HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry MusicExploring The 2022 Billboard Country Music Charts

Exploring The 2022 Billboard Country Music Charts

by Brett Stayton
(Photo by: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

When it comes to the country music industry, radio charts have long dominated the conversation when it comes to systematically ranking musical popularity, and to some degree success. Chart data from music streaming services has become a big business too though. Thanks to platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora Radio, iTunes, and more. These charts are now a big part of the big picture for determining what big-time commercial success as a musician looks like. Other measurables like ticket sales, social media metrics, awards, accolades, and other sponsorships, endorsements, and appearances of varying importance are all a part of the puzzle as well.

The media empire Billboard just released a massive recap of song data to wrap up 2022. The numbers get a little convoluted and complicated, as there are so many charts that it can be confusing. One chart measures radio plays. A different one tracks streaming data from subscription-based music aggregation platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. There is also a separate category for digital sales, which monitors singular purchases of an individual song through services like iTunes. In recent years, digital sales numbers across the music industry have dropped as streaming services have become increasingly popular. Another chart tracks the success of country music tours. There is also a chart that basically combines data from all of the more specific charts into an overall ranking.

Let’s take a deeper look at Billboard’s 2022 year-end country music charts.

Taking A Look At Billboard’s 2022 Airplay Chart

The Airplay Chart is what measures a song’s presence on the radio. The chart ranks single songs according to the amount of airplay they receive on monitored radio stations and the resulting size of the combined audience that heard the song. It also tracks and aggregates that data for all songs by a specific artist.

Topping the country music Airplay songs chart for 2022 is Parmalee’s song Take My Name. Following it at #2 is the Dustin Lynch and MacKenzie Porter duet Thinking’Bout You. Cody Johnson’s Til You Can’t is #3 on the list. Damn Strait by Scotty McCreery was #4 followed by The Kind of Love We Make by Luke Combs at #5 and She Had Me At Heads Carolina by Cole Swindell in the #6 spot.

From a total radio play standpoint beyond just a specific song, Morgan Wallen is the top-played artist on the 2022 Airplay Charts. Luke Combs is #2, Jason Aldean is #3, Parmalee is #4, and Kane Brown is #5.

Walker Hayes Two Songs Top 2022 Digital Country Song Chart

Billboard’s year-end Country Digital Song Chart tracks the top songs that were purchased individually or as part of albums on platforms like iTunes for example.

Occupying the top two spots on this chart are Walker Hayes’ songs. The monster hit Fancy Like clocks in at #1 while AA is a spot behind it at #2. Rounding out the top 3 is Cody Johnson’s mega jam ‘Til You Can’t, which has been nominated for a 2023 Grammy Award. Chris Stapleton’s iconic rendition of Tennessee Whiskey popped back up towards the top of the charts, checking in at #8. The song was released in 2015 while all the other hits on the chart are from far more recent years. Something In The Orange by Zach Bryan was also on the chart at #17.

Morgan Wallen, Chris Stapleton Lead 2022 Streaming Chart

The most modern and increasingly popular way to listen to music is by streaming it through services like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora Radio, and more.

Wasted On You by Morgan Wallen was the most streamed country song of 2022. The aforementioned song Tennesse Whiskey by Chris Stapleton is #2 on the list. Followed by Fancy Like by Walker Hayes at #3, Buy Dirt by Jordan Davis and Luke Bryan is #4, and Something in The Orange by Zach Bryan is #

Top Country Artists And Albums of 2022 According To Buildboards Charts

Billboard also compiled overall data across their various charts to compile a chart that details individual country music artists’ total presence across airplay, digital, and streaming broadcasts. Morgan Wallen tops that list at #1, followed by Luke Combs at #2 and Chris Stapleton at #3. They were followed by Walker Hayes at #4, Zach Bryan at #5, Kane Brown at #6, Jason Aldean at #7, Bailey Zimmerman at #8, Cody Johnson at #9, and Carrie Underwood at #10.

Billboard Charts also ranks the top country albums each year based on a composite formula. Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album remains on top of that list. Taylor Swift’s updated version of Red Album is #2, and Luke Combs’ album What You See Is What You Get from 2019 is #3. Combs’ 2018 This Ones For You album is #4. The #5 goes to Morgan Wallen’s 2018 album If I Know Me.

Top 5 Highest Earning Country Music Tours of 2022

The report also showcased a fascinating chart that details the 5 biggest country music tours of the year based on gross earnings and total attendance.

Kenny Chesney is on top of that chart. In 2022 his 41 shows sold almost 1.3 million tickets for a gross total of over $135 million. Morgan Wallen sold over 1 million tickets for a total eclipsing $128 million. Chris Stapleton checked in at #3 on the chart with a nice 69 total shows that sold almost 1 million tickets and tallied up over $83 million. Eric Church sold more than 625,000 tickets to his 42 shows. At #5 on the list is George Strait, surprising considering he only played 10 shows. Those shows were all just absolute throwdowns though, selling more than 263,000 tickets for more than $50 million.