Bebe Rexha’s “Meant To Be” Ties Another Country Record, Looks to Extend #1 Run

It’s 24 weeks atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for Bebe Rexha’s collaboration with Florida Georgia Line, “Meant To Be.” This means the song first recorded and released solely as a pop single has now tied Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” for the 2nd longest-running #1 single in the Billboard Hot Country Songs history. Only Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Backroad” has held forth at the #1 spot for longer when it spent 34 weeks at #1. The question is now, when will the run of Bebe Rexha’s pop dominance of the Country Songs chart end?

The momentum for “Meant To Be” is beginning to show small signs of fading, though the fade is slower than expected on radio. Though still solidly at #1, the song’s 21.8 million streams in the United States last week was down 5%. The Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart tabulates streams, sales, and radio play into a song’s chart performance. “Meant to Be” slipped from the top spot on the Country Digital Songs Sales chart where it was #1 for 19 straight weeks, falling 13% to 28,000 downloads, and beaten by Luke Combs’ “Beautiful Crazy” for #1.

But “Meant To Be” still reigns on the Country Streaming Songs chart at #1, and is showing stubbornness on country radio. It hit #1 on radio a few weeks ago, which in this day and age is usually proceeded by a precipitous fall often completely out of the Country Airplay charts in two or three weeks. But “Meant To Be” remains in the Top 5, giving it a total of 8 weeks in one of the five top spots. The song’s overall audience on radio only fell 5% last week. This is similar to the path “Body Like a Backroad” took on it’s historic run, where after the song peaked, it remained on radio for an extended period, boosting it’s standing on the Hot Country Songs chart as well.

At this point it looks promising for Bebe Rexha to beat Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” by making it 25 weeks on the chart, but we’ll have to see. Multiple other songs are surging, and Sam Hunt just released a new single “Downtown’s Dead” that could depose “Meant To Be” sooner than later, if another song like Kane Brown’s “Heaven” or Luke Comb’s “Beautiful Crazy” doesn’t do it before.

The run of “Meant To Be” has underscored the upside down nature of country music in 2018, where pop stars and collaborations are dominating charts for what are supposed to be country artists. Bebe Rexha is already the longest-running woman at #1 in the Hot Country Songs chart history, without a lick of history in the genre otherwise.

Other notable moves on the chart include Jason Aldean’s “Drowns The Whiskey” with Miranda Lambert coming in as the most added song on country radio last week, which is good since Miranda’s current single “Keeper of the Flame” is mired at #58. It might not even make it the Top 40 at this pace. Any gains for Chris Stapleton’s “Millionaire” are also moderate. It fell from #48 to #49 last week.

Meanwhile Kenny Chesney has two songs in the Top 10 with his latest single “Get Along,” and his collaboration with David Lee Murphy, “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” at #7.  Same goes for Florida Georgia Line, who has both their collaboration with Bebe Rexha, and “Up Down” with Morgan Wallen in the Mediabase Top 10. All that attention for Florida Georgia Line and Chesney, and meanwhile the only country woman in the Country Airplay Top 20 at the moment is Carrie Underwood with “Cry Pretty.”

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