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!
- Luke Combs (#1 Streaming) +1
- Dan + Shay (#1 Digital Songs) +1
- Kane Brown -1
- Chris Stapleton (#1 Album) +1
- Florida Georgia Line -1
- Jason Aldean +1
- Thomas Rhett 0
- Bebe Rexha -1
- Mitchell Tenpenny -1
- Brett Young -1
- Sam Hunt 0
- Jimmie Allen +1
- Eric Church +1
- Josh Turner 0
- Jake Owen -1
- Carrie Underwood 0
- Lauren Alaina 0
- Jon Pardi +1
- Cody Johnson +1
- Blake Shelton 0
The Ultimate Pulse: +2
Notes & Observations
- New Arrivals: Josh Turner, Jon Pardi, Cody Johnson & Blake Shelton
- Departures: Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Cole Swindell, Old Dominion and Maddie & Tae
- The Ultimate Pulse drops one spot to +2 this week. As expected Jason Isbell and Maddie & Tae drop out. Meanwhile Cole Swindell and Old Dominion both see a big drop in sales to fall off the chart.
- Luke Combs is the new #1 this week, his third reign at the top of The Ultimate Pulse. His consistent sales and ever impressive streaming numbers continue to make him the one to beat on the chart.
- Dan + Shay surprisingly rise to #2 for a new all-time for the duo. Just like Combs they continue to steadily put up great numbers in sales and streaming.
- Kane Brown falls to #3 coming off a big sales bump from a new single. As always he’ll rebound and is due for a huge week when his album drops.
- Chris Stapleton finally takes the #4 spot away from Florida Georgia Line, making nice gains in both sales and streaming. If he keeps these kind of gains up he can challenge easily for the top three.
- Jason Aldean rises back up to #6, as “Girl Like You” is getting good sales to allow for the rebound. Aldean and the rest of the chart are still a long way behind the top five though.
- Brett Young re-enters the top ten due to finally stabilizing his pop rating from free-falling and artists in front of him falling off in their own pop rating. His new single is still not selling well though.
- Sam Hunt jumps up to #11, despite releasing two new singles in three years, because the chart is so damn weak. I know I’m beating a dead horse pointing out the weakness of the chart at this point, but it’s worth reminding just how pathetic the genre’s artists are right now outside of the top five. The top five are shining, while the rest are throwing shit against the wall that temporarily sticks.
- Josh Turner makes his debut on The Ultimate Pulse of Country Music at #14. His new gospel album sold quite well and it’s a good career move for an artist that is no longer mainstream viable. Unfortunately for me I don’t care about gospel music and I can’t be bothered to listen to this album, as I have better music to spend time on.
- Cody Johnson makes his return to The Ultimate Pulse after being apart of one of the inaugural charts. He released several songs from his new upcoming album due in January and “Dear Rodeo” was the best seller by far. It’s a solid song about Johnson’s time and reflection on his days in the rodeo. It’s worth checking out.
- Finally Blake Shelton makes hid debut on The Ultimate Pulse of Country Music at #20. He beat out both Dierks Bentley and Brothers Osborne in a tiebreaker to take the final spot. The combination of sales from his greatest hits album and his current single “Turnin’ Me On” allowed him to make his debut (and of course the weakness of the chart). The single is just okay, as it really doesn’t earn much of a reaction out of me.
Next Five Artists Knocking on the Door of the Top 20
- Dierks Bentley
- Brothers Osborne
- Zac Brown Band
- Cole Swindell
- Maren Morris
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.