Just a little over two years ago, Luke Combs’ debut single “Hurricane” was getting its first wide push to country radio from Sony Music Nashville’s promotion department. That single, and every one he’s released since, have climbed to Number One on Billboard‘s terrestrial radio-monitoring Country Airplay chart, making him one of the biggest breakthrough stars of the last year. Combs’ latest single, “She Got the Best of Me,” is building on that success, having just become the only song of 2018 thus far to spend four weeks at Number One on the Country Airplay chart.
Written by Combs with Rob Snyder and Channing Wilson, “She Got the Best of Me” wasn’t even on the original release of Combs’ major label debut, This One’s for You, which came out June 2nd, 2017. It showed up a year later as a bonus track on the deluxe version of that album, titled This One’s for You Too and released June 1st, 2018. As a possible bit of foreshadowing for his single success with “She Got the Best of Me,” the album and its newly reissued version earned Combs’ biggest first-week consumption since its original release, with 55,000 equivalent albums in June.
This all makes “She Got the Best of Me” the longest-running Country Airplay chart-topper in a year, when Dustin Lynch enjoyed his own four weeks in the Number One slot with “Small Town Boy.” Recent years have seen fewer long-running terrestrial radio Number Ones, with four weeks (or five, in the case of Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man”) seemingly the max any artist can sustain with only radio spins being tabulated.
That’s a stark contrast, of course, from the Hot Country Songs chart, which has been dominated for the entirety of 2018 to date by one song: “Meant to Be,” pop singer Bebe Rexha’s crossover collaboration with Florida Georgia Line. Other artists with an ear for crossover sounds, like Sam Hunt, have enjoyed similar long-running success with Hot Country Songs as the Country Airplay chart has continued moving new Number Ones in and out at an almost weekly rate.
The fact that Combs is presently enjoying a fourth week in that top slot — with a bonus cut from a deluxe version of his debut album, no less — says something about what the North Carolina native has been able to accomplish in his short period as a major label artist, and how he’s reshaping the genre in his own everyman image. He’ll head into Wednesday’s CMA Awards with two nominations, including Male Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year. In January, he will embark on his headlining Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour, which has already sold out 26 of its 28 stops.