The country music world has not been spared from the effects of the novel coronavirus which is disrupting lives around the world. Many events have been canceled and many artists, including Willie Nelson and Margo Price, have delayed the release of their new records.
Still, all hope is not lost for country music fans. The genre has a rich history that has left us with thousands of fine albums, most of which have stood the test of time. So while fans may have to wait to hear new music from their favorite artists, now is a great time to revisit some old favorites and remember what drew us to the style of music in the first place.
To help you with this exercise, 24/7 Tempo has identified the 40 most popular country albums of all time, based on album sales and performance on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart.
As anyone who has listened to country radio lately knows, country pop is hugely popular. Artists that appeal not only to country fans but also to the average pop music listener are much more in demand than more traditional country artists. The success of crossover artists such as Taylor Swift, Florida Georgia Line and Sam Hunt is proof of this. These are the best-selling country albums of the last 10 years.
That’s not to say that musicians performing more traditional country these days can’t enjoy exceptional success either. Artists such as George Strait, Clint Black and Dolly Parton have all sold millions of albums and at times topped both the country album chart and the singles chart. In fact, the artists with the most hits are usually those who would be considered “classic” country performers. They are the most successful country musicians.
Click here to see the most popular country albums of all time
To determine the most popular country albums of all time, 24/7 Tempo generated an index based on weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and lifetime album sales in the United States. Both components of the index were given equal weight.
An artist’s total US album sales came from the Recording Industry Association of America. The RIAA certifies sales of albums released in the US market with at least 500,000 units sold. For an album to be considered for our ranking, it must have had at least 1,000,000 certified sales – or certified “platinum” – so far.