Tyler Hubbard scores his first leader as a solo act on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart as “5 Foot 9” ascends to No. 1 on the survey dated Nov. 19. The song increased by 5% to 31.5 million audience impressions in the Nov. 7-13 tracking week, according to Luminate.
Hubbard is half of duo Florida Georgia Line, with Brian Kelley, who is also working solo after pausing their joint career. The twosome has achieved 16 Country Airplay No. 1s, among 19 top 10s. With “5 Foot 9,” Hubbard makes history as the first artist to have topped the chart both with a duo/group and as a soloist, dating to the list’s January 1990 inception.
“To have my solo single go No. 1 is really special and I’m thankful to country radio, the fans and everyone who has supported me and made this possible,” Hubbard tells Billboard.
FGL’s run started in 2012 with its launch smash “Cruise,” which led Country Airplay for three weeks starting that December. (On the streaming-, airplay- and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart, “Cruise,” helped by a pop remix with Nelly, dominated for 24 weeks in 2012-13 and is tied for the fourth-longest reign in the chart’s history.) The tandem most recently ruled Country Airplay as featured on Chase Rice’s “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen.” for a week in August 2021. Before that, the duo’s “Long Live” led for a week that April.
“5 Foot 9” is Hubbard’s second Country Airplay entry apart from Kelley. “Undivided,” with Tim McGraw, reached No. 16 in May 2021.
Hubbard is the second artist to reach the Country Airplay summit after building a chart résumé as part of a hitmaking country duo. Wynonna Judd rattled off three straight initial leaders as a solo act in 1992: “She Is His Only Need,” “I Saw the Light” and “No One Else on Earth.” She and her mother Naomi Judd, as The Judds, rang up 14 No. 1s on Hot Country Songs in 1984-89 (which was then primarily based on radio airplay).
Also of note, Darius Rucker blasted out of the gate as a solo country act with three consecutive Country Airplay leaders in 2008-09 (not counting holiday tracks): “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” “It Won’t Be Like This for Long” and “Alright.” Hootie & The Blowfish, with Rucker as frontman, achieved six top 10s, including three top 10s, on the all-genre, multi-metric Billboard Hot 100 – and crowned multiple pop, adult and rock airplay charts – in 1994-96. The rock-based band has logged one Country Airplay entry: “Hold On” (No. 30, October 2019).
Hubbard co-penned “5 Foot 9” with Jaren Johnston (of The Cadillac Three) and Chase McGill, and co-produced it with Jordan Schmidt.
Hubbard will release his self-titled debut solo album Jan. 27. The Georgia-raised singer-songwriter co-wrote each of the LP’s 18 tracks. He released the six-song EP Dancin’ in the Country, which arrived at No. 12 on the Top Country Albums chart dated Sept. 3. On the Nov. 19-dated survey, it ranks at No. 41 with 5,000 equivalent album units earned in the Nov. 4-10 tracking week.
‘Down Home’ Is Up
Jimmie Allen notches his fourth Country Airplay top 10 as “Down Home” climbs 11-10 (17.3 million, up 3%).
Allen co-wrote the song with Rian Ball, Cameron Bedell and Tate Howell. It’s the lead single from Allen’s full-length Tulip Drive, released in June.
“Down Home” follows Allen’s team-up with Brad Paisley, “Freedom Was a Highway,” which topped Country Airplay for a week in February, granting Allen his third leader (and Paisley his 20th). Allen’s first entry, “Best Shot,” started a three-week rule in November 2018 and “Make Me Want To” led for a week in March 2020. Additionally, Allen’s duet with Noah Cyrus, “This Is Us,” reached No. 48 in October 2020.