When it comes to the hottest acts in mainstream country music at the moment, it’s the tale of three names: Kane Brown, Dan+Shay, and Luke Combs. And as a conscientious country music fan, if you had to root for one of them to succeed above the others, without hesitation you would have to go with Luke Combs. Of course he’s nowhere close to the second coming of Cody Jinks or Mike and the Moonpies. But put him in the top percentile when it comes to the mainstream of folks you won’t immediately switch the channel for.
If you want to know just how hot Luke Combs is, appreciate that he’s just done something that hasn’t been accomplished on the Billboard Country Airplay Top 10 in nearly two decades, which is chart two separate songs at the same time. This week, Luke’s current single “Beautiful Crazy” rose from #12 to #10, while his previous single “She Got The Best Of Me” went from #7 to #8. The last time this occurred for an artist without the aid of a collaboration with another artist is way back in January of 2000, when Tim McGraw’s “My Best Friend” and “Something Like That” both charted in the Top 10 simultaneously.
Unfortunately due to the skewed nature of Billboard’s Hot Country Song chart that also calculates in streams and downloads, artists having songs in the Top 10 on that chart is pretty common. Dan+Shay have the #1 and #2 song at the moment on Hot Country Songs. But Luke Combs is also doing well there with “Beautiful Crazy” at #4, and “She’s Got The Best Of Me” at #9, making Combs one of the hottest names in country music no matter what your metric. Having double success on radio means not only are fans supporting Luke Combs, so is the industry.
“She Got The Best Of Me” will likely continue to fall in the coming weeks, so this distinction will be short-lived. But it is an indication of an important trend for Luke Combs and country music that a big, burly guy that doesn’t fit Music Row’s fashion plate mold and who writes his own stuff and sings it with heart is seeing success, and on country radio, which is one of the genre’s most unforgiving mediums.
Originally from North Carolina, Luke Comb’s first single “Hurricane” from 2016 went #1, and has since been certified triple platinum. His subsequent singles “When It Rains It Pours” and “One Number Away” also went #1 on radio, and have hit platinum status. Combs also won the CMA’s New Artist of the Year in November of 2018.