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!
- Florida Georgia Line (#1 Digital Songs) -1
- Luke Combs +1
- Kane Brown (#1 Streaming) -1
- Dan + Shay +1
- Jason Aldean +1
- Thomas Rhett -1
- Brett Young -1
- Chris Stapleton (#1 Album) +1
- Luke Bryan (#1 Airplay) 0
- Miranda Lambert 0
- Bebe Rexha -1
- Kenny Chesney +1
- Cole Swindell +1
- Mitchell Tenpenny -1
- Old Dominion 0
- Dierks Bentley 0
- Sam Hunt 0
- Carrie Underwood 0
- Eric Church +1
- Dylan Scott -1
- Chris Janson +1
- Russell Dickerson -1
- Chris Young -1
- Lauren Alaina 0
- 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
- Maren Morris
- Jon Pardi
- Zac Brown Band
- Blake Shelton
- 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.