Those stars twinkling atop country music’s Christmas trees this week bear a strong resemblance to Blake Shelton and Luke Combs. Shelton shines via his newest best-of collection, Fully Loaded: God’s Country, which bows at No. 1 on Billboard’s country albums rankings.
There’s more bright news for Shelton. One of the four new songs in the reigning 12-cut package, “Nobody But You,” pairs him with his inamorata, Gwen Stefani. And get this: That song debuts at No. 9 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, which monitors airplay, sales, and streaming combined. Despite Stefani’s pop music prominence, this marks her first appearance in the Top 10 of that chart.
As to the statistically buoyant Combs, he’s back at No. 1 on the country airplay list with “Even Though I’m Leaving,” a spot it subleased last week to Thomas Rhett’s “Remember You Young.”
Combs has had the kind of year fairy godmother’s brag about, culminating earlier this month with two sold-out shows at Nashville’s cavernous Bridgestone Arena and seeing his 2017 album, This One’s for You, climb to a remarkable total of 50 weeks at No. 1. (Read his interview with Billboard.)
On this last week of 2019, here are the Top 10 most-played country songs, in descending order, of course: Combs’ “Even Though I’m Leaving,” Rhett’s “Remember You Young,” Dustin Lynch’s “Ridin’ Roads,” Old Dominion’s “One Man Band,” Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber’s “10,000 Hours,” Lady Antebellum’s “What If I Never Get Over You,” Jon Pardi’s “Heartache Medication,” Sam Hunt’s “Kinfolks,” Maren Morris’ “The Bones” and Jimmie Allen’s “Make Me Want To.”
Wherever you go this Christmas, just remember there’s probably no valet sled parking.