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Country Airplay

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Country Airplay is a chart published weekly by Billboard magazine in the United States since October 20, 2012, although the magazine also retrospectively recognizes the Hot Country Songs charts from January 20, 1990, through October 13, 2012, as part of the history of the Country Airplay listing. The chart lists the 60 most-listened-to records played on 150 mainstream country radio stations across the country as monitored by Nielsen BDS, weighted to each station's Nielsen ratings.

The first number-one song actually published under the Country Airplay banner was "Take a Little Ride" by Jason Aldean, but as Billboard also recognizes the history of the Hot Country Songs chart since 1990 as part of this chart the magazine recognizes the first chart-topper as "Nobody's Home" by Clint Black.[1] The current number-one song on the chart is "I Had Some Help" by Post Malone featuring Morgan Wallen. [2]


Earlier versions[edit]

Throughout its history of ranking country songs by popularity, Billboard has had several different airplay-only charts to measure the top-played songs on radio stations. The first of these was called "Country & Western Records Most Played By Folk Disk Jockeys", and debuted with the December 10, 1949, issue.[3] Like the other charts of the time, the number of positions was not standardized; the chart had anywhere from eight to 15 positions, varying from week to week. The chart, which had several other names, continued until October 13, 1958, when it was merged with the "best sellers" chart to become the Hot Country Songs chart.[3]

Starting with the October 20, 1984 issue, there were separate charts for radio airplay and singles sales, similar to the Hot 100 Airplay and Singles Sales charts that also debuted with this issue, it was a component chart that helped determine placement on the Hot Country Singles chart. The airplay chart was discontinued in 1987 as Hot Country songs became solely based on disc jockey reports, but the sales chart continued until 1989.[3]

With effect from the issue dated January 20, 1990, the Hot Country Singles chart began to be based solely on country music radio airplay as opposed to a combination of airplay and physical sales.[3] At this time the chart consisted of 75 positions.[3] Four weeks later, on February 17, the chart was retitled "Hot Country Singles & Tracks" to reflect the fact that songs which had not been released as singles could chart based on airplay.[3] Beginning with the January 13, 2001, issue, the chart was cut from 75 to 60 positions, and effective April 30, 2005 the chart was renamed "Hot Country Songs".[3]

Current chart[edit]

Beginning with the chart dated October 20, 2012, Billboard changed the methodology of Hot Country Songs to again incorporate sales and now also include streaming. In addition, the airplay component of the chart now factored in plays on stations of all genres instead of the previous genre-specific radio panel. At this point a second chart called Country Airplay was launched, based only on country radio airplay. Billboard now recognizes the Hot Country Songs charts from January 20, 1990, until October 13, 2012, as part of the history of both listings.

Chart policies[edit]

As with most other Billboard charts, the Country Airplay chart features a rule for when a song enters recurrent rotation. Starting with the chart week of December 2, 2006, a song is declared recurrent on the country charts if it has been on the charts longer than 20 weeks; is not gaining in spins or audience impressions; and is lower than 10 in rank for either audience impressions or spins. Since December 2008, any song that is ranked below #10 in spins or audience and has not shown an increase in audience or spins for more than two weeks is also declared recurrent, even if it has not charted for 20 weeks.

Chart achievements[edit]

Chart achievements listed below cover Country Airplay since its launch in 2012 as well as Hot Country Songs since 1990.

Most weeks at number one[edit]

10 weeks

8 weeks

7 weeks

6 weeks


Most number-ones[edit]

Total Artist Source
33 Kenny Chesney [18]
29 Tim McGraw [19]
28 Blake Shelton [20]
26 Alan Jackson [19]
George Strait [19]

Most number-ones by female artists[edit]

Total Artist Source
16 Carrie Underwood [21][22]
11 Reba McEntire [21]
9 Faith Hill [23]
7 Shania Twain [23]
Taylor Swift [23]

Most number-ones by duos or groups[edit]

Total Duo/Group Source
20 Brooks & Dunn [24]
14 Florida Georgia Line [24]
Rascal Flatts [24]
13 Zac Brown Band [24]
11 Lady Antebellum [25]

Most top 10 entries[edit]

Total Artist Source
61 George Strait [26]
Kenny Chesney [18]
60 Tim McGraw [27]
51 Alan Jackson [28]
44 Keith Urban [29]

Most top 10 entries by women[edit]

Total Artist Source
36 Reba McEntire [26]
30 Carrie Underwood [30]
23 Faith Hill [31]
20 Martina McBride [32]
19 Trisha Yearwood [33]

Most entries[edit]

Total Artist Source
100 George Strait [34]
97 Kenny Chesney [18]
92 Garth Brooks [34]
88 Tim McGraw [27]
82 Alan Jackson [35]

Use in media[edit]

Since September 2017, the Country Airplay chart has served as the data source for the weekly radio program American Country Countdown.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Country Airplay Chart". Billboard.
  2. ^ "Country Airplay". Billboard. July 20, 2024. Retrieved July 16, 2024.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-0-89820-177-2.
  4. ^ Asker, Jim (February 16, 2024). "'World' Record: Nate Smith Ties for Longest-Leading No. 1 in Country Airplay Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 17, 2024.
  5. ^ "Lonestar". Billboard.
  6. ^ "Alan Jackson". Billboard.
  7. ^ "Kenny Chesney". Billboard.
  8. ^ "Darryl Worley". Billboard.
  9. ^ "Tim McGraw". Billboard.
  10. ^ "Faith Hill". Billboard.
  11. ^ "Brooks & Dunn". Billboard.
  12. ^ "Keith Urban". Billboard.
  13. ^ "Mark Wills". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Toby Keith". Billboard.
  15. ^ "Carrie Underwood". Billboard.
  16. ^ "Taylor Swift". Billboard.
  17. ^ "Thomas Rhett". Billboard.
  18. ^ a b c "Kenny Chesney Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved June 20, 2024.
  19. ^ a b c Asker, Jim (June 19, 2018). "David Lee Murphy & Kenny Chesney Set Records Atop Country Airplay Chart". Billboard. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  20. ^ Mahananda, Bibhu Prasad (December 8, 2020). "Blake Shelton Country Airplay Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  21. ^ a b Asker, Jim (July 19, 2016). "Carrie Underwood Rings in 15th No. 1; Sam Hunt Earns High Five". Billboard.
  22. ^ "Most country no.1s for a female artist in the US". Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  23. ^ a b c Jessen, Wade. "Carrie Underwood Has Her Longest Reign at No. 1 on Hot Country Songs Chart". Billboard. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  24. ^ a b c d Asker, Jim (June 26, 2018). "Morgan Wallen 'Up' To First Country Airplay No. 1 With FGL, Who Also Top Hot Country Songs". Billboard. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  25. ^ Asker, Jim. "Zac Brown Band Makes History on Country Airplay Chart; Randy Houser Debuts". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  26. ^ a b Asker, Jim (July 10, 2018). "Carrie Underwood Is Sitting 'Pretty' As She Links Her 27th Straight Country Airplay Top 10". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  27. ^ a b "Tim McGraw". Billboard. Retrieved October 10, 2023.
  28. ^ "Alan Jackson Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved June 20, 2024.
  29. ^ "Toby Keith". Billboard. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  30. ^ "Carrie Underwood". Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
  31. ^ "Faith Hill". Billboard. Retrieved July 10, 2021.
  32. ^ "Martina McBride". Billboard. Retrieved July 10, 2021.
  33. ^ "Trisha Yearwood". Billboard. Retrieved July 10, 2021.
  34. ^ a b Asker, Jim (June 26, 2018). "Garth Brooks Blasts Back Onto Country Airplay Chart With 'All Day Long'". Billboard. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  35. ^ "Alan Jackson Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  36. ^ "American Country Countdown Returns to Billboard Chart". Inside Radio. August 14, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2023.

External links[edit]