‘Used To’ No. 1: Russell Dickerson Scores Fourth Career-Opening Country Airplay Leader

Russell Dickerson’s “Love You Like I Used To” hops from No. 2 to No. 1 in its 36th week on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart (dated Nov. 14) to become his fourth leader on the list in as many visits.

The song, released on the Triple Tigers label, gained by 9% to 34.4 million audience impressions in the week ending Nov. 8, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

The track, which Dickerson wrote with Casey Brown and Parker Welling, is the first single from Dickerson’s sophomore studio LP, Southern Symphony, due Dec. 4.

“I remember playing this song right after we had written it for my wife, Kailey, and some radio folks on the bus in Detroit,” Dickerson tells Billboard. “When we saw the look on their faces, we knew this song was special. Now I can’t believe we all get to celebrate our fourth No. 1 together.”

The 33-year-old Dickerson, from Union City, Tenn., follows his first three No. 1s: “Every Little Thing,” which led for a week in November 2019, in its 48th frame; “Blue Tacoma,” which reigned for a week in October 2018 (32 weeks); and “Yours,” which reached the penthouse in January 2018 (39 weeks) for its first of two weeks on top.

Dickerson is the first artist to rattle off four consecutive career-opening No. 1 properly promoted singles on Country Airplay since Luke Combs, who is working on an active streak of nine. Combs continued his run when “Lovin’ on You” climbed 3-1 on the chart dated Sept. 5 for its first of four weeks on top. His latest, “Better Together,” rises 17-16 (13.2 million, up 17%).

Dickerson joins Combs as just the second soloist and fourth act overall to send four or more career-starting singles to No. 1 on Country Airplay since the chart launched in January 1990. Before Combs, duo Florida Georgia Line’s first four official singles ruled in 2012-14: “Cruise,” “Get Your Shine on,” “Round Here” and “Stay.”

Prior to FGL, another famous twosome, Brooks & Dunn, linked Country Airplay No. 1s with its first four singles in 1991-92: “Brand New Man,” “My Next Broken Heart,” “Neon Moon” and “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.”

(The last comparable chart achievement for a soloist before Combs? Clint Black notched four Hot Country Songs leaders with his first four releases. Having started his run in June 1989, just before the Nielsen Music-based Country Airplay chart’s inception, he arrived with the No. 1s “Better Man,” “Killin’ Time,” “Nobody’s Home” and “Walkin’ Away,” through May 1990.)

On the multi-metric Hot Country Songs survey, which is now powered by airplay, streaming and sales data, Dickerson’s latest hits a new high (8-6), also with 5.8 million U.S. streams and 1,000 downloads sold in the week ending Nov. 5.

‘BIG, BIG’ HIT Chris Lane notches his fifth Country Airplay top 10 as “Big, Big, Plans” leaps 11-6 in its 50th week on the chart. “Plans,” which Lane co-authored, increased by 24% to 25.2 million in audience during the tracking week.

The song follows Lane’s “I Don’t Know About You,” which became his second No. 1 on the survey dated Oct. 5, 2019. He first led with “Fix” for a week in August 2016. He boasts two additional top 10s: “For Her” (No. 10, September 2017) and “Take Back Home Girl,” featuring Tori Kelly (No. 8, August 2018).

Lane’s latest is the seventh title to ascend to the Country Airplay top 10 in 50 weeks or more, with all having completed their trips since December 2017. Travis Denning’s “After a Few” set the mark by reaching the region in its 57th frame this April. In June, it hit No. 1 in its 65th week, wrapping the longest climb to the summit.

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