Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line claim the record for the longest-ruling No. 1 in the history of Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart, which began as an all-encompassing genre songs survey in 1958, as “Meant to Be” (released on Warner Bros./Big Machine Label Group) logs its 35th week in the penthouse on the Aug. 4-dated list. The song passes Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road,” which led for 34 weeks in 2017.
“Meant” has spent its entire run at No. 1, dating to its arrival at the summit on the Dec. 16, 2017-dated chart, which blends airplay, streaming and sales data.
Rexha and FGL’s Tyler Hubbard wrote “Meant” with Josh Miller and David Garcia. “I’m so honored to be a writer and an artist on this song,” Hubbard tells Billboard. “I’m thankful to just be one of the many people who put so much energy and effort into making music history. Now, it’s time to get back in the studio and try to break the new record.”
Duo partner Brian Kelley adds, “The power of music continues to blow our minds, and we are extremely humbled and thankful that ‘Meant’ has spent the better part of a year at the top. The connection we feel with our fans through our music is extra special with this song. Bebe and her camp were a blast to work with.”
Beneath “Meant” and “Back Road,” FGL boasts the third- and fifth-longest commands on Hot Country Songs: debut hit “Cruise” ruled for 24 weeks in 2012-13 and “H.O.L.Y.” dominated for 18 weeks in 2016. (Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk on By” ranks fourth with 19 weeks at No. 1 in 1961-62.)
As the duo has ownership of three of the five longest-leading Hot Country Songs No. 1s, BMLG executive vice president Jimmy Harnen says, “For Florida Georgia Line to have three in the top five is absolutely nuclear. We send out a big thank you to all of the believers.”
Says Rexha, “I’m grateful to be able to create music that allows me to push limits and push myself. I’m grateful for all the love and warmth from the country community [and give] credit to country greats who influenced me: Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Dixie Chicks, Shania Twain, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and so many more. Here’s to writing with your heart and breaking boundaries.”
“Meant” crowns Country Streaming Songs for a 31st week (13.1 million U.S. streams, according to Nielsen Music) and holds at No. 6 on Country Digital Song Sales (10,000 sold), which it led for 22 frames. “Meant” also topped the Country Airplay chart dated April 28. Dually promoted to country and pop radio, it led Adult Pop Songs for two weeks and the all-genre Radio Songs chart for five frames.