The Ultimate Pulse of Country Music (Sept. 29)

Let me introduce you to The Ultimate Pulse of Country Music. This chart takes data from three Billboard country music charts: Digital Song Sales, Album Sales and Streaming. I take the numbers from these charts, plug them into my formulas and methodology and it spits out a number I refer to as a Popularity Rating or Pop Rating for short. This determines the order of the top 20 rankings you’ll see below.

What I love about my chart is it’s simple, but fluid and dynamic. It accounts for all types of artists across the board. It allows independent and older artists to enter it too, as all three categories are ultimately controlled by you the listeners. Not to mention I feel it’s more inclusive of a variety of styles of country music and women artists. It’s a true real-time indicator of who is popular in country music with built-in natural weights that ensures fairness.

One last thing: I will of course be adding my own personal opinion to the chart with a rating of +1, 0 or -1 based on whether I think the artist’s contributions towards their pop rating are helping, hurting or not having an effect on the genre. Onto the chart!


  1. Luke Combs (#1 Streaming) +1
  2. Kane Brown -1
  3. Florida Georgia Line (#1 Digital Songs) -1
  4. Dan + Shay +1
  5. Brett Young -1
  6. Chris Stapleton +1
  7. Jason Aldean +1
  8. Bebe Rexha -1
  9. Carrie Underwood (#1 Album) 0
  10. Thomas Rhett -1
  11. Mitchell Tenpenny -1
  12. Eric Church +1
  13. Sam Hunt 0
  14. Dierks Bentley -1
  15. Dolly Parton +1
  16. Sia +1
  17. Kenny Chesney +1
  18. Luke Bryan 0
  19. Cole Swindell +1
  20. Miranda Lambert 0

The Ultimate Pulse: +2


Notes & Observations

  • New Arrivals: Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton & Sia
  • Gone: Old Dominion, Russell Dickerson & Dylan Scott
  • The Ultimate Pulse improves a whopping three spots to +2 this week. Who would have thought removing country radio from the equation would be a good thing for country music? Anyone paying attention, that’s who. As you can see I’ve also culled down the ranking from top 25 to top 20, due to one less category and the fact the bottom five I felt didn’t really have much of an effect. So if you’re wondering if that helped The Ultimate Pulse this week, it wouldn’t because it would still be the same if I included them. The arrivals and departures are based solely on the top 20 from last week. All of the departures were majorly propped up by radio. So shocking!
  • Luke Combs is the new #1 this week and the third different artist to top the chart. This was weeks in the making, as Combs’ steaming numbers are fantastic. He managed to somehow increase them more this week, which I didn’t think was possible. Combined with his almost equally great sales, Combs is poised to be a superstar in country music for years to come and I’m perfectly good with this, as his brand of country music is a good representative of the genre.
  • Kane Brown and Florida Georgia Line tied for #2 this week, but Brown gets the spot based on tiebreaker rules (he beats the duo in both streaming and album sales). Brown’s numbers normalize this week after the big bump he got from pre-orders and the sales of his new single. As you can see the top three don’t need radio and were unaffected by the chart change.
  • Brett Young jumps into the top five this week thanks to opening pre-orders for his new album and the good sales of his new single. If he wants to compete with the top four, his streaming numbers will need to improve.
  • Chris Stapleton and Jason Aldean tied for #6 this week, but Stapleton gets the spot based on tiebreaker rules. Stapleton is putting up strong numbers several months after dropping new music because that’s what happens when you have true hits. I can’t imagine the big numbers he will put up when the next album drops.
  • Aldean and Miranda Lambert continue to drop due to the dropping sales of “Whiskey Drowns the Memory.” But on the other hand “You Make It Easy” continues to sell and stream well for Aldean.
  • Bebe Rexha and Carrie Underwood tied for #8 this week, but Rexha gets the spot based on tiebreaker rules. Yeah I wish she would drop off the chart, but while she’s still on it I have to count her.
  • Carrie Underwood rises just to #9 with her album bump. I honestly expected more. She still manages to take the #1 Album spot from Stapleton though. I don’t expect her to maintain this top ten position long, as her sales don’t appear to stay for the long haul and she has zero streaming help.
  • Eric Church makes a big jump up to #12 this week thanks to sales from “Monsters.” He’ll drop back down next week.
  • Dierks Bentley is back again because once again his album sales spiked. If anyone has an explanation for why his album sales jump up and down, please let me know in the comments or on Twitter. I want to figure this out!
  • Dolly Parton and Sia make their debuts on The Ultimate Pulse! It’s awesome to have the queen of country music make an appearance, as well as a pop singer in Sia I have a great respect towards. They make their debuts thanks to the great sales of their re-recording of Parton’s smash hit “Here I Am” for the move Dumplin’. If you haven’t heard it yet, please check it out. I’ve also added it to the Fusion Country Favorites playlist.
  • Willie Nelson should have joined them this week, but Billboard did what I feared and put his new album My Way on the Top Jazz Albums chart. It’s pretty stupid considering Willie is country and it’s advertised as such on iTunes. Meanwhile Upchurch’s album was advertised as hip-hop on iTunes, but impacts the country albums chart. If anything Willie’s album should have debuted on both jazz and country.

Next Five Artists Knocking on the Door of the Top 20

  1. Lauren Alaina
  2. Jon Pardi
  3. Jake Owen
  4. Zac Brown Band
  5. Old Dominion

Be sure to weigh in with your thoughts below and feel free to make predictions for next week’s rankings. Feel free to ask questions if you need any clarification on the methodology and rankings.

Review – Billy Currington’s “Bring It On Over”

It feels like Billy Currington has been one of the longest tenured artists in the mainstream country scene without anyone noticing. His last album Summer Forever came out in 2015, but it feels much longer. At the time it felt like it didn’t sell well, but looking back his numbers for that album were better than most of the new artists being pushed by radio nowadays. He also had a true hit with that album in the solid heartbreak song “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To.” Currington now makes his return with new single “Bring It On Over.” Much to my welcome surprise, Currington decides to dip his toes into disco country. It’s an instantly infectious song that also incorporates electronic influences that remind me of Tyminski’s album released last year. Many will complain that the lyrics aren’t deep, but they aren’t trying to be. This is a catchy sex jam that isn’t trying to be anything more than it, so it accomplishes what it sets out to do. With the parade of non-catchy and boring ballads being released as singles in country music nowadays, this is a breath of fresh air. If you’re looking for something that’s fun, catchy and a little different from the rest, “Bring It On Over” has this in spades.

Grade: 7/10

Songwriters: Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson, Ben Hayslip & Jesse Frasure 

Album Review – Willie Nelson’s ‘My Way’

Willie Nelson proved long ago he is one of the greatest artists of all-time. Yet every year he continues to release multiple projects into his 80s. He has nothing to prove and makes music at this point simply because he’s damn good at it and enjoys it. It’s pretty amazing to watch a proven artist put out more music trying to prove himself than modern artists who never write like they’re trying to prove something and just play it safe. On Willie’s latest project My Way he’s chosen to cover his old friend and legendary Frank Sinatra’s classic songs. It’s sort of a follow-up to Nelson’s classic album Stardust, where he proved how well jazz and country can be fused together. The album is so appropriately titled, as Willie Nelson exemplifies as much as anyone the importance of doing things your own way.

The album opens with the springy and upbeat “Fly Me to the Moon.” The horn section and the piano along with Mickey Raphael’s signature harmonica play make for the perfect sunny day song. “Summer Wind” feels like the perfect song for this time of the year, as the season turns from summer into fall. Songs such as “One For My Baby (And One More for the Road)” and “Blue Moon” don’t feel much different from Willie’s numerous heartbreak drinking songs over the years. The commonalities between country and jazz are quite apparent when you break it down and you realize while two genres can sound the same, both can do a beautiful job of conveying something.

Willie does an admirable job keeping up with the jaunty “A Foggy Day,” crooning with ease along with the bright horns and melody. Credit to producers Buddy Cannon and Matt Rollings for nailing the jazz country sound that compliments Willie’s voice well throughout the album. “I’ll Be Around” and “Young at Heart” feel like songs that would have fit well on his album Last Man Standing he released earlier this year, with their stark takes on more somber subjects. Willie brings the enthusiasm and tenderness to give a real light to the love song “Night and Day.” He also sounds great with Norah Jones on the love duet “What Is This Thing Called Love.” This isn’t the first time the two have sang together, as they covered “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in 2010. With Jones being a successful jazz artist herself and Willie having a lot of experience with the genre, it’s no surprise they pair together well. The album’s conclusion with the title track couldn’t be a more perfect bow on the album. The songs reflective nature and acknowledgement of a life lived just fits Nelson in this time of his career like a glove.

Like Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson has certainly done it his way. I think “Ol’ Blue Eyes” would be pretty proud of the job Willie has done with My Way, doing Sinatra’s songs the justice they deserve. With the silly boycotts some have staged against Nelson for his support of Beto O’Rourke in Texas, it’s actually brought the album even more attention and sales. I’m glad because this is an album you shouldn’t dismiss due it being covers. Any time Willie Nelson releases new music, it’s worth listening to and My Way proves this yet again.

Grade: 8/10

Album’s Top Highlights: My Way, Summer Wind, Fly Me to the Moon, A Foggy Day, What Is This Thing Called Love, Young at Heart


Producers: Buddy Cannon & Matt Rollings

[Dumping Country Radio Edition] The Ultimate Pulse of Country Music (Sept. 22)

  1. Kane Brown
  2. Luke Combs
  3. Florida Georgia Line
  4. Dan + Shay
  5. Jason Aldean
  6. Chris Stapleton
  7. Brett Young
  8. Thomas Rhett
  9. Bebe Rexha
  10. Carrie Underwood
  11. Luke Bryan
  12. Mitchell Tenpenny
  13. Sam Hunt
  14. Kenny Chesney
  15. Miranda Lambert
  16. Upchurch
  17. Cole Swindell
  18. Lauren Alaina
  19. Jon Pardi
  20. Old Dominion
  21. Jake Owen
  22. Eric Church
  23. Zac Brown Band
  24. Dierks Bentley
  25. Brothers Osborne

So this is what The Ultimate Pulse of Country Music looks like when you take away airplay. I’ve decided I’m removing the airplay component to my chart. Why? Because I’m tired of acting like it matters. Maybe it matters to industry insiders and labels. They want it to matter because it’s easily manipulative. It’s much, much easier to go convince some radio guy to play your artist than convince the average country listener to truly care about your artist. As someone who has reviewed music for years, I know this more than anyone. Convincing people to care and listen to music, especially new music is like trying to pull freaking teeth. It’s extremely difficult and it’s why I spend as little time as possible reviewing music. And when I do review music, I have to really be excited about it to write about it. Welcome to the era of streaming music, where good isn’t good enough in the land of a thousand choices.

I feel like everyone has forgotten what the point of radio is in the first place. Playing songs on the radio when boiled down to what it’s true purpose is: it’s just advertising. A song on the radio is no different from those terrible car ads or a McDonald’s commercial. The sole purpose is to get you to buy into what they’re selling, which in the case of the song is getting you to buy the song/stream it and furthermore buy into the artist/act singing it. That’s it! It’s nothing more than advertising. Yet there’s still these great celebrations over artists topping the airplay charts and reaching the top five/ten/fifteen. I hate using all caps, but let me say this loud and clear: AIRPLAY MEANS NOTHING IF IT DOESN’T CONVERT TO MEANINGFUL SALES AND STREAMING. 

I look at the majority of those receiving airplay not being able to convert it into sales and airplay. This tells me that airplay is not effective for most in 2018. So why continue to acknowledge it? I’m not. I no longer want to be a part of this charade and The Ultimate Pulse of Country Music will no longer acknowledge the flawed and failing country radio.

The Ultimate Pulse of Country Music (Sept. 22)

Let me introduce you to The Ultimate Pulse of Country Music. This chart takes data from four Billboard country music charts: Digital Song Sales, Album Sales, Airplay and Streaming. I take the numbers from these charts, plug them into my formulas and methodology and it spits out a number I refer to as a Popularity Rating or Pop Rating for short. This determines the order of the top 25 rankings you’ll see below.

What I love about my chart is it’s simple, but fluid and dynamic. It accounts for all types of artists across the board, whether the artist is strong at radio (Chris Lane, Dustin Lynch) or album sales (Chris Stapleton). It allows independent and older artists to enter it too, as three of the four categories are ultimately controlled by you the listeners. Not to mention I feel it’s more inclusive of a variety of styles of country music and women artists. It’s a true real-time indicator of who is popular in country music with built-in natural weights that ensures fairness.

One last thing: I will of course be adding my own personal opinion to the chart with a rating of +1, 0 or -1 based on whether I think the artist’s contributions towards their pop rating are helping, hurting or not having an effect on the genre. Onto the chart!

  1. Kane Brown (#1 Digital Songs) -1
  2. Luke Combs (#1 Streaming) +1
  3. Florida Georgia Line -1
  4. Dan + Shay +1
  5. Jason Aldean +1
  6. Thomas Rhett -1
  7. Chris Stapleton (#1 Album) +1
  8. Brett Young -1
  9. Luke Bryan (#1 Airplay) 0
  10. Miranda Lambert 0
  11. Mitchell Tenpenny -1
  12. Old Dominion 0
  13. Bebe Rexha -1
  14. Cole Swindell +1
  15. Carrie Underwood 0
  16. Sam Hunt 0
  17. Kenny Chesney +1
  18. Eric Church +1
  19. Dylan Scott -1
  20. Russell Dickerson -1
  21. Upchurch -1
  22. Chris Janson +1
  23. Lauren Alaina 0
  24. Chris Young -1
  25. Jon Pardi +1

The Ultimate Pulse: -1


Notes & Observations

  • New Arrivals: Upchurch, Jon Pardi
  • Gone: Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks
  • The Ultimate Pulse remains the same at -1 this week. This is despite two new departures off the chart. Dierks Bentley’s album sales once again take a big dive and it’s enough to drive him out of the top 25. I continue to be confounded as to why his album sales are a rollercoaster. Garth Brooks falls out because if you rise by airplay, you fall by airplay too.
  • Kane Brown is the new #1 this week and the second artist to top the chart since the beginning of the Pulse, ending Florida Georgia Line’s four-week run at the top. This was expected, as Brown opened up pre-orders for his new upcoming album and released a new song too, which greatly spiked his digital song sales. I can see Brown maintaining this spot next week, but it’s going to be much tighter and dependent on how fast Brown’s pop rating normalizes.
  • Luke Combs continues to solidify himself at #2 and is set up nicely to have his shot at #1 really soon. Combs also surprisingly takes the top streaming spot away this week, just edging out Brown. He just continues to pick up steam in streaming and the battle between him and Brown will continue to be tight for top streamer.
  • Florida Georgia Line falls to #3 this week, even though their pop rating remains basically static. The duo’s streaming numbers remain impressive, but they’re simply getting outpaced by Brown and Combs’ monster pace in streaming at the moment.
  • Dan + Shay are pretty solidly #4 for the time being and remain in a great position to break up the Big Three above them in the future once they start receiving significant airplay help.
  • Both Jason Aldean and Thomas Rhett should lose airplay help next week as they’re set to go recurrent. This will cause both to drop, but Rhett’s drop will be more noticeable. Both are working new singles, so expect them to rebound of course. These drops should help you see how reliant each artist is on airplay based on how far each drop. It widely varies.
  • Chris Stapleton makes a jump up to #7 this week thanks to his continually steady numbers, plus Brett Young seeing losses in both sales and streaming. Stapleton actually nearly passed Rhett this week and is guaranteed to pass him next week.
  • Young sees losses this week, but will see a boost next week thanks to opening pre-orders on his new album and his new single selling well.
  • Mitchell Tenpenny rises to #11 this week, as his ascent into the top 10 is nearly complete. He was just a few pop rating points shy of passing Miranda Lambert. The big question now is how far can he climb into the top ten?
  • Old Dominion and Bebe Rexha tied for #12 this week, but Old Dominion gets the spot based on tiebreaker rules (they have three categories of strength versus Rexha’s two categories). The group rises a few spots this week thanks more to artists have losses in front of them rather than making gains themselves.
  • Cole Swindell continues to fall, as he retained very little of the big boost from his album release. The sales and streaming performance of his next single will largely determine if he can make a move back up the chart.
  • Carrie Underwood jumps up to #15 this week thanks to the great sales of “End Up With You.” She’ll get her album boost next week and it will propel her into the top ten. I’ll be interested to see how deep into the top ten she can get, as digital song sales will largely determine this along with any possible streaming help.
  • Kenny Chesney falls five spots to #17 this week, as his sales and streaming numbers for “Get Along” fell even more. While many artists towards the top of the chart have been able to maintain their sales and streaming on singles that have went recurrent, Chesney’s nose-dived as soon as he lost airplay. So Chesney is either more tied to airplay than other artists or this song finally stagnated with listeners.
  • So Upchurch makes his Ultimate Pulse debut at #21 this week thanks to his new album Supernatural. Yeah I didn’t see this coming either. While I don’t like his brand of country hip-hop, he did pull off a smart little trick to help him on the Top Country Albums chart. Instead of releasing his new album on Friday like everybody else, he released it on the old music release day of Tuesday. This gave him a few extra days of sales, which undoubtedly gave him a boost and allow him to chart even higher. Independent country artists should take note of this.
  • The other new arrival Jon Pardi also makes his debut on The Ultimate Pulse thanks to album sales. His sophomore album California Sunrise continues to sell well years later and if he can get any help from his current single “Night Shift” he can climb higher on the chart.

Next Five Artists Knocking on the Door of the Top 25

  1. Garth Brooks
  2. Jake Owen
  3. Maren Morris
  4. Blake Shelton
  5. Dierks Bentley

Be sure to weigh in with your thoughts below and feel free to make predictions for next week’s rankings. Feel free to ask questions if you need any clarification on the methodology and rankings.

The Ultimate Pulse of Country Music (Sept. 15)

Let me introduce you to The Ultimate Pulse of Country Music. This chart takes data from four Billboard country music charts: Digital Song Sales, Album Sales, Airplay and Streaming. I take the numbers from these charts, plug them into my formulas and methodology and it spits out a number I refer to as a Popularity Rating or Pop Rating for short. This determines the order of the top 25 rankings you’ll see below.

What I love about my chart is it’s simple, but fluid and dynamic. It accounts for all types of artists across the board, whether the artist is strong at radio (Chris Lane, Dustin Lynch) or album sales (Chris Stapleton). It allows independent and older artists to enter it too, as three of the four categories are ultimately controlled by you the listeners. Not to mention I feel it’s more inclusive of a variety of styles of country music and women artists. It’s a true real-time indicator of who is popular in country music with built-in natural weights that ensures fairness.

One last thing: I will of course be adding my own personal opinion to the chart with a rating of +1, 0 or -1 based on whether I think the artist’s contributions towards their pop rating are helping, hurting or not having an effect on the genre. Onto the chart!

  1. Florida Georgia Line (#1 Digital Songs) -1
  2. Luke Combs +1
  3. Kane Brown (#1 Streaming) -1
  4. Dan + Shay +1
  5. Jason Aldean +1
  6. Thomas Rhett -1
  7. Brett Young -1
  8. Chris Stapleton (#1 Album) +1
  9. Luke Bryan (#1 Airplay) 0
  10. Miranda Lambert 0
  11. Bebe Rexha -1
  12. Kenny Chesney +1
  13. Cole Swindell +1
  14. Mitchell Tenpenny -1
  15. Old Dominion 0
  16. Dierks Bentley 0
  17. Sam Hunt 0
  18. Carrie Underwood 0
  19. Eric Church +1
  20. Dylan Scott -1
  21. Chris Janson +1
  22. Russell Dickerson -1
  23. Chris Young -1
  24. Lauren Alaina 0
  25. Garth Brooks 0

The Ultimate Pulse: -1


Notes & Observations

  • New Arrivals: None
  • Gone: None
  • The pulse declines one spot to -1 this week. Due to a slow week in movement on three of the four Billboard charts, there are no new arrivals or departures. The pulse however drops one as I’ve once again changed Dierks Bentley’s score. Again it’s changing based on his album sales seesawing back and forth, affecting his pop rating’s influence. So I decided I’m just going to leave it at 0 for now.
  • Florida Georgia Line barely hangs on to the #1 spot for the fourth straight week. As expected their numbers returned back to normal levels this week. But they just barely hold on and will most likely lose it next week.
  • Luke Combs just missed the top spot this week, coming within a handful of points of knocking off Florida Georgia Line. He did it by essentially holding steady in his gains across all categories. However I would not expect him to get #1 next week…
  • Kane Brown solidifies himself at #3 and makes one of the bigger gains on the chart in terms of pop rating this week. I will be shocked if he doesn’t take the #1 spot next week, as he just announced his new album, opened pre-orders for it and released a new song that’s still near the top of the all-genre iTunes chart. He should make large gains in streaming and sales that will propel him to the top of the chart.
  • Dan + Shay jump up to #4 thanks to big gains in sales and streaming with their new single “Speechless.” I’m starting to think this duo could seriously challenge the Big 3 at the top. Keep in mind they aren’t even getting any help from airplay in their pop rating right now, which is quite impressive.
  • Jason Aldean remains in the top five, but will drop in the coming weeks with the loss of airplay. He should remain top ten though.
  • Thomas Rhett is going to drop thanks to losing airplay too. But his drop will be much more impactful, as I did not realize how much his pop rating relied on it. He’ll need his next single to be big if he wants to get back in the top five.
  • Luke Bryan tops the airplay chart this week to move up to #9, but like Rhett will see a big drop when he loses it.
  • Kenny Chesney lost his airplay and as a result falls out of the top ten. He should recover soon enough though and re-enter the top ten.
  • Cole Swindell continues to fall and his album sales will need to keep up to prevent the continuous free-falling.
  • Mitchell Tenpenny’s steady rise continues. With the amount of artists set to drop in front of him, he’s poised to make a big jump into the top ten in the coming weeks.
  • Old Dominion remains in the top 15 and are set to peak in airplay. But once that disappears they are in severe danger of dropping out of the top 25.
  • Dierks Bentley makes the biggest jump this week up to #16. His album sales once again balloon up and I don’t understand why. I’m not trying to be snarky nor am I commenting on the quality of his album. Like I legitimately don’t understand how it keeps fluctuating. If he can consistently keep it up, he can solidly remain in the top 15.
  • Carrie Underwood as expected makes a jump this week thanks to “Love Wins” topping the Billboard Digital Song Sales chart. She will see another boost next week since she released another song from her new album that is selling well and will see another boost the following week with the album dropping. I’ll be curious to see how high she can climb the chart.

Next Five Artists Knocking on the Door of the Top 25

  1. Maren Morris
  2. Jon Pardi
  3. Zac Brown Band
  4. Blake Shelton
  5. Carly Pearce

Be sure to weigh in with your thoughts below and feel free to make predictions for next week’s rankings. Feel free to ask questions if you need any clarification on the methodology and rankings.

An Even Closer Look at Country Music’s Streaming Numbers

After writing up my piece on the success of the few in country music today actually embracing streaming, I decided to take an even closer look at the numbers to present an even better look at the genre. Since Spotify is the only platform open with their data and numbers, I will be using data from their platform. Listed below are the number of monthly listeners for 110 artists in country music. They cover a wide spectrum of the genre from past to present, mainstream to independent to give an accurate cross-section of how country music streams. They’re listed in order of highest to lowest listeners per month (numbers in millions unless otherwise noted).

  1. Florida Georgia Line – 12.8
  2. Maren Morris – 12.6
  3. Sam Hunt – 6.4
  4. Johnny Cash – 6.4
  5. Thomas Rhett – 6.3
  6. Dan + Shay – 5.9
  7. Jason Aldean – 5.5
  8. Luke Bryan – 5.5
  9. Keith Urban – 5.1
  10. Kane Brown – 4.9
  11. Kenny Chesney – 4.9
  12. Luke Combs – 4.8
  13. Blake Shelton – 4.6
  14. Dolly Parton – 4.4
  15. Zac Brown Band – 4.3
  16. Eric Church – 4.1
  17. Dierks Bentley – 4.1
  18. Rascal Flatts – 4.0
  19. Dustin Lynch – 4.0
  20. Darius Rucker – 4.0
  21. Carrie Underwood – 3.9
  22. Old Dominion – 3.9
  23. Tim McGraw – 3.9
  24. Chris Young – 3.8
  25. Cole Swindell – 3.8
  26. Jon Pardi – 3.7
  27. Chris Stapleton – 3.5
  28. Jake Owen – 3.4
  29. Brett Young – 3.3
  30. Lady Antebellum – 3.0
  31. Rodney Atkins – 2.8
  32. Alan Jackson – 2.6
  33. Morgan Wallen – 2.6
  34. LANCO – 2.6
  35. Russell Dickerson – 2.6
  36. Chase Rice – 2.6
  37. Josh Turner – 2.5
  38. Jordan Davis – 2.5
  39. Willie Nelson – 2.4
  40. Kelsea Ballerini – 2.4
  41. Brett Eldredge – 2.4
  42. George Strait – 2.3
  43. Brantley Gilbert – 2.3
  44. Little Big Town – 2.3
  45. Brooks & Dunn – 2.1
  46. Miranda Lambert – 2.1
  47. Brothers Osborne – 2.1
  48. Randy Houser – 2.0
  49. LeAnn Rimes – 1.9
  50. Kip Moore – 1.8
  51. Kacey Musgraves – 1.7
  52. Midland – 1.7
  53. Dixie Chicks – 1.6
  54. Dylan Scott – 1.6
  55. Justin Moore – 1.6
  56. Travis Tritt – 1.5
  57. Faith Hill – 1.5
  58. Sugarland – 1.4
  59. Mitchell Tenpenny – 1.4
  60. Chris Janson – 1.4
  61. Waylon Jennings – 1.3
  62. Alabama – 1.3
  63. Danielle Bradbery – 1.3
  64. Easton Corbin – 1.3
  65. Jerrod Niemann – 1.3
  66. Linda Ronstadt – 1.2
  67. Walker Hayes – 1.2
  68. Hank Williams Jr. – 1.1
  69. Merle Haggard – 1.0
  70. Lauren Alaina – 1.0
  71. Gary Allan – 1.0
  72. Alison Krauss – 1.0
  73. Emmylou Harris – 1.0
  74. Clint Black – 910,070
  75. Dwight Yoakam – 905,476
  76. Reba McEntire – 888,062
  77. Jamey Johnson – 885,822
  78. Jo Dee Messina – 824,219
  79. Carly Pearce – 791,799
  80. Kris Kristofferson – 769,426
  81. Cody Johnson – 746,301
  82. Trisha Yearwood – 733,258
  83. Cody Jinks – 725,912
  84. Maddie & Tae – 662,298
  85. Aaron Watson – 630,905
  86. Josh Abbott Band – 628,100
  87. Hank Williams – 621,728
  88. Lee Ann Womack – 617,337
  89. Patty Loveless – 577,957
  90. Sammy Kershaw – 570,943
  91. Tyler Childers – 555,986
  92. Sturgill Simpson – 536,202
  93. Loretta Lynn – 482,320
  94. Turnpike Troubadours – 469,565
  95. Blackberry Smoke – 468,455
  96. Randy Rogers Band – 419,794
  97. Drake White – 414,573
  98. Wheeler Walker Jr. – 393,758
  99. Gretchen Wilson – 393,311
  100. Colter Wall – 385,205
  101. Tanya Tucker – 374,499
  102. The Judds – 292,489
  103. Wade Bowen – 288,212
  104. Ashley McBryde – 277,619
  105. Whitey Morgan and the 78s – 237,902
  106. William Michael Morgan – 204,518
  107. Lindi Ortega – 163,118
  108. Margo Price – 153,908
  109. Nikki Lane – 146,890
  110. Paul Cauthen – 145,392

 

Notes

  • Something interesting that immediately caught my eyes is where the most listeners for each artist come from. The vast majority of artist’s top five cities were Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Houston. Some notable exceptions…
  • Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Jordan Davis, Morgan Wallen, Jake Owen, Margo Price, Danielle Bradbery, Russell Dickerson, Chase Rice, Old Dominion, Dan + Shay, Zac Brown Band and Mitchell Tenpenny, all have the same list except replace Houston with New York City.
  • Maren Morris’ top five cities are London, Quezon City, Philippines; Los Angeles, Chicago and Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Alan Jackson’s top five cities are Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and Oslo, Norway.
  • Lady Antebellum’s top five cities are Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris’ top five cities are London, Los Angeles, Chicago, Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo, Norway.
  • Kris Kristofferson and Alison Krauss’ top five cities are Oslo, Norway; Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta.
  • Linda Ronstadt’s top five cities are Mexico City, Los Angeles, Chicago, London and New York City.
  • LeAnn Rimes’ top five cities are London, Quezon City, Philippines; Jakarta, Indonesia; Makati City, Philippines and Los Angeles.
  • Johnny Cash’s top five cities are London, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Oslo, Norway.
  • Randy Rogers Band and Wade Bowen’s top five cities are Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Fort Worth.
  • Aaron Watson, Turnpike Troubadours and Cody Johnson’s top five cities are Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta and Austin.
  • Josh Abbott Band’s top five cities are Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Austin and San Antonio.
  • Blackberry Smoke’s top five cities are Dallas, Atlanta, London, Chicago and Houston.
  • If an artist didn’t make the list above, it was simply because I chose to stop at 110,00 and wanted to provide a variety of artists across several decades of country music. Some did not make it though because they have less than 100,000 monthly listeners and I chose to not to include these artists.
  • One thing to keep in mind when looking at these numbers is the amount of variables involved in amount of monthly listeners. High-profile features can give a nice boost. Some artists have huge catalogs that can help them have a bunch of monthly listeners, but not necessarily have something from their current album streaming well. One hit can carry an artist’s almost entire streaming numbers, while some have their numbers spread evenly.
  • The Billboard Country Streaming Songs chart factors in Apple Music, Google Play, YouTube and other streaming platforms. Some artists do better on certain platforms and worse on others.
  • Eight of the top 15 artists on this list are ones I mentioned previously as embracing streaming. Brett Young is the lowest of those artists on the list at #29.
  • One last thing: All of these numbers are public data. I’m simply the messenger organizing these numbers into a readable list. Feel free to go on Spotify and see the numbers for yourself and check out any artist I did not mention.