List of Billboard number-one country songs of 2012

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A young woman with long blonde hair singing into a microphone
The change in methodology of the Hot Country Songs chart enabled Taylor Swift's song "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" to rise twenty places to number one and spend nine weeks in the top spot, the longest run by a solo female singer.

In 2012, Billboard magazine made a major change in the way in which it ranks the top-performing country music songs in the United States. Since 1990, the Hot Country Songs chart had been based on weekly airplay data from country music radio stations compiled by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems. With effect from the issue dated October 20, 2012, however, the magazine significantly altered the methodology of this chart to incorporate digital downloads, streaming, and airplay not only from country stations but from stations of all formats.[1] These changes were controversial, as some critics felt that they unduly benefited acts with crossover appeal, as opposed to those whose songs were played only on country stations.[1] At the same time, Billboard launched the new Country Airplay listing, which used the methodology of ranking tracks based solely on country radio airplay. Although this chart was published for the first time in 2012, Billboard considers the period since Hot Country Songs began using Neilsen data in 1990 to also form part of the history of the Country Airplay listing.[2]

An immediate beneficiary of the change in methodology for the Hot Country Songs chart was Taylor Swift. In the first week of the new system, her song "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", which had been falling down the chart and had been at number 21 the previous week based on country radio airplay alone,[3] rose straight to number one when streaming, downloads, and spins on other radio formats began to be counted. Swift's song would remain in the top spot for nine consecutive weeks, breaking the record for the longest unbroken run at number one by a female singer held since 1965 by Connie Smith's "Once a Day".[4] Based on country radio airplay alone, Swift's song dropped further to number 36 on the first published Country Airplay chart, the same week that it jumped to number one on Hot Country Songs.[5] The greater popularity of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" on pop music radio than country stations highlighted Swift's increasing move away from the country genre.[6][7]

After Swift's nine weeks in the top spot, the second highest total number of weeks at number one on Hot Country Songs was the four achieved by Blake Shelton, who was one of six acts to have two number ones during the year. Several acts had their first chart-toppers in 2012. In January, "Let It Rain" by David Nail featuring Sarah Buxton spent a single week in the top spot, becoming the first number one for both singers.[8][9] The following week Eric Church achieved his first chart-topper with "Drink in My Hand".[10] In April "A Woman Like You" gave Lee Brice his first number one,[11] and in June Kip Moore achieved the same feat with "Somethin' 'Bout a Truck".[12] At the end of August Love and Theft reached number one for the first time with "Angel Eyes",[13] as did Little Big Town three weeks later with "Pontoon".[14] In the issue of Billboard dated September 29, Hunter Hayes gained his first chart-topper with "Wanted",[15] with which he gained the distinction of being the youngest solo male artist to have a number-one country song.[16] The final act to gain a first-time chart-topper in 2012 was Florida Georgia Line, whose debut single, "Cruise",[17] held the number one position on both charts in the last issue of Billboard of the year. The track would go on to become the best-selling country digital single of all time and set a new record for the most weeks spent at number on the Hot Country Songs chart.[17]

Chart history[edit]

Hot Country Songs[edit]

A young blond-haired man
Hunter Hayes became the youngest solo male artist to have a number-one country song when "Wanted" topped the chart in September
Kip Moore achieved his first number one with "Somethin' 'Bout a Truck".
A man wearing a baseball cap, sunglasses and dark clothing, playing a guitar and singing into a microphone
Eric Church was one of a number of acts to gain two number ones in 2012.
Issue date Title Artist(s) Ref.
January 7 "Keep Me in Mind" Zac Brown Band [18]
January 14 [19]
January 21 "Let It Rain" David Nail featuring Sarah Buxton [20]
January 28 "Drink in My Hand" Eric Church [21]
February 4 "I Don't Want This Night to End" Luke Bryan [22]
February 11 "You" Chris Young [23]
February 18 "All Your Life" The Band Perry [24]
February 25 [25]
March 3 "You Gonna Fly" Keith Urban [26]
March 10 [27]
March 17 "Reality" Kenny Chesney [28]
March 24 "Home" Dierks Bentley [29]
March 31 "Ours" Taylor Swift [30]
April 7 "Alone with You" Jake Owen [31]
April 14 [32]
April 21 "A Woman Like You" Lee Brice [33]
April 28 "Drink on It" Blake Shelton [34]
May 5 [35]
May 12 "Banjo" Rascal Flatts [36]
May 19 "Over You" Miranda Lambert [37]
May 26 "Fly Over States" Jason Aldean [38]
June 2 "Somethin' 'Bout a Truck" Kip Moore [39]
June 9 [40]
June 16 "Good Girl" Carrie Underwood [41]
June 23 "Springsteen" Eric Church [42]
June 30 [43]
July 7 "Drunk on You" Luke Bryan [44]
July 14 [45]
July 21 "You Don't Know Her Like I Do" Brantley Gilbert [46]
July 28 "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" Eli Young Band [47]
August 4 "5-1-5-0" Dierks Bentley [48]
August 11 "Come Over" Kenny Chesney [49]
August 18 [50]
August 25 "Angel Eyes" Love and Theft [51]
September 1 "Over" Blake Shelton [52]
September 8 [53]
September 15 "Pontoon" Little Big Town [54]
September 22 [55]
September 29 "Wanted" Hunter Hayes [56]
October 6 "Take a Little Ride" Jason Aldean [57]
October 13 [3]
October 20 "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" Taylor Swift [58]
October 27 [59]
November 3 [60]
November 10 [61]
November 17 [62]
November 24 [63]
December 1 [64]
December 8 [65]
December 15 [66]
December 22 "Cruise" Florida Georgia Line [67]
December 29 [68]

Country Airplay[edit]

A young man in a checked shirt and cowboy hat playing a guitar and singing into a microphone
Jason Aldean's "Take a Little Ride" was at number one on the first Country Airplay chart to be published.
Issue date Title Artist(s) Ref.
October 20 "Take a Little Ride" Jason Aldean [69]
October 27 "Blown Away" Carrie Underwood [70]
November 3 [71]
November 10 "Hard to Love" Lee Brice [72]
November 17 [73]
November 24 "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" Luke Bryan [74]
December 1 [75]
December 8 "The One That Got Away" Jake Owen [76]
December 15 "Cruise" Florida Georgia Line [77]
December 22 [78]
December 29 [79]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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