Music Updates

Jason Aldean & Carrie Underwood Top Country Airplay Chart With ‘If I Didn’t Love You’

Aldean notches his 24th Country Airplay leader and Underwood adds her 16th.

“I am so proud of this song,” Aldean tells Billboard. “I felt like we had something really special with this one from the start, but to have Carrie get on board too, she just took it to a different level.”

Aldean earns third consecutive Country Airplay No. 1 and second this year, after “Blame It on You” dominated the July 24-dated list. “Got What I Got” ruled for a week last October. He first led with his second entry, “Why,” in May 2006. His debut title, 2005’s “Hicktown,” hit No. 10, becoming his first of 34 top 10s.

Underwood achieves her first Country Airplay No. 1 since “Church Bells” in July 2016. She also scores her first leader since signing with Capitol Nashville in March 2017 (following a 12-year partnership with Sony Music Nashville’s Arista Records).

The 2005 winner of American Idol has posted four top 10s since 2017, upping her career count to 29: “Dirty Laundry” (No. 2, January 2017); “The Fighter,” with Keith Urban (No. 2, August 2017); “Cry Pretty” (No. 9, September 2018); and “Southbound” (No. 3, October 2019). Her most recent solo single, “Drinking Alone,” peaked at No. 11 in May 2020.

Aldean boasts the seventh-most No. 1s since Country Airplay began in January 1990. Kenny Chesney leads with 31, followed by Tim McGraw (29), Blake Shelton (28), Alan Jackson, George Strait (26 each) and Luke Bryan (25).

Underwood’s 16 No. 1s mark the most among women. Reba McEntire is next with 11, followed by Faith Hill (nine).

‘COMEBACK’ SONGS Zac Brown Band’s The Comeback flies onto Top Country Albums at No. 3. In its first week, ending Oct. 21 (following its Oct. 15 release), the 14-song LP earned 19,000 equivalent album units, including 12,000 in album sales.

The set marks the group’s 10th top 10, a total that includes five No. 1s (with all five launching at the summit). The Owl became the band’s fifth leader when it opened atop the list in October 2019.

Meanwhile, the new album’s lead single “Same Boat” sails 7-3 on Country Airplay, up 14% to 22.4 million in audience. On the airplay-, sales- and streaming-based Hot Country Songs survey, it bumps 16-12. It drew 3.7 million U.S. streams (up 21%) and sold 1,400 downloads (up 11%) in the tracking week.

‘COLD’ GETS HOTTER Luke Combs earns his 14th Hot Country Songs top 10, as “Cold as You” pushes 11-9. The song drew 6 million streams and sold 1,700 downloads in the tracking week. On Country Airplay, it climbs 8-5 for a new high, up 9% to 21.5 million in reach.

The track follows another hot-and-“cold” hit for Combs: Jameson Rodgers’ “Cold Beer Calling My Name,” featuring Combs, reached No. 3 on the Oct. 2 Hot Country Songs chart. The collaboration also led the Oct. 9 Country Airplay tally, becoming Combs’ 12th consecutive No. 1 single from the start of his career.

Combs claims his first Hot Country Songs top 10 as a lead artist since “Forever After All,” which ruled for 10 nonconsecutive weeks, starting with its launch at No. 1 in November 2020, when it opened as his fourth leader. It dominated Country Airplay for six weeks beginning this June.

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