto‘s “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” is the other, with a 59% take.)
Put simply, country music has not exported beyond its home since the global charts launched in September 2020. Only two artists with notable country ties have appeared on the Global Excl. U.S. chart at all, including Combs. He scored a week at No. 105 in November 2020 with “Forever After All,” which simultaneously soared in at No. 4 on the Global 200 and No. 2 on the U.S.-based Billboard Hot 100.
The other act to do so is an even bigger outlier: Taylor Swift has 26 Global Excl. U.S. chart hits to her name. Most of them, 24 to be exact, are from Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version), newly re-recorded versions of earlier albums before her formal transition to pop music. However she identifies artistically these days, her four-quadrant, Grammy-winning success has likely opened the door for her country material around the world.
Swift’s recent success with country fare on Global Excl. U.S. notwithstanding, crossing from country to pop doesn’t easily translate to crossing over internationally. Looking at other country-to-pop hits, Gabby Barrett’s “I Hope” and Walker Hayes’ “Fancy Like” each climbed to No. 3 on the all-genre Hot 100, while failing to reach the top 20 of the Global 200 or appear on the Global Excl. U.S. chart. Even on the Global 200, which includes U.S. sales and streams, Hayes, Swift and Wallen are the only acts with country songs to crack the top half of the chart this year.