Thomas Rhett Tops Country Airplay Chart ‘Again’: ‘It’s Kind of the Perfect Punctuation Point’

Thomas Rhett’s “Country Again” ascends to No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart dated Sept. 18, marking his 17th leader on the list.

In the tracking week ending Sept. 12, the song increased by 12% to 28.2 million audience impressions, according to MRC Data. Rhett wrote “Country Again,” released on Valory Music, with Zach Crowell and Ashley Gorley.

“No. 1 singles are always something I cherish, but this one especially,” Rhett tells Billboard. “This song was such a central part of how I processed the last couple of years of my life. So, to have it resonate with people the way it has and to have it sung back to me every night on the road, now that we’re able to tour again, it’s just been kind of the perfect punctuation point to this chapter for me.”

“Country Again” is the sophomore single from Rhett’s fifth full-length, Country Again: Side A, which debuted at No. 2 on Top Country Albums chart in May, granting Rhett his fifth top five entry. The release’s Side B second half is expected later this year. Lead single “What’s Your Country Song” led Country Airplay for a week in March.

Rhett, from Valdosta, Ga., banked his first Country Airplay leader in October 2013 when “It Goes Like This” began a three-week reign.

“Country Again” pushes 7-5 for a new high on the airplay-, sales- and streaming-based Hot Country Songs chart. It drew 6.3 million U.S. streams (up nearly 1%) and sold 1,900 downloads (up 9%) in the week ending Sept. 9.

ATTA ‘BOY’ Elvie Shane’s maiden Country Airplay entry “My Boy” pushes into the top 10, climbing 11-10 (17.5 million, up 4%).

The song celebrating a paternal guiding hand regardless of bloodlines, which the Caneyville, Ky., native penned with Nick Columbia, Lee Starr and Russell Sutton, is from Shane’s debut six-song EP Country Roads, released in April.

On Hot Country Songs, “Boy” bumps 19-18, returning to its best rank with 3.7 million streams and 1,800 sold.

Shane is the latest artist to reach the first Country Airplay top 10 with a first entry, following Lainey Wilson, who reached the tier on the Aug. 7-dated survey with her freshman entry, “Things a Man Oughta Know.” On the Sept. 18 list, “Man” ranks at No. 2 (26.7 million, up 3%).

Shane achieves the first Country Airplay top 10 with a rookie entry by a solo male since Niko Moon’s “Good Times,” which crowned the chart dated March 13; it topped Hot Country Songs the same frame.

DOCKING IN TOP 10 Old Dominion scores its ninth Hot Country Songs top 10 as “I Was on a Boat That Day” floats 12-9.

On Country Airplay, “Boat” rises 12-11 with a 3% gain to 15.9 million in radio reach. It also drew 5.8 million streams (up 15%) and sold 2,600 downloads in the tracking week.

Old Dominion adds its ninth Hot Country Songs top 10 and first since “One Man Band,” which reached No. 2 in November 2019. The song dominated Country Airplay for a week, becoming the act’s seventh No. 1.

’23’ at 30 Sam Hunt’s new single “23,” released Sept. 9, opens at No. 30 on Country Airplay with 6.4 million in audience in its first four days. The single received hourly plays on participating iHeartMedia stations in its first two days of release.

“23” is Hunt’s 12th Country Airplay entry and follows “Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90’s,” which ruled for a week in May, becoming his eighth leader.

Hunt has entered Country Airplay at a higher rank only with “Kinfolks” (No. 18, October 2019) and “Downtown’s Dead” (No. 18, May 2018) and “Body Like a Back Road” (No. 21, February 2017). “Kinfolks” and “Back Road” went on to hit No. 1.