Historic Milestone: Country Songs Claim The Top Three Spots On The Billboard Hot 100 For The First Time Ever

Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town,” Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” and Luke Combs’ “Fast Car” are making chart history.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

July 31, 2023

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Jason Aldean; Photo by Andrew Wendowski, Morgan Wallen; Photo by David Lehr, Luke Combs; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town,” Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” and Luke Combs’ “Fast Car” made history on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated August 5), marking the first time that three Country songs ranked in the top three positions. 

According to Billboard, Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” claimed the No.1 position, followed by Wallen’s “Last Night” at No.2, and Combs’ “Fast Car” at No.3. 

This is the first time that three Country hits have topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart since it launched in August of 1958.

Rounding out the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 are: Gunna (“Fukumean”), Rema & Selena Gomez (“Calm Down”), Taylor Swift (“Cruel Summer”), Travis Scott featuring Bad Bunny & The Weeknd (“K-Pop”), Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice with Aqua (“Barbie World”), Jung Kook featuring Latto (“Seven”) and Olivia Rodrigo (“Vampire”).

“K-POP,” a collaboration between Travis Scott, Bad Bunny, and The Weeknd, made its debut at No. 7 within the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Meanwhile, “Barbie World” by Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice, featuring Aqua, reentered the chart at No. 8, coinciding with the release of the box office hit Barbie.

The Hot 100 chart combines U.S. streaming data from all genres, including both official audio and official video streams, along with radio airplay and sales figures. The sales data, which includes physical singles and digital tracks from comprehensive digital music retailers, is a significant component of this chart. However, it excludes digital singles sales from direct-to-consumer (D2C) sites in the chart calculations.

Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town” marks the Georgia native’s first-ever Hot 100 No. 1 and his 40th entry on the chart. The chart-topping hit also becomes Aldean’s record label Broken Bow’s first Hot 100 No. 1 hit since the label launched in 1999. Broken Bow previously charted in the Top 10 of the Hot 100 with Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem,” which was released in 2010. 

Aldean made his debut on the Hot 100 with his single, “Hicktown,” on August 13, 2005. Before achieving his current chart-topping success, he had already earned one top 10 hit with “Dirt Road Anthem.” This song reached No. 7 in July 2011, aided by a remix featuring Ludacris.

The 46-year-old singer’s journey from his initial Hot 100 appearance to achieving his first No. 1 spot took 17 years, 11 months, and three weeks. Billy Ray Cyrus previously had a remarkable gap of 26 years and 11 months between the release of “Achy Breaky Heart” in 1992 and the chart-topping success of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” featuring Cyrus, in 2019.

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Santana achieved a remarkable feat by holding the record for the longest anticipation period, spanning nearly 30 years, with only two days short, from their debut with “Jingo” in 1969 to the triumph of “Smooth,” featuring Rob Thomas, in 1999.

“Try That in a Small Town” becomes the 21st song to achieve the distinction of topping both the Hot 100 and Hot Country Songs charts. Notably, in March 2023, Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” began its impressive 14-week reign, making 2023 the first year to feature multiple songs leading both the Hot 100 and Hot Country Songs charts since 1981.

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Sales and streams of the Aldean song reached new heights following the controversy surrounding the song and music video. Social media outrage surrounding the song began after the July 14 release of the “Try That In A Small Town” music video. As the video and song began to circulate online, many social media users accused the singer of being pro-gun and racist. Others dubbed the track a “dog whistle” and believed that the lyrics pushed a right-wing agenda.

After spending 14 weeks at No.1, “Last Night” bounced back from No.3 to No.2. The song is tied for the fifth-longest reign at No.1 in the chart’s history. 

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Combs’ cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” climbed from No.4 to No.3 after spending three weeks at its peak position of No.2. 

This year has been quite the year for Country music on the charts and overall consumption. As of July 6 Luminate (per Billboard) reported that consumption of the Country music genre was up 20.3% year-over-year in the first 23 weeks of 2023 in the United States. In comparison, country music experienced a growth of 2.5% during the corresponding period in 2022.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.