Luke Combs Is Building an Amazing Stat Line Never Seen Before in Country Music

by Jim Casey
(Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CMT)

Luke Combs’ accomplishments over the past few years are unprecedented. As in, never done before. As is, not Garth, not Merle, not Dolly, not anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not putting Luke on the same pedestal as the aforementioned names. Those are a few of the greats, among others. But Luke needs to be recognized for what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will probably do. Thus far, his career trajectory has been gravity-defying. At some point, the laws of physics will bring him back down to earth, but until then, let’s celebrate him.

Namely, Luke’s first 11 singles have reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. That was unprecedented when he scored his sixth strait No. 1 with “Beautiful Crazy” in 2019.

In addition, Luke’s 2017 debut album, This One’s for You, has spent 50 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. That’s actually not unprecedented. Shania Twain also topped the chart for 50 weeks with Come On Over. But as soon as Luke notches one more week at No. 1 (and he will at some point), boom: unprecedented. In fact, his sophomore album, What You See Is What You Get, actually kept him from achieving the feat multiple times in 2019.

Luke Likes Multiples

But I think this is my favorite Luke stat line: his 11 No. 1 singles have spent 36 combined weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. Of his 11 singles, 10 have spent multiple weeks at No. 1. That’s amazing. I’ll say it again. That’s amazing. From May 2017 to June 2021, Luke has topped the Billboard Country Airplay chart for 36 weeks.

Country radio can be deceptive. The best songs don’t always reach No. 1. In fact, the best songs don’t always crack the Top 40. Don’t get me started on Sturgill, Childers, Brandy Clark, Cam, Isbell, anyone on the Texas chart, etc. A lot of it has to do with the control the major labels and PR teams exert on country radio. It’s not the fault of the labels or PR teams, it’s the fault of country radio. Which brings me back to my previous point: 10 of Luke’s singles have spent multiple weeks at No. 1. That’s typically the sign of a strong song, regardless of outside pressure to generate spins.

“One Number Away” is Luke’s only No. 1 not to top the chart for multiple weeks. In fact, he has three songs that have topped the chart for at least five weeks. Start celebrating Luke Combs. We’ve never seen anything like him.

Take a quick look at the number of weeks each of Luke’s singles have spent at No. 1: “Hurricane” (2 weeks), “When It Rains It Pours” (2 weeks), “One Number Away” (1 week), “She Got the Best of Me” (4 weeks), “Beautiful Crazy” (7 weeks), “Beer Never Broke My Heart” (2 weeks), “Even Though I’m Leaving” (5 weeks), “Does to Me” (2 weeks), “Lovin’ On You” (4 weeks), “Better Together” (5 weeks), and “Forever After All” (2 weeks).