Country Snags Top Spots on Billboard Hot 100 for First Time in 42 Years
Take one look at the current Billboard Hot 100 chart and you'll find two country songs in the top two spots. If it feels like it's a bit overdue, you're not wrong. The last time the top two spots were both country songs was more than four decades ago.
Morgan Wallen logs another week at No. 1 on the all-genre chart (dated July 1) with his track "Last Night," bringing his total to 12 weeks. Meanwhile, Luke Combs moves up from the No. 3 spot to No. 2 with his cover of Tracy Chapman's song "Fast Car." It's the first time two country songs have headed up the Hot 100 in more than 42 years.
It was 1981 when country last dominated the chart in such a way. On the chart dated March 7, 1981, Eddie Rabbitt sat on top with his hit "I Love a Rainy Night," while Dolly Parton secured the second-place position with her ever-popular "9 to 5." Both songs held those positions for three weeks total.
The Billboard Hot 100 is determined by domestic streams, radio airplay and sales, so it's no surprise that two of country music's biggest heavy hitters have ended the drought.
"Last Night" and "Fast Car" also hold the top spots on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. Both rank in the same first and second positions as on the Hot 100. It's the first time ever that two country songs have secured the top two ranks in both charts simultaneously in the history of the Country Airplay chart, which began in 1990.
Country music is on the rise in popularity in 2023. In May, using data collected from Hit Songs Deconstructed, Billboard reported that the format tied with pop music as the most prominent primary genre in the year's first quarter.
Both Wallen and Combs are on the road this year promoting their music worldwide. Wallen's One Night at a Time Tour continues through Oct. 7, when it wraps in Washington. Meanwhile, Combs' World Tour will carry on until it closes on Oct. 20 in the U.K.