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Hot 100 First-Timers: The Red Clay Strays Arrive With Viral Single ‘Wondering Why’

The Red Clay Strays are officially Billboard Hot 100-charting artists, thanks to the group’s breakthrough single “Wondering Why.”

The song, which the band self-released in 2022 ahead of its debut full-length LP Moment of Truth (released that April), debuts on the Dec. 30-dated ranking at No. 93, becoming its first entry on the chart. It enters with 5.7 million U.S. streams (up 5%), 418,000 radio airplay audience impressions and 1,000 downloads sold in the Dec. 15-21 tracking week, according to Luminate.

The song has also become a hit on several other Billboard charts. It holds at its highs on Hot Rock Songs (No. 7) and Hot Rock & Alternative Songs (No. 10) and rises 19-18 on Hot Country Songs. Radio-wise, it jumps 33-26 in its second week on Adult Alternative Airplay.

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Recent gains for the song can be partially attributed to TikTok, where it has soundtracked over 60,000 clips on the platform to date. One video on the group’s profile, posted Dec. 1, has garnered over 500,000 views. Another — of the group performing a live version that was posted on the @_realcountrymusic account on Sept. 3 — has generated nearly 2 million views. The song’s newfound popularity has also resulted in many singers posting their own covers of the track on the platform.

The Red Clays Strays, from Mobile, Ala., are new to Billboard’s charts. “Wondering Why” became their first overall chart entry when it debuted on two rock tallies in November.

The band is currently on the road on its headlining The Way Too Long Tour, which runs through March 2024. The act has previously opened for Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Eric Church, Elle King and Old Crow Medicine Show, among others. In May, the group made its debut at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. The quintet comprises Brandon Coleman (lead vocals/guitar), Drew Nix (vocals/electric guitar/harmonica), Zach Rishel (electric guitar), Andrew Bishop (bass) and John Hall (drums).

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