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Ask Billboard: From Shania Twain to Gabby Barrett, These Are the Biggest Country Radio Crossover Hits

Submit questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com.

Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, tweet @gthot20.

THIS IMPRESSES ME MUCH

Hi Gary,

As a certified chart nerd, I’m excited about Gabby Barrett’s arrival and continued rise in the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 with “I Hope,” featuring Charlie Puth. A recent “Ask Billboard” ran down every Hot 100 top 10 by American Idol contestants, while this week’s recap of the Hot 100’s top 10 notes that “I Hope” is just the fourth song to have topped both the Country Airplay and all-format Radio Songs charts.

Can you please provide a deeper list of No. 1 Country Airplay hits that have crossed over to the Radio Songs entire top 10?

Thanks,

Mark Blankenship
New York, New York

Hi Mark,

Barrett and Puth’s hit is clearly among rarified radio air in having conquered both Country Airplay and Radio Songs. But it’s uncommon for Country Airplay No. 1s to reach even the top 10 on Radio Songs.

Since both charts began in 1990 (with Clint Black’s “Nobody’s Home” leading the first Country Airplay ranking that January and Mariah Carey’s “Love Takes Time” topping the first Radio Songs tally that December), and since Radio Songs expanded to include country panelists, among other format reporters, in December 1998, just 15 songs have hit No. 1 on Country Airplay and risen to the top 10 on Radio Songs.

Here’s the full list.

Country Airplay No. 1s to Hit the Radio Songs Top 10
“You’re Still the One,” Shania Twain (No. 2, Radio Songs), 1998
“Amazed,” Lonestar (No. 5, Radio Songs), 1999-2000
“Breathe,” Faith Hill (No. 2, Radio Songs), 1999-2000
“The Way You Love Me,” Faith Hill (No. 9, Radio Songs), 2000-01
“Before He Cheats,” Carrie Underwood (No. 8, Radio Songs), 2006-07
“Love Story,” Taylor Swift (No. 2, Radio Songs), 2008-09
“You Belong With Me,” Taylor Swift (No. 1, Radio Songs), 2009
“Need You Now ,” Lady A (No. 1, Radio Songs), 2009-10
“Cruise,” Florida Georgia Line (feat. Nelly) (No. 8, Radio Songs), 2012-13
“Body Like a Back Road,” Sam Hunt (No. 8, Radio Songs), 2017
“Meant to Be,” Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (No. 1, Radio Songs), 2018
“Speechless,” Dan + Shay (No. 10, Radio Songs), 2018-19
“10,000 Hours,” Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber (No. 3, Radio Songs), 2020
“The Bones,” Maren Morris (No. 6, Radio Songs), 2020
“I Hope,” Gabby Barrett (feat. Charlie Puth) (No. 1, Radio Songs), 2020

Notably, of the 15 hits above, six have achieved their success since 2017, after a four-year gap. Sam Hunt’s pop-leaning “Body Like a Back Road” restarted the run, and core pop acts Bebe Rexha, Justin Bieber and Puth have since also assisted. Meanwhile, 2020 marks the first year in which three Country Airplay No. 1s have hit the Radio Songs top 10, thanks to “10,000 Hours,” “The Bones” and “I Hope.”

Likely contributing to the recent uptick, genres continue to blur, as, concurrently, an artist with two titles above scores her first top 10 on the Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart this week: Taylor Swift, with “Exile,” featuring Bon Iver.

Also, a shout-out to four other hits that just missed crowning Country Airplay but still crossed to the Radio Songs top 10 … half of which are by Swift:

“That Don’t Impress Me Much,” Shania Twain (No. 8, Country Airplay; No. 5, Radio Songs), 1999
“Landslide,” The Chicks (No. 2, Country Airplay; No. 8, Radio Songs), 2002-03
“Mine,” Taylor Swift (No. 2, Country Airplay; No. 7, Radio Songs), 2010
“Back to December,” Taylor Swift (No. 3, Country Airplay; No. 7, Radio Songs), 2011

A-OK

Hi Gary,

With BTS having topped the Hot 100 with “Dynamite” and “Savage Love,” the latter with Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo, the group has joined the ranks of No. 1 artists on the chart with only three letters in their names.

They are:

a-ha
Ali
B.o.B
BTS
Dev
EMF
fun.
Joe
M.I.A.
Mya
OMI
Sia
SWV
TLC
Yes

LOL!

Jesper Tan
Subang Jaya, Malaysia

Jesper,

Thx!

Since we’re discussing the number three, we might as well also look at acts with just that many letters in their names that have also peaked at Nos. 2 and 3 on the Hot 100.

No. 2:
War, “The Cisco Kid,” 1973
PSY, “Gangnam Style,” 2012

No. 3:
Ace, “How Long,” 1975
LFO, “Summer Girls,” 1999

Plus, four artists currently on the Hot 100 have a chance to join the company of the acts above:

AJR, with “Bang!”
H.E.R., as featured on Jhene Aiko’s “B.S.”
NAV, as featured, with Don Toliver, on Internet Money and Gunna’s “Lemonade”
and SZA, with “Hit Different,” feat. Ty Dolla $ign

Meanwhile, next week’s charts should reflect big gains for H.E.R., after she was the musical guest on the Oct. 24 episode of … SNL … on … NBC.

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