Forbes reports that this is the first time two country songs have been in the top two spots since 1981.
Country music is making a grand comeback on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a sight not witnessed in over four decades. For the first time in this lengthy period, country songs have clinched not only the coveted #1 spot but also the runner-up #2 position, giving fans of the genre a reason to rejoice.
The music scene over the past decade has predominantly been dominated by the infectious beats of hip-hop and the catchy tunes of pop. However, this chart triumph strongly suggests that country music, with its heartfelt lyrics and soulful melodies, has remained just as beloved, albeit quietly so.
Steve Blatter, the general manager of SiriusXM/Pandora, offers an interesting perspective on this trend. He posits that the popularity of country music never waned; rather, its fanbase took a little longer to embrace the digital wave and transition to streaming platforms. This shift in listening habits has now amplified the genre’s prominence, propelling it to the top of the charts and signaling an exciting era for country music lovers.
“Last Night” by Wallen has held the No. 1 spot for 12 weeks and “Fast Car,” a cover of Tracy Chapman’s 1988 release by Luke Combs, pulled into the No. 2 spot this week, marking the first time country artists have had the top-two songs since 1981, when “I Love a Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbitt and “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton held the spots.
“One Thing at a Time,” a 36-song record released in March by Wallen, also rose back to No. 1 on the Billboard album chart this week for the 14th time—the most since Adele’s “21” scored 24 nonconsecutive weeks in 2011 and 2012, the New York Times reported.
They’re also in the same positions on Billboard’s top streaming songs chart, with “Last Night” accumulating 29.8 million streams, and “Fast Car” zooming past 21.2 million.
Country music’s rise in popularity is reflective of the current zeitgeist, marked by a remarkable 58% surge in streaming of the genre over the past three years.