Country Airplay

Country Airplay is a chart published weekly by Billboard magazine in the United States since January 20, 1990.

This 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 was "Nobody's Home" by Clint Black.[1] The current number-one song, as of the chart dated January 30, 2021, is "Better Together" by Luke Combs.


Earlier versionsEdit

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.[2] 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.[2]

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.[2]

Current chartEdit

The Nielsen BDS-monitored country airplay chart was initiated on January 20, 1990, as a new incarnation of Billboard's long-running Hot Country Singles chart.[2] The chart replaced the previous version of the Hot Country Singles chart, which had been based on manually reported station playlists combined with weekly singles sales. At this time the chart consisted of 75 positions.[2] Four weeks later, on February 17, the chart was retitled "Hot Country Singles & Tracks".[2] 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".[2]

Beginning with the chart dated October 20, 2012, Billboard changed the methodology of Hot Country Songs to also incorporate digital sales and streaming instead of airplay alone. In addition, the airplay component of the chart now factored in airplay on stations from all genres instead of the previous genre-specific radio panel. At this point the 23-year-old airplay-only chart was retitled "Country Airplay".

Chart policiesEdit

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 achievementsEdit

Most weeks at number oneEdit

8 weeks

7 weeks

6 weeks


Most number-onesEdit

Total Artist Source
31 Kenny Chesney [16]
29 Tim McGraw [17]
28 Blake Shelton [18]
26 Alan Jackson [17]
George Strait [17]

Most number-ones by female artistsEdit

Total Artist Source
15 Carrie Underwood [19][20]
11 Reba McEntire [19]
9 Faith Hill [21]
7 Shania Twain [21]
Taylor Swift [21]

Most number-ones by duos or groupsEdit

Total Duo/Group Source
20 Brooks & Dunn [22]
14 Florida Georgia Line [22]
Rascal Flatts [22]
13 Zac Brown Band [22]
11 Lady Antebellum [23]

Most Top 10 Hits - MaleEdit

Total Artist Source
61 George Strait [24]
58 Tim McGraw [citation needed]
58 Kenny Chesney [citation needed]
51 Alan Jackson [citation needed]
42 Toby Keith [citation needed]

Most Top 10 Hits - FemaleEdit

Total Artist Source
36 Reba McEntire [24]
28 Carrie Underwood [24]
23 Faith Hill [citation needed]
20 Martina McBride [citation needed]
19 Trisha Yearwood [citation needed]

Most Chart EntriesEdit

Total Artist Source
99 George Strait [25]
88 Garth Brooks [25] 92 Kenny Chesney [25]

See alsoEdit


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  2. ^ a b c d e f g Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. pp. 7–8. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
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  16. ^ Asker, Jim (July 16, 2018). "Kenny Chesney's 'Get Along' Is No 1 On The Country Airplay Chart". Billboard. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  17. ^ a b c Asker, Jim (June 19, 2018). "David Lee Murphy & Kenny Chesney Set Records Atop Country Airplay Chart". Billboard. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  18. ^ Mahananda, Bibhu Prasad (December 8, 2020). "Blake Shelton Country Airplay Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  19. ^ a b Asker, Jim (July 19, 2016). "Carrie Underwood Rings in 15th No. 1; Sam Hunt Earns High Five". Billboard.
  20. ^ "Most country no.1s for a female artist in the US". Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  21. ^ a b c Jessen, Wade. "Carrie Underwood Has Her Longest Reign at No. 1 on Hot Country Songs Chart". Billboard. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Asker, Jim. "Zac Brown Band Makes History on Country Airplay Chart; Randy Houser Debuts". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  24. ^ a b c 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.
  25. ^ a b c Asker, Jim (June 26, 2018). "Garth Brooks Blasts Back Onto Country Airplay Chart With 'All Day Long'". Billboard. Retrieved June 27, 2018.

External linksEdit