The Billboard Hot Country Songs chart is published weekly by the Billboard in the United States. This chart is only one of the categories. Moreover, the table lists the most popular country music songs, calculated weekly by collecting airplay data from Nielsen Broadcast Data System along with digital sales and streaming.
This article would discuss the category under the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart only.
From the legends to the new country artists of today, the songs we love to hear over and over again are being tallied and monitored. Most of our favorite country artists and legends have their songs that topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Nevertheless, there are only a few who placed huge numbers. Read through the article to find out who they are.
Here are the country artists and legends on the list with the most number one singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It also includes some facts their very first and last number one singles as well as the music video of their first top charting songs. Apart from that, the article also comprises their trademark songs.
These are the other country artists with more than 10 number ones.
Garth Brooks (19), Webb Pierce (18), Brad Paisley (18), Earl Thomas Conley (18), Eddie Rabbit (17), Don Williams (17), The Oak Ridge Boys (17), Mickey Gilley (17), Keith Urban (16), Loretta Lynn (16), Marty Robbins (16), Randy Travis (16), Waylon Jennings (15), Carrie Underwood (14), T.G Sheppard (14), Blake Shelton (13), George Jones (13), Clint Black (13), Rascal Flatts (12), Dan Seal (11), Ricky Skaggs (11), Jim Reeves (11), Dierks Bentley (11), Rosanne Cash (11), and Luke Bryan (11).
Without a doubt, George Strait holds the title of having the most number one singles. He holds the record of 44 songs that reached number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. However, there are still other country artists next to him. On the other hand, Dolly Parton tied up with George Strait with the highest number ones. However, not by the number of songs but as the title holder. Indeed, she’s the female country artist to have the most number ones on the hot country chart.
Indeed, George Strait is known as the “King of Country.” Also, he is one of the most influential recording artists of all time. He, on the other hand, is one of the artists to bring country music back to its roots. And as mentioned above, he holds the record of having the most number one singles. His last number one single on the Billboard was “River of Love” recorded on April 18, 2009.
Meanwhile, “Fool Hearted Memory” was his very first number one and was cited on August 28, 1982. Nevertheless, George Strait keeps recording and releasing songs. With this, he’ll surely put some more. “Amarillo by Morning” is his trademark single.
If only Conway Twitty is alive, perhaps, he will be the only country artist to surpass George Strait. However, “The High Priest of Country Music” left us with 40 number one singles. A very close number to George Strait. On November 2, 1968, “Next in Line” became Conway Twitty’s very first number one single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
His final number one entitled “Desperado Love” was documented back on September 6, 1986. “Hello, Darlin” was his hallmark.
“The Hag” Merle Haggard is third on the list. He has a total of 38 entries on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. However, Merle Haggard has two very first number singles.
First, “The Fugitive” on March 4, 1967. Second, “Branded Man” was documented as number one on September 2, 1967.
Moreover, his final number one song was “Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star” was documented on February 20, 1988. “Okie from Muskogee” is his signature single.
Ronnie Milsap sets his record in 1970’s to 1980’s. He has a total of 35 number ones on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. In 1974, he released his two very first number ones. These were “Pure Love” cited on June 1, 1974, and “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends” cited on September 7, 1974.
While his last to top the chart was on March 11, 1989 “Don’t You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurting Me) and December 23, 1989, with “A Woman in Love.”
Ronnie Milsap’s trademark song is “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends.”
Indeed, Alabama is the most successful band in country music history. On the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, the group has 33 number ones. As of June 4, 2011, “Old Alabama” along with Brad Paisley was their last number one. Surely, there will be more.
Meanwhile, the band’s very first number ones were “Tennessee River” documented on August 16, 1980, and “Why Lady Why” on December 13, 1980.
“Angels Among Us” didn’t place at number one yet it became their hallmark song.
Charley Pride is considered the most successful African American to penetrate the world of country music. With this, he has a record of 29 number one singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. His very first number one singles were dated back on August 9, 1969, with “All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)”
and on December 13, 1969, with (I’m So) Afraid of Losing You Again”.
Meanwhile, his last single to top the chart was on February 26, 1983, with “Why Baby Why” and “Night Games” on September 17, 1983. Charley Pride’s signature song is “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’.”
Alan Jackson is one of the standards in the country music business. Also, he is considered as one of the best-selling male artists of all time. On the Billboard chart, he placed a total of 26 number one hits.
His very first number ones are “I’d Love You All Over Again” that charted on March 9, 1991,
“Don’t Rock the Jukebox” charted on July 6, 1991, and “Someday” charted on November 9, 1991.
On the other hand, his last song to the top the chart was on November 20, 2010, with his song ‘As She’s Walking Away”. The song was a collaboration with Zac Brown Band. Alan Jackson’s hallmark song is “Remember When.”
Another on the list with 26 number ones is Tim McGraw. Additionally, he is also considered as one of the most influential country artists of his generation. On the other hand, his very first number one is “Don’t Take the Girl” dated back to May 28, 1994. His last to the top is “Humble and Kind” on April 23, 2016.
Lastly, Tim McGraw’s signature songs are “Please Remember Me” and “It’s Your Love,” a duet song with his wife, Faith Hill.
The “America’s Sweetheart” Dolly Parton is truly one of a kind. She has a personality that is loved by the people, especially the country music obsessives. Also, she provided us with 25 number ones. She tied up with George Strait, not by numbers, but as a title holder.
First, she charted “Joshua” on February 6, 1971.
Meanwhile, her last song to chart was on March 4, 2006, with “When I Get Where I’m Going,” a collaboration with Brad Paisley. Her signature song is “Jolene” which also charted at number one spot on February 2, 1974. And for the people who didn’t know, Dolly Parton was the original and the songwriter of the best song of all time “I Will Always Love You.”
Yes, Reba McEntire is referred to as the “Queen of Country Music” due to her attainments. Not only did she sell a million copies of records but she also has other achievements. She is not just a singer but also a songwriter, actress, and a record producer. On the other hand, Reba McEntire has 24 entries on the hot country chart.
Her very first was on January 8, 1983, with “Can’t Even Get the Blues”
and “You’re the First Time I’ve Thought About Leaving” on April 30, 1983. Reba McEntire’s signature song is “Fancy.”
Next on the list is Kenny Chesney. He has a total of 23 number ones on the hot country chart. He is one of the first male country artists to crossover to country pop. Nevertheless, his songs and style somewhat give the taste of the real country. Kenny Chesney’s first number one to enter the said chart is “She’s Got it All” which is documented back on August 30, 1997.
Meanwhile, his last to the top was on October 22, 2016, with his massive hit “Setting the World on Fire.” Kenny Chesney’s signature song is “You Had Me from Hello.” In connection with this, the song is also a dedication to his wife.
Buck Owens and his band The Buckaroos pioneered the Bakersfield Sound which named after Bakersfield, California. He called it his home and the American Music. In his career, he placed a total of 21 number ones on the hot country song chart.
His very first was on January 15, 1963, called “Act Naturally” and October 19, 1963, called “Love’s Gonna Live Here.”
His last single to top the chart was on October 15, 1988, entitled “Streets of Bakersfield,” a collaboration with Dwight Yoakam. Buck Owens’ signature song is “I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail” which also reached the number one spot on February 20, 1965.
Sonny James was known as the “Southern Gentleman” due to his friendly manner. Also, he was the very first to co-host the Country Music Association Awards in 1967. Moreover, he has a total of 21 songs to top the hot country chart.
His very first was on January 23, 1965, with his hit “You’re the only world I Know” and “Behind the Tear” charted on October 9, 1965.
His last song to the top was on May 11, 1974, was his single “Is It Wrong (For Loving You). Meanwhile, his signature song is “Young Love.”
Kenny Rogers “The Gambler” has the most distinct voice in country music. His voice can move us, it’s either he can make our eyes water or sweep us off our feet. Sadly, he has retired to focus on his health and family. Nevertheless, he left us with 21 singles that reached number one and of course, to remember his legacy by.
His very first song to top is “Lucille” that charted on April 2, 1977, and “Daytime Friends” charted on October 1, 1977.
Meanwhile, Kenny Rogers’ signature song is “The Gambler” which also reached at number one spot on December 16, 1978.
Willie Nelson is indeed on the list. He has a total of 20 number one songs on the hot country chart. His very first was on October 4, 1975, entitled “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.”
Meanwhile, his last to the top is “Beer for my Horses” which charted on June 14, 2003. The song is a collaboration with Toby Keith. Not to mention, the song perhaps, is the most acclaimed of his career since it spent six weeks at number one and a total of 39 weeks on the chart. Willie Nelson’s signature song is “On the Road Again” which also placed at number one on November 8, 1980.
Brooks and Dunn…
Brooks and Dunn is the most successful duo in country music history. They have been loved by millions of country supporters all over the globe. Also, they have sold a million records and cited platinum and multi-platinum albums.
Their very first number one is “Brand New Man” that charted on September 7, 1991, and “My Next Broken Heart” charted on December 21, 1991.
Brooks and Dunn’s signature hall is “Believe.” However, the song didn’t reach number one but it reached the number 8 spot.
Toby Keith is not just a singer but also an actor. Nevertheless, he is more loved through his great music. On the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, he has 20 entries. His very first was charted back on June 5, 1993, entitled “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.”
His last to top the chart is “Made in America” which charted on October 15, 2011. Additionally, Toby Keith’s signature song is also his very first to top the chart.
Indeed, Tammy Wynette was the “First Lady of Country Music.” She earned the respect of the country music industry due to her achievements and perception as a woman. She is a legend who became a standard in the world of music. Tammy Wynette is no longer with us. Despite her absence, she left us with 20 songs that reached number one. Also, these songs would remind us of her great music and legacy.
Her very first to top the chart are “My Elusive Dreams” charted on September 16, 1967, a collaboration with David Houston and “I Don’t Wanna Play House” charted on October 14, 1967.
Tammy Wynette’s signature song is “Stand by Your Man.” The song was very controversial.
The Billboard charts tabulate the relative weekly popularity of songs and albums in the United States and elsewhere. The results are published through the Billboard Magazine. The tables can be ranked according to sales, streams or airplay, and for main song charts. Various categories are depending on the genre. Moreover, the weekly sales and streams charts are monitored on a Friday-to-Thursday cycle.
Billboard started compiling the popularity of country songs on January 8, 1944. The songs under the jukebox genre were tabulated back then with the chart name “Most Played Juke Box Folk Records.” For a decade, from 1948 to 1958, Billboard used three charts to measure the popularity of the songs. Aside from jukebox, “Best Selling Retail Folk Records” and “Country & Western Records Most Played by Folk Disk Jockeys” were the mediums, too.
In June 1957, the jukebox was discontinued. Billboard began combining sales and radio airplay in figuring a song’s overall popularity, counting them in one single chart called “Hot C&W Sides.” The chart was published until October 27, 1962. Then, the chart was renamed to “Hot Country Singles” until 1990. On February 17, 1990, the chart was retitled to “Hot Country Singles and Tracks.” Finally, on April 30, 2005, the name was changed to “Hot Country Songs,” and it’s the same name Billboard use up to the present. This list includes the Juke Box, Best Sellers, and Jockeys charts, as well as the current “Hot Country Songs” chart.
The list is updated according to the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart website. Nevertheless, the country artists who are still creating, penning, and selling music can always add more. The results may change weekly and monthly.
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Alabama, Alan Jackson, brooks and dunn, buck owens, Charley Pride, conway twitty, Dolly Parton, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, kenny rogers, merle haggard, Reba McEntire, ronnie milsap, sonny james, Tammy Wynette, tim mcgraw, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson
It’s my understanding Crystal Gayle should also be on this list with about 18 or so #1 hits.