The #1 song for 2017 on CISN Country’s American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks is Body Like A Back Road from Sam Hunt. On the strength of his massive hit “Body Like a Back Road,” Sam Hunt is also Billboard’s Top Country Artist of 2017. “Body” is also the No. 1 hit of the year on all of Billboard’s country songs charts: Hot Country Songs, Country Airplay, Country Streaming Songs and Country Digital Song Sales.
Hunt made history, as his playful, R&B-flavored smash, which he co-wrote with Zach Crowell, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, reigned for a record 34 weeks on Billboard’s multi-metric Hot Country Songs chart, which blends sales, streaming and airplay data. It surpassed Florida Georgia Line’s debut single “Cruise,” which camped out in the penthouse for 24 weeks in 2012-13. “Body” hit No. 1 on Feb. 25 (a week after debuting at No. 2) and reigned through Oct. 14. (As of the Dec. 16-dated chart, it has spent all 44 of its weeks on the survey in the top five.)
An ironic twist, Sam wasn’t so keen on releasing the song in the beginning. “To be honest, I never really wanted to put it out,” he tells Billboard. “I was wanting to go in a different direction musically. Sometimes as songwriters, we take ourselves a little too seriously.” Looking back, the Georgia native admits going with “Body Like a Back Road” was undeniably the right move.
“It did broaden the range of what I could potentially do in the future,” he observes. “I don’t presume to know what country needs, but it’s definitely what my 2017 career needed.” “Body Like a Back Road” also became Sam’s biggest crossover hit yet, making it all the way to #6 on the Hot 100. So far, there’s no word on a follow-up single or when Sam’s sophomore album could arrive.