The #1 song in Canada this week belongs to Tyler Joe Miller with his debut single “Pillow Talkin’” and it’s making history as he becomes the first independent artist to reach the top of the chart with his first single. Congrats to Tyler Joe and his team at MDM Records! It almost didn’t happen but for a simple thank-you note.

Before getting to that story, here, briefly, is how the chart is determined. The Billboard Canadian Country Airplay chart is compiled each week based on information collected and distributed by a service called nielsen BDS, which monitors radio airplay.

Mike Denney, CEO of MDM Recordings, saw the numbers on Monday and found out Tyler Joe Miller’s “Pillow Talkin’” missed being #1 in Canada by just one spin, one more play of the song. Social media posts by Mike on Monday expressed his mixed emotions at coming so close but also showed how very personally he took it. Denney said, “I felt totally gutted, felt I had let Tyler Joe down and our team.”

But ever gracious, Mike sent out thank-you notes to various radio stations including 680 CKRM in Regina. Colin Lovequist replied on Tuesday: “Tough one, but do you know if the spin from our CKRM Country Cookout where Tyler Joe performed the song ‘Pillow Talkin’’ was included from Friday night”. Mike didn’t know, but that got the ball rolling. He checked with Neilsen Soundscan and was told the spin had not been detected. But if the station could supply proof of the play, they would take another look. As they say, one thing led to another and…viola! That one missed play was acknowledged and “Pillow Talkin’” became the #1 song in Canada and makes history at the same time.

(MDM’s Mike Denney)

As for Mike Denney, he said when he got the news, “I literally could not stop shaking” and “it was the best feeling of accomplishment I think I may have ever felt in my career.” A Zoom call broke the news to Tyler Joe and Mike’s MDM team. At first speechless, Miller has probably had some time to consider the achievement. You can bet there will some serious celebrating!

BTW, “Pillow Talkin’” is the sixth Canadian song to top the chart so far this year, slightly behind last year’s record-setting pace. 2019 saw a total of 12 Canadian songs at #1. And so far this year, all three of the last Canadian #1 hits have been the first chart-topper for each artist (Jess Moskaluke’s “Country Girls” and Jade Eagleson’s “Lucky”). But Tyler Joe is the first independent artist to do it with his debut single!