Billy Currington on His 11th No. 1 Single: “This Is What You Dream of as an Artist”

After 10 No. 1 hits, you would think that Billy Currington would be used to getting to the top of the country charts. But according to the “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” singer, the 11th time is just as sweet.

“It’s been a great past couple weeks,” Billy told Nash Country Daily from his tour bus during a stop in San Antonio, Texas. “This is what you dream of as an artist. You can only imagine how the whole team feels. They all feel the same. All number ones are very, very special. It just seems to only get better. It’s just something that’s part of the dream, and then when it happens you just sit back in amazement like, ‘Wow!’

Billy scored his 11th No. 1 single with “It Don’t Hurt Like it Used To,” which stayed in the top spot for two consecutive weeks on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. Only five other country songs have accomplished that feat this year: Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man,” Luke Bryan’s “Home Alone Tonight” featuring Karen Fairchild, Cole Swindell’s “You Should Be Here,” Dierks Bentley’s “Somewhere on a Beach” and Keith Urban’s “Wasted Time.”

Co-penned by Billy, Shy Carter and Cary Barlowe, “It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To” wasn’t something that Billy had set out to write.

“It wasn’t planned to meet up and do anything like that. That’s where I really come to appreciate the song myself because I don’t know where it all came from,” Billy recalls. “We all looked at each other, and within two hours, the song was done. It happened, and all the words fell out—just like you hear. Nothing was thought about like, ‘Maybe we should change this line?’ None of those things happened. It was just out of the sky.”

Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images
Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images

Months later, with the song far from his mind, Billy’s album was near completion but he had too many songs collected. He wasn’t looking for more, in fact, he was in the process of eliminating some. It was then that his manager reminded Billy of the song he wrote Shy and Cary earlier in the year.

“I just laughed, thinking, ‘Man, that thing probably ain’t no good,'” Billy said. “‘What’s it sound like?’ He said, ‘I’m gonna send you a copy of it. You need to take a listen to this.’ He sent me a copy and that was the first time I had heard the demo that we did from that night. It just put a big smile on my face and I was like, ‘I remember that.’ I remembered that feeling. It made me feel so good. I remembered how much fun I had writing it. It was a no-brainer. I called him back and said, ‘You’re right, man. It has something, it feels passionate, and I would love to record this song.’ That’s what we did.

“Life, you never know,” added Billy. “As an artist—songs that you’re really connected with—they seem to find their way back to you, and I’m sure glad that this one did.”

The Georgia native has seen a lot of success over his career and is no stranger to sitting on a multi-week No. 1 hit. “Must Be Doing Something Right” and “People Are Crazy” both sat at No. 1 for two consecutive weeks and “Good Directions” held the top spot for three weeks. The success has allowed Billy to choose a lifestyle that fits his laid back manner and make him a better person.

“I definitely think the things that I’ve done have created more happiness—allowed me to be more creative in music and better at business all the way around. It’s also allowed me to spend more time with family and friends and just be at peace, to be more successful. That’s not speaking monetarily. Just be more successful in all aspects of my life, whether it’s the music —writing it or recording it or working with people in the business, whatever—trying to get better, definitely this whole thing that’s happened over time made it all better for me.”

Billy is currently keeping summer going on his Summer Forever Tour, which will wrap in the coming weeks. The last date is in Maui on Nov. 19, where the avid surfer can hit the waves before planning his next tour and begin working on his new album.

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