George Strait’s Cumulative #1’s Record Wrecked by Florida Georgia Line & Billboard
Pure pop star Bebe Rexha’s “Meant To Be” collaboration with Florida Georgia Line has now spent 33 consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, meaning it’s only one week away from tying the all-time record for consecutive weeks on the chart, and only two weeks away from beating it. You read correctly: we’re only two weeks from a pop star being able to boast the biggest single in the 59-year history of the country charts. And right now there is no foreseeable challenger to knock it out in the next week or two, or beyond.
“Meant To Be” is not an era-defining song like Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” was. It’s just a middle-of-the-road pop song that is being artificially enhanced by Billboard’s chart rules that allow spins in the pop and adult contemporary world to count on country charts. Soon the annals of country history will show no other song was as successful as “Meant To Be,” but that’s not the only bad that can be tied back to the song.
“Meant To Be” also recently helped Florida Georgia Line shatter what once was thought a bulletproof record—George Strait’s cumulative frames for songs cresting a week at #1. With a whopping 45 total #1’s spanning over a quarter century in the business, there’s a reason Strait earned the nickname “King” George over his Hall of Fame career. Yet now his reign of 84 total weeks of holding on to #1 when combining all his singles together has been snapped thanks to “Meant To Be,” Florida Georgia Line, and the flawed way of measuring the success of modern country singles.
With only thirteen #1 songs—and with the aid of “Cruise” and “Meant To Be” being embellished by Billboard’s new chart rules first implemented in 2012—Florida Georgia Line have now accumulated 89 cumulative weeks at #1. In total, 57 of those weeks are due to only two songs—“Cruise” and “Meant to Be”—both of which benefited significantly from radio play in the pop world.
To put it in perspective:
#1 Singles It Took to Set Cumulative #1 Record:
George Strait: 45 Florida Georgia Line: 13
Years It Took to Set Cumulative #1 Record:
George Strait: 26 Florida Georgia Line: 6
Albums Released to Set Cumulative #1 Record:
George Strait: 21 Florida Georgia Line: 3
Nobody would make the case that Florida Georgia Line’s impact on country music has been greater than George Strait’s, singles or otherwise. Perhaps after two more decades, they could make that argument. But for now, it’s ridiculous beyond belief to even ponder.
Billboard has been completely deaf to the concerns raised about the aberrations appearing on their genre charts, despite the history-shattering and skewed outcomes their chart logic has resulted in. About the only silver lining is that all the illustrations of the absurdity of the Hot Country Songs chart render it virtually useless to the public aside from proving how catastrophic Billboard’s 2012 chart changes have ultimately become.
Florida Georgia Line may have the record, but “King” George Strait still wears the crown.
July 19, 2018 @ 8:23 am
That picture of Florida Georgia Line is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen.
July 19, 2018 @ 8:33 am
You can post just about any given Florida Georgia Line photo these days without commentary as pure comedic fodder. I don’t believe in judging music by how an artist looks, but the outlandish and ridiculous dress Florida Georgia Line’s image consultants are imposing upon them is arguably worse than their music.
July 19, 2018 @ 8:43 am
I try not to judge based on appearance either, but sometimes it’s just like… really? Really?!
And usually it’s easy to tell whether an artist’s music is good or not based on what clothes/costumes they wear.
July 19, 2018 @ 9:26 am
There caption reads Chandler Bing standing next to a coked up pimp—it’s hard to find a shed of credibility.
July 19, 2018 @ 8:33 pm
Are you guys serious??? They look dressed like they could just show up here on my family farm in the morning and milk cows and bale hay all day with me. Seriously though, my granddaddy would say, aww, why they pretty son, I wonder who’s a pitching and who’s a catching with those two. And if he knew they were so called “country singers” he’d roll over in his damn grave right now. Damn shame what country music has come to.
July 20, 2018 @ 6:38 am
George Strait is a respectable country music singer but even he would.be apauld with the moronic sexually biased words you spit out. Isinuating that you believe Florida Georgia line to be Gay?? What does that have to do with their musical talent? ignorance is a reason why people commit hate crimes
July 20, 2018 @ 2:24 pm
Damn Cathy, I guess I should apologize for how you took my comment. I just assumed everyone knew they were both married men, to women, and kinda got the joke there but apparently I somehow would’ve even offended King George himself, although personally I think he would’ve got it. My apologies though ma’am.
July 21, 2018 @ 6:47 pm
I apologize to you chad. You are a true gentleman. I don’t listen to too much new country. Being from the valley I grew up loving country music because my daddy listened to Johnny cash, Marty Robbins and the great Merle Haggard. I should have researched before responding
July 20, 2018 @ 4:12 pm
Stupid ass comment, cathy.
July 20, 2018 @ 4:14 pm
I thought Cathy’s comment was fine.
July 21, 2018 @ 2:23 pm
Out of that you got hate crimes?
July 19, 2018 @ 8:29 am
I agree with you completely that the damage done by Billboard is a travesty. That being said, if Billboard can no longer be used as a reliable measure of what country is, then maybe it’s time for the industry to discard them and replace them with a more authentic source to rank country singles. I understand the business and financial entanglements of Billboard and the country music industry so this might easily happen.
Sooner rather than later though, country music artists and industry folk are going to have to do something to draw the line between pop and country or they are going to be completely taken over by the pop machine.
July 19, 2018 @ 9:22 am
The industry loves this. It legitimizes the crap they are putting out..
July 19, 2018 @ 6:41 pm
In my opinion, however, the industry is tonedeaf. The only sound that registers with them is the ringing of a bell on a cash register. They don’t care about history or tradition, and they seem to have respect only for the dollar bill. Yes, it’s a business. However, it’s based on the history of an entire genre of music, and the respect due that genre.
July 20, 2018 @ 8:06 pm
Similar to the steroids era in baseball, any records broken during the current era of country music should appear in the record books with an asterisk beside them.
July 21, 2018 @ 10:24 am
Texas red dirt country. . . My local station The Outlaw 101.3 is all about what real country music is..
July 19, 2018 @ 8:30 am
Guess the “participation trophy” days have hit the charts as well. Pathetic. Billboard has become a total joke. If I were on this record, knowing that the “rules” are now so skewed, I would certainly not brag about this “accomplishment”. Team Strait all the way!
July 19, 2018 @ 8:30 am
“might NOT easily happen.”
July 19, 2018 @ 8:39 am
That’s good news! Congratulations! They are the ”Kings” of country music now.Who cares about George Strait or Hank Williams. Thanks Billboard!
July 20, 2018 @ 4:47 am
George Strait will always be the king of Country music. He is the real deal. Florida Georgia line is a joke.
July 19, 2018 @ 8:48 am
Neither these poseur bros has one tenth the talent of the least competent musician to ever play in King George’s band. Any chart with rules that let Cole Swindell get to #1 are a joke anyway.
July 19, 2018 @ 8:58 am
I mean does this really matter, FGL has literally never released a song that even comes close to a single George Strait song.
It bothers me to no end that someone can Google “Top Country Songs Ever” and a song by these morons is the top result. But at the end of the day, we all know county music, and this really makes no difference in the grand scheme of things.
Long Live the KING!
July 19, 2018 @ 1:14 pm
As many have pointed out, if you cue up a smart speaker or ask google “Play a country song,” it’s going to select “Meant To Be.” Try it and it works, unfortunately. That’s why we can call these charts irrelevant all day, but ultimately they go on to define the music of an era. That’s why it’s so important we speak up and offer spirited dissent about what is happening.
July 21, 2018 @ 6:00 am
I tried it and I got “Humble and Kind.”
of course I also think spending that kind of money on a voice activated speaker that has a very limited selection of music is ridiculous. I’ll stick with my big ass CD player and my room with three phonographs in it. (I had one per room but I added a 55 inch tv to the game room so the phonograph sits where the Wii U sat and the Wii U got to join its brethren in the game room. it stayed in the great room because the friends love the multiplayer option but now its in the game room on a bigger tv)
UPDATE so the second song out of the voice activated speaker is from some guy I’ve never heard of called David Ashley, song called Parker from Powder Springs… it’s at least Country enough. the guitars are overdone but at least it sounds like Country Music. not going to try for three in a row. about to ask for some Tennessee Mafia Jug Band
July 19, 2018 @ 9:17 am
Hey Trig, are you gonna be at Scoot Inn tonight? I’ll be there with my wife having a blast. I’ll have an Astros hat on so if you see me, I’ll buy you a beer my friend. I’m so pumped to finally get to see Tyler rock out!!!
July 19, 2018 @ 9:35 am
Unfortunately I will not. I’m currently en route to the West Coast for my annual festival run looking for the next Sturgill Simpson, but you have fun!
July 19, 2018 @ 12:07 pm
Sturg is next on the list! Can’t wait to read your reporton that! You too man!
July 19, 2018 @ 9:30 am
Maybe it is time to start ignoring the Hot Country Songs chart?
Record Research is publishing an updated version of its Top Country Singles book next week (now covering 1944-2017), and for all songs that have charted since the introduction of the Hot Country Songs chart in 2012, the Hot Country Airplay peak is the primary peak position listed. The Hot Country Songs peak is listed further on the line of data for the song, but if you scan the left side of an artist’s entry, you’ll see the Airplay peak.
So, since Record Research has decided to continue with Hot Country Airplay as the primary Country chart, I assume that the chart facts at the end of the book — like cumulative weeks at #1, most Top 10 hits, etc. — will not include Hot Country Songs data, which means FGL will still be way behind George Strait for cumulative weeks at #1.
July 19, 2018 @ 9:31 am
*Sorry, meant to say the new book is out next month (August 2018).
July 19, 2018 @ 10:51 am
Yes, this was an interesting decision by Record Research. They don’t usually make sort of editorial decisions like this. They usually just go with what Billboard says is the main genre chart but in this case they are going their own way.
July 19, 2018 @ 10:09 am
Seeing Miranda Lambert tonight. Pretty damn pumped.
Dirt Road Derek
July 19, 2018 @ 10:10 am
If FGL had accomplished this by previous chart standards I would be commending them, regardless of the negative comments I would receive for doing so. But the fact that this is the result of a flawed charting system makes it very frustrating and disappointing.
July 19, 2018 @ 10:35 am
Maybe Florida Georgia Line will go on to become legends of music. I personally shudder to think of it. But if they were, I think even they would want to do it without a cloud hanging over them about how the numbers were tabulated, and with an asterisk by their name. It’s pretty simple logic—let country charts reflect country music activity. George Strait certainly never benefited from spins on pop radio. Nor did more pop-oriented acts during his era.
Dirt Road Derek
July 19, 2018 @ 10:47 am
Although I do like Florida Georgia Line, I just can’t see them achieving Strait legendary status. They’re hella popular, but their songs are food stand hot dogs, whereas Strait’s are steakhouse filet mignon. And “Meant To Be” is a snow cone.
July 19, 2018 @ 10:50 am
Nah, meant to be is a turd sandwich. And it sounds like you don’t mind eating it.
Dirt Road Derek
July 19, 2018 @ 10:58 am
Anything is good eating with a shot of Louisiana Hot Sauce, and the perfect side to a turf sandwich is a pile of dried, white dog turds. Crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. You should try some.
How’s your switch to rap going? Made an iHeart playlist yet? Or have you been to busy struggling to come up with oh-so-clever comments like this one?
July 19, 2018 @ 11:43 am
Dirt, Valhalla just called and said they want their beard back.
Dirt Road Derek
July 19, 2018 @ 11:59 am
Hell no, they already took all the hair from the top of my head! They aren’t getting the rest!
July 19, 2018 @ 10:53 am
Not to mention that they are listed as a featured artist and aren’t even the lead artist listed which is also a scourge on the music industry.
July 19, 2018 @ 1:18 pm
Yeah, did George Strait ever attach his name to a pop star to pad his stats for 33 weeks at #1?
July 19, 2018 @ 2:10 pm
I tried to post a fact filled response to you here but it didn’t show and said I was posting comments to fast when it was the first comment I had made in a couple hours or so.
July 22, 2018 @ 12:34 pm
Scotty – I also got that message a couple of days ago when I hadn’t typed a comment in days. But I just hit POST again and it went right through. Wonder if anyone else is getting this?
July 19, 2018 @ 12:25 pm
Woooww. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it was for you to utter those words Trigger lol
July 19, 2018 @ 10:17 am
George is way overdue for a new album. Has anybody heard anything regarding that?
July 19, 2018 @ 10:35 am
Yeah …..absolutely loved COLD BEER CONVERSATION
The ironic thing about the FGL school of crap music is that it REALLY makes you grateful and even more appreciative of guys like George , AJ , and all of the greats whose music we have even greater access to than ever . I could not love those greats more than I do in these times. ….They are the oases in the madness ….the lifeboats …the sane voices …the TALENT so terribly and obviously absent from most new radio stuff.
July 19, 2018 @ 10:39 am
I keep holding out hope he’ll put out something involving Ray Benson and friends sort of like Merle did with the Playboys back in the day. Mexico Way on that last AATW album was great.
July 19, 2018 @ 10:25 am
July 19, 2018 @ 10:34 am
George will always be king in my book.
July 19, 2018 @ 11:25 am
Well in good news, Cody Jinks’ “Somewhere Between I Love You and I’m Leaving” was awesome as one would expect.
July 24, 2018 @ 6:17 am
THIS song is what I miss about country – amazing tune. I just texted my cousin about it……God Bless Cody Jinks….
July 19, 2018 @ 12:13 pm
George Strait will stand the test of time long after FGL is a footnote in country music history. Convoy by C.W. McCall spent more time at the number one slot than Good Hearted Woman by Waylon Jennings in 1976. Which song do you listen to these days?
July 19, 2018 @ 1:55 pm
I listen to both
July 19, 2018 @ 3:07 pm
George Strait will still be selling records bigtime 5, 10, 15 years from now if he still wants to make them – I doubt that will be the case with FGL or 99 percent of the C-level rock acts now called “country”.
Floyd J Tackett
July 19, 2018 @ 12:35 pm
They will never have 50 number 1 hits like George Strait does
July 19, 2018 @ 12:39 pm
FGL may beat George Strait record. FGL are still clowns and George Strait is still the king.
it only indicates the extent to which the cultural output went down to the toilet.
July 19, 2018 @ 12:50 pm
I’m not the biggest George Strait fan out there, but this is bullshit. Those douchebags can’t hold a candle to him.
July 19, 2018 @ 1:05 pm
As disturbing as this is, I think the real test about FGL vs. George Strait (or fill in the blank of any true country legend) will be this: will we be singing their songs 30 years from now? I can’t say with certainty, but my gut tells me no.
John Pardi covers “Nobody in His Right Mind”. Randall King covers “If You’re Thinking You Want a Stranger”. Wade Bowen does “A Fire I Can’t Put Out”. I even saw Garth live recently and he covers “Amarillo By Morning” and “The Chair” now during acoustic sets in his shows.
All of these Strait songs are from the early to mid-80’s and are still being sung by country artists with a love for The King’s music. I have a feeling that anyone with any taste or standards won’t be singing these clowns’ IQ melting drivel 30 years from now and if they are…we as a society obviously have bigger problems.
July 19, 2018 @ 1:54 pm
I think at this point I agree with Nadia Lockheart that FGL’s “Simple” is going to *replace* “Meant To Be” at #1 within a month or two. So FGL will keep racking up the weeks at #1 even after “Meant to Be” finally drops out of #1!
July 19, 2018 @ 2:08 pm
And Sam Hunt’s ‘Downtown’s Dead’ appears to be well, er… dead with a peak in the teens.
July 19, 2018 @ 2:37 pm
Yeah, that’s a little shocking (in a pleasantly surprising way) that country radio said “nope” to a Sam Hunt song, basically. And Little Big Town’s very poppy “Summer Fever” lead single from their upcoming album seems to have gotten the same “nope” treatment from country radio. It probably won’t even make the top 20 at this point.
LBT certainly tried to push the envelope with that song though, trying to push a song to country radio that lacked any trace of country sound whatsoever.
July 19, 2018 @ 2:44 pm
G.S. actually has 60 #1s. Many of his songs made #1 on Radio and Records Chart that didn’t not reach the top of Billboard.
July 19, 2018 @ 3:56 pm
Funny… my neighbor who is 32 going on 16 keeps playing this damn song on repeat every weekend when she throws a pool party. I’ve been getting so pist off at it I decided to crash their party last week… played some Highwaymen in my own yard. She gave me hell of course… but I don’t give a damn. In a world of Justin Bieber’s… you’ve gotta be a Johnny Cash. Or in this case in a world of Brian fuckin’ Kelly’s and Tyler fuckin’ Hubbard’s you’ve gotta be a King George. But that’s the new generation I guess (aside from that of the new generation that resides here on Saving Country Music) one that doesn’t care about the men and women that paved the way for FGL and Bebe Rexha… one that thinks you and I are old farts and jackasses because we appreciate our grandfathers music. That’s the demise of country music… and it’s going to be a sad day when these jokers have there names written in the Country Music Hall of Fame next to a king.
July 20, 2018 @ 5:07 am
It seems like the “age of adulthood” keeps getting pushed higher and higher. At this point it seems like it’s somewhere between 35-40. Delayed maturation.
July 20, 2018 @ 5:34 am
Good job! I’m a millennial and I’m ashamed by those idiots. She might not know it now but MAYBE one day she’ll realize that those pop songs are made to make people stupid. Our brain is impacted by what we listen to for better or worst. Garbage-in, Garbage-out.
July 19, 2018 @ 4:35 pm
Wonder if FGL could name 3 George Strait songs in 10 seconds?
They’d probably have no problem coming up with that many Drake
July 19, 2018 @ 4:36 pm
July 19, 2018 @ 5:35 pm
Or Nelly songs
July 19, 2018 @ 6:44 pm
To paraphrase a Waylon song: “Don’t matter who’s on Billboard, George Strait is still the king.”
July 19, 2018 @ 9:22 pm
FWIW, Garth Brooks gives mad props to Florida Georgia line and “adores those guys” and states they are well rounded on their country music and songwriting history.
July 20, 2018 @ 12:30 pm
Garth is a fat cunt.
July 19, 2018 @ 9:42 pm
Those two idiots remind me of bevis and butthead .Beavis sings and butthead hums u can’t hear him on any song 2 douchebags and some bimbo .
July 20, 2018 @ 5:37 am
Ahahaha! I was about to say the same thing! But then I didn’t mention it. Bevis and butthead love their ACDC music so I thought it would a shame for Bevis and Butthead to be linked to those two clowns.
July 20, 2018 @ 7:52 am
While I have never heard FGL or Bebe I am not surprised.
Another of the many examples to the dumbing down of America.
I’m sure someone equally “talented ” will be along shortly to claim new ownership of that title
And as far as image goes..If it quacks like a duck.
July 20, 2018 @ 4:17 pm
OH COUNTRY MUSIC WILL NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE.IT WILL BE BURNING FOR CENTRIES.
July 20, 2018 @ 4:52 pm
Very dumb…all the success of “Meant to Be” will only serve to inflate the ego of Bebe Rexha, who now dubs herself a “pop disrupter” because she was lucky enough to dupe an impressionable audience into accepting her song, and keep FGL afloat for a few more years, although they are already a mockery of what they once were (as crazy as that sounds). FGL will never reach the same influence that George Strait had at his peak, nor do I think they will ever be accepted as the greatest duo in country music history either (Brooks & Dunn can probably claim that title indefinitely).
July 21, 2018 @ 4:46 am
Is the song only breaking the country records or is it breaking the records on the pop charts too.
July 21, 2018 @ 5:49 am
Well I await the twitterfails from Farce The Music on this one… Oh boy!
And yeah the charts have NEVER really been accurate or stellar but a guy who does an internet music show I can assure that is a moot point people LOVE stats I am always having them throw in my face. So and so has the most #1s or so and so did this or that like they are trying to win some barroom trivia night.
But my favorite is when they throw some sales number at me like, “They X people bought shitty so and so’s album/song” so they must be good.
That’s when I reply, “All that says to me is X people didn’t by the album/song so it must REALLY suck”. These Kane Brown fans are usually not savvy enough to twist that logic around on artists I actually like. LOL!
July 21, 2018 @ 5:13 pm
Just think, with 13 number ones so far, (Man, thats scary, I only know one of their songs), are we going to be discussing them for the ‘Country’ Music Hall of Fame in 20 years? I would hope it burns down before they are admitted, but think about it. If they have that many number ones and add too it, will they be kept out?
July 23, 2018 @ 9:35 am
come back 20 years from now and see you remembers “meant to be” and who remembers “Amarillo by Morning” and we will see who the real King of Country is. Screw billboard and their tainted, genre carpet-bagging phonies.
July 23, 2018 @ 8:28 pm
I will not recognize Florida Georgia Line for this feat, in my mind George Strait still holds the record.
August 4, 2018 @ 3:16 pm
Explain it this way, interpret it that way, turn it inside out, bitch and mourn all you want, success has one definition: Getting it done and cashing in on it. “Messiah” Trigger could just as well be a wordsmith teen loser typing day and night in his mama’s basement and thus self-satisfied. Meanwhile, the world knows and listens to FLorida Georgia Line’s expanding repertoire, despite the Trig-kid screaming that it should stop. Upping the meds should help.
August 4, 2018 @ 3:38 pm
I seem to remember when Trigger wrote an article about Maren Morris that was not well received by her camp and a response sounded much like the one Les sent about basement-dwelling writing so I assume it’s from the same country music camp in some way. Florida Georgia Line looks and sounds like a mix of Pop, rap, hip hop, bubble gum music, but not country. They are not anywhere near George Strait’s stratosphere. it’s like country music became the most popular thing so anyone who wanted a career decided that they were country singers regardless of what their sound is. to put FGL in the same sentence as George Strait or Merle Haggard is blasphemy.
September 22, 2018 @ 9:32 am
September 22, 2018 @ 9:35 am
HI REMEMBER THIS COMMENTS ON COUNTRY MUSIC COMING FROM NASSAU,BAHAMAS.
September 22, 2018 @ 9:38 am
YOUR COUNTRY MUSIC (MY FAVORITE)INVESTOR.