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How Brett Young’s ‘In Case You Didn’t Know’ Became the Surprise Hit of the Summer

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In July 2016, Brett Young’s song “In Case You Didn’t Know” made an appearance on SiriusXM. It sold about 9,000 copies that week, marking a massive success for such a newcomer. Fast forward one year, and the mid-tempo love song just received platinum designation.

It went No. 1 in both the U.S. and Canada and went as high as No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, another milestone for a country tune in a global pop market. So how did the unsuspecting ballad become country’s de facto summer hit?

When we talk about “songs of the summer,” we usually expect a few things. First of all, they tend to be upbeat and danceable. Second, they tend to be reaffirming, positive and maybe just a little cocky. Just think about tunes like Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” and Pharrel’s “Happy.” They instantly evoke head bops and smiles.

The country market isn’t terribly different. Cole Swindell’s “Chillin’ It,” Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” and several others all stick to the formula. But when it comes to “In Case You Didn’t Know,” Young turned “first dance wedding song material” into a bona fide summer jam. How?

For starters, there’s a sense of romantic sincerity in Young’s writing. There’s no shortage of #NiceGuys in country music, but when Young vulnerably sings about wishing he doted more on his girlfriend, you tend to believe it. He’s “PG” by design (and by desire). “In Case You Didn’t Know” is the type of message any parent approves of.

And some of it has to do with good timing. The sonic landscape of country radio had a big gaping void for a tune like “In Case You Didn’t Know” since Thomas Rhett’s “Star Of The Show” dropped out of rotation.

But a lot of it also has to do with analytics. After all, the song isn’t all that new. It appeared on his first EP all the way back in February 2016. The song didn’t necessarily pop up on anybody. But with a “slow and steady” approach, Young’s camp watched how audiences reacted to it, largely through streaming services.

Because the country audience skews female, and Young leans heavily into that base, they knew it would be worthwhile to put some serious radio promotion dollars behind the tune. The adult contemporary production meant it naturally expanded beyond traditional mainstream country radio into other formats, too.

The Billboard Country Airplay chart uses only radio spins to tabulate rankings. A company called Nielsen BDS monitors 150 stations across the country to create the chart. It also factors in how many people listen to that particular station, so one smaller station can’t unfairly inflate a song by playing it more. It’s fairly straightforward.

The Hot Country Songs chart, however, includes more information. Young sits behind Sam Hunt on that chart, and has for quite some time. That’s because this chart also includes streaming data and digital sales.

Two years after Sam Hunt burst onto the scene with Montevallo, Brett Young is poised to emulate that success. (“In Case You Didn’t Know” is nipping at the heels of Hunt’s crossover hit “Body Like A Backroad” after all).

READ MORE: Sam Hunt Makes Chart History with “Body Like a Backroad”

They both started with slightly more upbeat tunes that enjoyed a slow decent to the top (“Sleep Without You” for Young, “Leave The Night On” for Hunt). And then they both followed them up with #NiceGuy songs about just wanting to dote on a girl, no strings attached (“Take Your Time” for Hunt).

Of course they’re also both tall and handsome. And former collegiate athletes who built careers first as independent artists before leveraging country’s appeal to craft pop success. It wouldn’t be surprising if Brett Young’s target audience when he was starting out was Sam Hunt fans.

And while the crossover country argument will rage on in fan circles, it’s long been settled at the industry levels. These tunes are here to stay. And for many, their heart and sincerity are a welcome change of pace from booty call bro country songs. The summertime success of “In Case You Didn’t Know” proves it.

“In Case You Didn’t Know” Lyrics

I can’t count the times
I almost said what’s on my mind
But I didn’t
Just the other day
I wrote down all the things I’d say
But I couldn’t
I just couldn’t
Baby I know that you’ve been wondering
Mmm, so here goes nothing

In case you didn’t know
Baby I’m crazy ’bout you
And I would be lying if I said
That I could live this life without you
Even though I don’t tell you all the time
You had my heart a long, long time ago
In case you didn’t know

The way you look tonight
That second glass of wine
That did it, mmm
There was something ’bout that kiss
Girl it did me in
Got me thinking
I’m thinking
One of the things that I’ve been feeling
Mmm it’s time you hear ’em

In case you didn’t know
Baby I’m crazy ’bout you
And I would be lying if I said
That I could live this life without you
Even though I don’t tell you all the time
You had my heart a long, long time ago
In case you didn’t know

You’ve got all of me
I belong to you
Yeah you’re my everything

In case you didn’t know
I’m crazy ’bout you
I would be lying if I said
That I could live this life without you
Even though I don’t tell you all the time
You had my heart a long, long time ago
Yeah you had my heart a long, long time ago
Mmm, in case you didn’t know
No, no in case you didn’t know

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How Brett Young’s ‘In Case You Didn’t Know’ Became the Surprise Hit of the Summer