Music

Chayce Beckham Tops Country Airplay Chart With Self-Written ’23’

Chayce Beckham’s “23” flies from No. 6 to No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart (dated April 6), becoming his first leader on the list. The single gained by 22% to 28.2 million audience impressions during the March 22-28 tracking week, according to Luminate.

“I’m so grateful for my family, my team and all the country music fans around the world who made this possible,” Beckham tells Billboard. “Thank you to country radio for embracing this song and making this all a dream come true for me.”

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“23” makes the biggest jump to the Country Airplay summit since Thomas Rhett’s “Angels Don’t Always Have Wings” also soared 6-1 last September.

Plus, as “23” hits No. 1 in its 60th week, it completes the longest trip to the pinnacle since Dylan Scott’s “Can’t Have Mine” did so in its 62nd frame last December.

“23” (not the same composition as Sam Hunt’s song of the same name that topped Country Airplay for a week in April 2022) is Beckham’s second entry on the chart. His Lindsay Ell duet “Can’t Do Without Me” hit No. 46 in June 2022.

The 27-year-old Beckham, from Apple Valley, Calif., was crowned the winner of ABC’s American Idol in 2021 and performed “23” – which he solely penned – live on air during that season. He had written “23” a year before and became the first hopeful to win the competition performing an original song.

Beckham is the fourth Idol winner to top Country Airplay, joining Carrie Underwood (16 No. 1s, after she won in 2005), Scotty McCreery (five; 2011) and Kelly Clarkson (one; the inaugural winner in 2002).

Meanwhile, “23” is the first Country Airplay No. 1 written by a single person since Luke Combs’ cover of Tracy Chapman’s self-authored “Fast Car” ruled for five weeks beginning last July. The only other leaders written by one person in the last 10 years: Garth Brooks’ “Ask Me How I Know,” written by Mitch Rossell (No. 1 on Dec. 16, 2017); LANCO’s “Greatest Love Story” (frontman Brandon Lancaster; Dec. 2, 2017); Little Big Town’s “Better Man” (Taylor Swift; March 4, 2017); and Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind” (Lori McKenna; June 25, 2016). Of the 327 leaders in that span, only six – or 2% – have been solo-written.

Meanwhile, prior to “23,” the last Country Airplay No. 1 solely written by the soloist who also recorded it? Swift’s “Ours,” on the chart dated March 31, 2012.

‘Solo’ Hit

Scotty McCreery, meanwhile, posts his ninth Country Airplay top 10 as “Cab in a Solo” pushes 11-10 (19.1 million, up 5%). The song, which he co-penned, follows “It Matters to Her,” which hit No. 3 last June and “Damn Strait,” which became his fifth leader in July 2022.

McCreery’s latest single introduces his LP Rise & Fall, due May 10.

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