Luke Combs’ rolls up his 17th No. 1 – and makes history in the top two – on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart (dated Sept. 9), as “Love You Anyway” climbs 2-1 and his former five-week leader “Fast Car” rebounds 3-2.
Combs is the first artist to hold the top two positions on Country Airplay without any other billed acts since the list launched in 1990. Only one other act has taken the two ranks simultaneously at all: On the charts dated May 31 and June 7, 2014, Luke Bryan’s “Play It Again” was No. 1 and Florida Georgia Line’s “This Is How We Roll” featuring Bryan placed at its No. 2 peak.
In the Aug. 25-31 tracking week, “Love You Anyway” increased by 9% to 32 million impressions, according to Luminate. Combs wrote the song with Ray Fulcher and Dan Isbell.
Combs claims another Country Airplay record, as “Love You Anyway” reaches No. 1 after a mere four-week break since “Fast Car,” his update of Tracy Chapman’s 1988 Billboard Hot 100 hit, wrapped its reign. No artist had previously led with different songs in a lead role on both so quickly, as Combs passes Morgan Wallen, whose “You Proof” spent the last of its record 10 weeks at No. 1 this January, while he returned to the top after just a six-week gap with “Thought You Should Know” in February.
Counting featured roles, Tim McGraw wasted no time between No. 1s in March 2002: Jo Dee Messina’s “Bring On the Rain” featuring McGraw led for a week, and his “The Cowboy in Me” supplanted it at the summit the following frame.
Additionally, Combs rules Country Airplay just nine weeks after “Fast Car” topped the tally for the first time – also a record for the quickest turnaround among acts reaching No. 1 with different songs. Multiple artists led with new No. 1s 10 weeks apart (counting from their first weeks on top), most recently Shania Twain, from “You Win My Love” to “No One Needs To Know” in 1996.
Combs’ unprecedented achievements reflect the historically atypical release schedule for his two latest Country Airplay No. 1s, as “Love You Anyway” was intended to be his lone current promoted single but “Fast Car” went viral and they wound up scaling the survey in tandem.
Taste of the Top 10
Meanwhile, Lainey Wilson nets her fifth Country Airplay top 10 as “Watermelon Moonshine” rises 11-10 (19.3 million, up 22%). It follows her feature on HARDY’s “Wait in the Truck,” which peaked at No. 2 in April.
Additional reporting by Gary Trust.
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