Scotty McCreery notches his third consecutive and total No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, as “In Between” blasts from No. 8 to the top of the list dated June 27.
In the tracking week ending June 21, the song increased by 25% to 26.7 million audience impressions. It drew its biggest gains on WIVK Knoxville, Tenn. (up 324,000 impressions); WKHK Richmond, Va. (up 260,000); WNSH New York (up 247,000) and KSCS Dallas (up 235,000).
The track’s 8-1 flight is the second-greatest to the Country Airplay summit in the chart’s 30-year history. On the Oct. 12, 1991-dated survey, another song with “between” in its title leapt 9-1: Ricky Van Shelton’s “Keep It Between the Lines.” (Five songs have soared 7-1, all in 1991-94.)
Meanwhile, “In Between” reaches the Country Airplay apex in its 63rd chart week. It completes the second-longest ascent to No. 1, after Travis Denning’s “After a Few,” which reached the top in its 65th week on the June 13-dated list. The 63 weeks for “In Between” also mark the second-most total frames for a title, after the 67 for “After a Few,” now at No. 9.
The 26-year-old McCreery, who won American Idol in 2011, earns his third Country Airplay No. 1, all in succession from his album Seasons Change, which launched as his third leader on Top Country Albums in March 2018. “Five More Minutes” led for a week that month and “This Is It” reigned for two weeks in February 2019.
“When we released the Seasons Change album two years ago, I was hoping I might get my first No.1 song,” McCreery tells Billboard. “Now, I’ve been blessed to earn three No. 1s. It means more than I can say. I love that ‘In Between’ has connected with people like it has, especially during this time of social distancing. I don’t believe any of us are just one thing or the other; I think we’re all somewhere in between.”
He adds, “I must thank country radio for their support, my fans for always believing in me and my music, and both my management team at Triple 8 and my label team at Triple Tigers for all their hard work day in and day out.”
“In Between,” which McCreery wrote with Jessi Alexander, Frank Rogers and Jonathan Singleton, is McCreery’s 11th charted Country Airplay title. He arrived on the list in June 2011 with his No. 15-peaking Idol coronation single “I Love You This Big” and followed with “The Trouble with Girls” and “Water Tower Town,” which peaked at Nos. 17 and 38, respectively, in 2012. His next two proper singles became his first two top 10s, both in 2014: “See You Tonight” (No. 8) and “Feelin’ It” (No. 10).
McCreery signed with Triple Tigers in August 2017 after leaving Mercury Nashville.
For “In Between” to cross the finish line in its 63rd week on Country Airplay means that it had to provide solid research to radio programmers who lean heavily on such scores. “Yes, ‘In Between’ has been a consistent high-tester for us,” says KKBQ Houston program director Johnny Chiang. “Like Denning’s ‘After a Few,’ I can’t remember the last time that ‘In Between’ has been out of our active currents list. It’s incredible the career resurgence Scotty has had since he joined Triple Tigers.”
HE’S ‘NOW’ UP TO 53: Kenny Chesney nabs his 53rd top 10 on Billboard’s airplay-, streaming- and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart, as “Here and Now” hops 12-10.
The song pushes 4-2 on Country Airplay, up 8% to 25.2 million in audience. It also drew 6 million U.S. streams and sold 1,000 in the tracking week.
Chesney’s run of 53 top 10s, which includes 23 No. 1s, started in June 1995 with the No. 6-peaking “Fall in Love.” Dating to his first week in the tier, he boasts the most top 10s of any act, ahead of Tim McGraw’s 50 and George Strait’s 42 in that span.