Hot Country Songs
Hot Country Songs is a chart published weekly by Billboard magazine
Billboard (magazine)
Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry, and is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. It maintains several internationally recognized music charts that track the most popular songs and albums in various categories on a weekly basis...

 in the United States.

This 60-position chart lists the most popular country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 songs, calculated weekly mostly by airplay and occasionally commercial sales. The chart does not count music download
Music download
A music download is the transferral of music from an Internet-facing computer or website to a user's local computer. This term encompasses both legal downloads and downloads of copyright material without permission or payment...

s towards chart tabulation (although singles that are only available as downloads do chart if they receive enough airplay).

The current number-one song, as of the chart dated for December 10, 2011, is "We Owned the Night
We Owned the Night
"We Owned the Night" is the title of a song recorded by American country music trio Lady Antebellum. It was released in August 2011 as the second single from their third studio album Own the Night...

" by Lady Antebellum
Lady Antebellum
Lady Antebellum is an American country pop music group formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 2006. The trio is composed of Charles Kelley , Dave Haywood and Hillary Scott .The group made its debut in 2007 as guest vocalists on Jim Brickman's single "Never Alone", before signing to Capitol...



Billboard began compiling the popularity of country songs with its January 8, 1944 issue. Only the genre's most popular jukebox
A jukebox is a partially automated music-playing device, usually a coin-operated machine, that will play a patron's selection from self-contained media...

 selections were tabulated, with the chart titled "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records." The chart length was not standardized; a given week had anywhere from two to eight positions.

For approximately ten years, from 1948–1958, Billboard used three charts to measure the popularity of a given song. In addition to the jukebox chart, these charts included:
  • The "best sellers" chart – started May 15, 1948 as "Best Selling Retail Folk Records." This chart had anywhere from 10-20 positions during its ten-year life, with the number of positions varying each week.
  • A "jockeys" chart – started December 10, 1949 as "Country & Western Records Most Played By Folk Disk Jockeys." This chart had anywhere from eight to 15 positions, varying from week to week.

The names of each chart changed slightly during each chart's life. The "jukebox" chart – which by 1956 was known as "Most Played C&W in Juke Boxes" – ended on June 17, 1957. The "best sellers" and "jockeys" charts continued until October 13, 1958.

Starting with the October 20, 1958 issue, 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 began with a standard length of 30 positions each week. The name of the chart, and the number of positions varied through the years: Its name was switched to "Hot Country Singles" on November 3, 1962; it was expanded to 50 slots on January 11, 1964; then 75 on October 15, 1966; and finally 100 beginning July 14, 1973.

On January 20, 1990, the Hot Country Singles chart was reduced back to 75 positions and began to be compiled entirely from information provided by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems
Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems
Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, better known as BDS, is a service that tracks monitored radio, television and internet airplay of songs based on the number of spins and detections...

, a system which electronically monitors radio airplay of songs. Four weeks later, on February 17, the chart was retitled "Hot Country Singles & Tracks." Beginning with the January 13, 2001 issue, the chart was cut from 75 to 60 positions to reduce the number of album cuts that were reaching the charts; and effective April 30, 2005 the chart was renamed "Hot Country Songs".

From its inception in 1973 through August 2009, American Country Countdown
American Country Countdown
American Country Countdown, also known as ACC or American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks, is an internationally syndicated radio program which counts down the top 30 country songs of the previous week, from No. 30 to No. 1, according to the Mediabase country chart...

used this chart in its programming, using the top 40 singles/tracks on it for each week.

Chart policies

As with most other Billboard charts, the Hot Country Songs chart features a rule for when a song enters recurrent rotation
Recurrent rotation
Recurrent rotation refers to a group of songs still frequently aired on a contemporary hit radio station even several months or even years after the initial debut. It is also used to describe core songs in other radio formats as well...

. Starting with the chart week of December 2, 2006, a song is declared recurrent on the country charts if it has been on the charts longer than twenty weeks; is not gaining in spin
Spin (radio)
In radio broadcasting, a spin is a single play of a song. The term is also used as a unit to measure popularity, typically in spins per week...

s or audience impressions; and is lower than #10 in rank for either audience impressions or spins. Since December 2008, any song that has not shown an increase in audience or spins for more than two weeks is also declared recurrent, even if it has not charted for twenty weeks.

External links

See also

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