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Kenny Chesney Extends Record For Most Country Airplay No. 1s With ‘Here and Now’

Kenny Chesney’s “Here and Now” ascends 2-1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart dated July 4. In the week ending June 28, the song increased by 18% to 29.8 million audience impressions, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

Chesney adds his record-extending 31st Country Airplay leader. Dating to the list’s January 1990 launch, Tim McGraw ranks second with 29 No. 1s, Blake Shelton places third with 27 and Alan Jackson and George Strait follow with 26 apiece.

“I remember cutting ‘Here and Now’ and how great it felt,” Chesney tells Billboard. “But I also hoped it might remind really busy people what matters is, be in the moment. I always try to cut songs that lift people up, or say something about how we live, because music can speak to those things without preaching.”

“For this song to be my 31st No. 1,” Chesney continues, “It tells me to keep pushing, to keep trying to speak to people and create dialogues about what matters through my music. To me, when a song comes out of the radio that makes you smile and helps you live your life in the moment, what could be better?”

The track, released on Blue Chair/Warner Music Nashville/WMN and which David Garcia, David Lee Murphy and Craig Wiseman wrote, is the second single from Chesney’s same-named LP, which debuted atop Top Country Albums, as well as the all-genre Billboard 200, dated May 16 with 233,000 equivalent album units.

First track “Tip of My Tongue” peaked at No. 8 on Country Airplay in December 2019, becoming the 56th of Chesney’s 57 top 10s.

Chesney rules Country Airplay for the first time since “Get Along” led for two frames in July 2018. He began his run of 31 No. 1s with his ninth of 91 Country Airplay entries (second only to Strait’s 100), “She’s Got It All,” which dominated for three weeks beginning in August 1997.

NEW TOP 10s Elsewhere in the Country Airplay top 10, Chris Janson earns his fifth top 10 and fourth in succession as “Done” bumps 12-7 (20.4 million, up 23%). It follows “Good Vibes,” which became his first leader in October 2019.

LOCASH, the duo of Chris Lucas and Preston Brust, returns to the Country Airplay top tier, as “One Big Country Song” climbs 11-9 (20.2 million, up 12%). It’s the pair’s third top 10 and first since its lone No. 1, “I Know Somebody,” led in October 2016. “Song” hits the top 10 in its 59th week, breaking the record for the longest trip to the tier. It passes Travis Denning’s “After a Few,” which reached the region in its 57th frame (April 18). Scotty McCreery’s “In Between” then entered the top 10 in its 56th week (May 9). Both songs hit No. 1, leading the lists dated June 13 and 27, respectively.

Plus, Maddie & Tae (Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye) achieve their first Country Airplay top 10 since 2015, as “Die From a Broken Heart” (Mercury) jumps 16-10 (18.9 million, up 24%). The duo lands its third top 10, after “Fly,” which reached No. 9 in September 2015, and debut hit “Girl in a Country Song,” which led for a week in December 2014.

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