Four Country Songs in a Row Have Now Hit No. 1 on the ‘Billboard’ Hot 100 Chart
For the first time in Billboard Hot 100 chart history, four country songs in a row have dominated.
The latest of those is "I Remember Everything," a duet between Zach Bryan and Kacey Musgraves, which debuted at the No. 1 slot on the Billboard Hot 100 this week as well as topping the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Last week, Bryan's self-titled album — which includes "I Remember Everything" on its track list — led the all-genre Billboard 200 chart.
Before "I Remember Everything" hit the top spot on the chart, Oliver Anthony's grassroots hit "Rich Men North of Richmond" reigned for two weeks straight (that song falls to No. 6 this week.) In previous recent weeks, Morgan Wallen's "Last Night" and Jason Aldean's divisive "Try That in a Small Town" both reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
That four-week country reign tells a story about the genre's current mainstream precedence that's being echoed elsewhere in the Billboard Hot 100. Though Luke Combs hasn't quite hit No. 1, his cover of Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" holds steady at No. 2 on the chart this week. Per Billboard, Combs' version of "Fast Car" is also now the most-heard song on radio — of any genre — which is a rare accomplishment for a song from the country format.
It's also worth noting that half of the country songs that have been part of country music's Billboard Hot 100 winning streak have ascended to the top spot with relatively little country airplay. Despite their respective massive fanbases, neither Bryan nor Musgraves have historically made much of an impact on traditional terrestrial country radio.
Meanwhile, Anthony's "Rich Men North of Richmond" was a hit that came out of nowhere, achieving viral status after a video of the singer performing his song in an outdoor setting racked up millions upon millions of YouTube views — 58 million, to be exact, as of Wednesday (Sept. 6).
Though Wallen and Aldean both have received considerable country radio play over the course of their careers, each of them comes to the table with some level of controversy. Aldean's "Try That in a Small Town" — which marked his first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 — drew criticism, especially after the arrival of its music video, from listeners who saw its message as racist dogwhistling and a glorification of gun-based vigilante justice. CMT pulled the music video for "Try That in a Small Town" from circulation, though they never specifically said that those complaints were the cause of the removal.
While there's no controversy surrounding Wallen's "Last Night" itself, the singer has a turbulent history within the country genre: A racist slur scandal from early 2021 got him benched from the industry, including a wide swath of radio playlisting, for the bulk of that year. Even as his industry presence was quiet, his fanbase rallied around him, and propelled his then-recently released Dangerous double album to staggering success on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
This week, half of the Billboard Hot 100's Top 40 are country songs; the bulk of those can be attributed to Bryan, who landed all 16 tracks from his self-titled album within the Top 50.