Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Country in the NEWS: Where New Country meets Old Country....June 20, 2018 (Dierks Bentley On Hot Country Songs)

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Dierks Bentley Rules Country Airplay; FGL Makes History With 3 in Hot Country Songs Top 10

  Dierks Bentley

Dierks Bentley's "Woman, Amen" (Capitol Nashville) climbs 3-1 in its 25th week on Billboard's Country Airplay chart (dated June 16), up 9 percent to 42.2 million audience impressions in the week ending June 10, according to Nielsen Music.

On Hot Country Songs, which combines airplay, streaming and sales data, "Amen" places at No. 9 after reaching No. 8.

"The most gratifying thing has been seeing people connect the song to the woman in their life who has been there for them," Bentley tells Billboard. "There have been so many beautiful tributes sent in and posted on social media. Fans honoring the woman who has loved, supported and sacrificed for them has definitely added even more meaning to the song."

"Amen" is Bentley's 16th Country Airplay leader, ranking him in 13th place for the most No. 1s since the chart launched in January 1990. (Tim McGraw leads all acts with 29.) Bentley first reigned with his debut hit "What Was I Thinkin'," which topped the list dated Sept. 27, 2003. He had most recently ruled on Oct. 1, 2016, with "Different for Girls," featuring Elle King.

"Amen," penned by Bentley, Josh Kear and Ross Copperman, is the lead single from Bentley's ninth studio album The Mountain, released June 8. Copperman produced the 13-song set with Jon Randall.

'TOO' GOOD Luke Combs' deluxe version of his first LP, This One's for You Too (River House/Columbia Nashville/Sony Music Nashville), rebounds from No. 3 for a fourth week at No. 1 on Top Country Albums, soaring 314 percent to 55,000 equivalent album units (23,000 in traditional album sales), marking Combs' biggest consumption week. The set originally entered atop the chart dated June 24, 2017, with 43,000 units.

The deluxe version of the set includes five new tracks, led by "Beautiful Crazy," up 18-13 on Hot Country Songs. The other four debut: "Must've Never Met You" (No. 14), "Houston, We Got a Problem" (No. 22), "A Long Way" (No. 33) and "She Got the Best of Me" (No. 36).

DUO'S THREE IN TOP 10 IS A FIRST As Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line's "Meant to Be" (Warner Bros/Big Machine Label Group) tops Hot Country Songs for a 28th week, second only to Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road" (34 weeks, 2017), the duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley) makes history in the chart's top 10.

FGL's new single "Simple" (BMLG) rockets 46-5, becoming the twosome's 16th top 10. Following its June 1 release, it enters Country Digital Song Sales at No. 1, as the duo's eighth leader, with first-week sales of 34,000. "Simple" also opens with 5.7 million U.S. streams, while sporting 9.5 million in airplay audience.

"Simple" joins "Meant" and Morgan Wallen's "Up Down" (BMLG/Big Loud), featuring FGL, which dips 6-7, in the upper tier. Three songs in the chart's top 10 simultaneously tie for the most among all acts in the Hot Country Songs chart's 59-year history, with FGL becoming the fifth act to triple up – and the first duo or group. The act follows Taylor Swift (2012), Buck Owens (1961), Faron Young (1960) and Johnny Cash (three such weeks, 1958).

For more on FGL, listen to the latest Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, featuring the pair and executive vp of Big Machine Label Group and president of BMLG Records Jimmy Harnen.

BACK 'HOME' IN TOP 10 Keith Urban's "Coming Home" (Capitol Nashville), featuring Julia Michaels, rises 11-10 on Country Airplay (21.5 million, up less than 1 percent).

"Home" marks Urban's 39th Country Airplay top 10, seventh-most in the chart's history; George Strait leads with 61.

Urban's run of top 10s, which includes 21 No. 1s, began with his second single, "Your Everything" which peaked at No. 4 in 2000. The song began a Country Airplay-record streak of 38 consecutive top 10 singles (in a lead role and promoted to country radio), snapped when "Female" peaked at No. 12 on Feb. 24. (Carrie Underwood now owns the longest active streak of top 10s: 26.)

Pop singer-songwriter Michaels hits the Country Airplay top 10 in her first visit to the chart.

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