Topline

After an unprecedented year of chart domination in 2023, country music looks to have another successful summer as Morgan Wallen and country music newcomer Post Malone’s hit “I Had Some Help” conquers the Billboard Hot 100—and other new faces to the country charts, including Shaboozey and Beyoncé, rack up big sales and streams.

Key Facts

“I Had Some Help” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a second straight week, Billboard reported Tuesday, just one week after it debuted with the largest streaming total for a song in a single week since chart calculation methodologies were updated in September 2020.

Shaboozey ranks No. 4 on this week’s Hot 100 with “A Bar Song (Tipsy),” his first appearance as a solo artist on the Billboard charts.

Shaboozey previously collaborated with Beyoncé on two songs for her album, “Cowboy Carter”—which also topped the country charts and led the Billboard 200 for two weeks earlier this year.

Country music still dominates the Billboard 200 albums chart: Wallen’s “One Thing at a Time” (2023) and “Dangerous: The Double Album” (2021) rank No. 3 and No. 6, respectively, while Zach Bryan’s self-titled album ranks No. 8.

Eleven of the songs on the U.S. Spotify top 50 chart are country, led by Post Malone and Wallen’s hit and Zach Bryan’s new single “Pink Skies.”

Surprising Fact

Several publications have speculated a country song may yet again be considered the “song of the summer” this year, one year after Wallen’s record-shattering hit “Last Night” topped Billboard’s “Songs of the Summer” chart, the first country song to do so since 1974. NPR and the Daily Beast named “I Had Some Help” and “A Bar Song (Tipsy)” as two of the top contenders—though they noted others like Sabrina Carpenter’s “Espresso” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Not Like Us” could pose a challenge.

What To Watch For

Some of country’s biggest artists are slated to release more music this year, setting the genre up for a big year on the charts. Bryan, who released “Pink Skies” on Friday, said his new album “The Great American Bar Scene” is ready to drop “any day now.” Post Malone, long known for chart dominance with his pop-rap crossover hits, will release a country album this year, following the release of “I Had Some Help” and his performance at the Stagecoach country music festival. Lana Del Rey has also teased a country crossover, stating at the Billboard and NMPA Songwriter Awards in January that she would release an album titled “Lasso” later this year because “the music business is going country. We’re going country. It’s happening.”

Key Background

Country music had a hugely successful 2023, largely propelled by Wallen as well as several controversial hits that topped the Hot 100. Wallen’s album “One Thing at a Time” led the Billboard 200 for 12 consecutive weeks last year, and its biggest hit “Last Night” ranked No. 1 on the Billboard year-end Hot 100 chart. Four country songs hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 in 2023, the most for a single year since 1975. Two of these hits—“Try That in a Small Town” by Jason Aldean and “Rich Men North of Richmond” by Oliver Anthony, in his chart debut—were boosted by controversy. Aldean’s song raised concerns about gun violence, with lyrics that suggest small town residents would retaliate against those who “cuss out a cop” or “stomp on the flag,” while Anthony’s surprise hit was championed by right-wing audiences who praised the anti-Washington elite message (though Anthony clarified he was taking aim at both parties).

Further Reading

NPR’s forecast for the 2024 song of the summer? Lots of country, with a little bit of espresso (NPR)

Every Country Music Record Broken on the Hot 100 in 2023: From Morgan Wallen to Oliver Anthony Music & More (Billboard)

Post Malone & Morgan Wallen’s ‘I Had Some Help’ Soars In at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 (Billboard)



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