Special Report

The 40 Most Popular Country Music Albums of All Time

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30. Behind Closed Doors
> Artist: Charlie Rich
> Year: 1973
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 22
> Copies sold: 4 million

Charlie Rich released numerous hit songs throughout the 1960s, but his 1973 album “Behind Closed Doors” was his most commercially successful. The album worked as a blueprint for Nashville’s countrypolitan sound, with lush orchestration and pop hooks. The album spent a total of 100 weeks on the country albums chart, 22 of which in the No. 1 spot.

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29. Always on My Mind
> Artist: Willie Nelson
> Year: 1982
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 22
> Copies sold: 4 million

“Always on My Mind” has a stronger pop edge than many of Willie Nelson’s albums. It was a massive hit with fans and ended up spending 253 weeks on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. The album also won Album of the Year at the CMA Awards in 1982.

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28. Kenny
> Artist: Kenny Rogers
> Year: 1979
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 25
> Copies sold: 3 million

Kenny Rogers was at the height of his popularity when he released “Kenny” in 1979. The album, which mixes adult contemporary with country, produced the No. 1 singles “You Decorated My Life” and “Coward of the County.”

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27. Up!
> Artist: Shania Twain
> Year: 2002
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 6
> Copies sold: 11 million

Shania Twain’s album “Up!” was originally released in three different versions — a “Red” pop mix, a “Green” country mix, and a “Blue” international mix. It was another major hit for the Canadian diva, becoming her third-most popular album in the U.S. after selling 11 million copies.

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26. Home
> Artist: Dixie Chicks
> Year: 2002
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 19
> Copies sold: 6 million

The Dixie Chicks’ follow-up to 1999’s “Fly” is decidedly country and features an assortment of acoustic instruments. “Home” spent 91 weeks on the Top Country Albums chart, 19 of which at the top of the chart.

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25. Traveller
> Artist: Chris Stapleton
> Year: 2015
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 29
> Copies sold: 4 million

Chris Stapleton spent years writing songs for popular country acts, including Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn, and Lee Ann Womack, before releasing his debut album “Traveller.” The album’s bluesy southern rock sound earned it the Grammy Award for Best Country Album in 2015.

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24. The Gambler
> Artist: Kenny Rogers
> Year: 1978
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 23
> Copies sold: 5 million

“The Gambler” is Kenny Rogers’ best selling non-compilation album, with 5 million copies sold in the U.S. The conceptual album — which eventually spurred its own made-for-TV film series — includes the signature, chart-topping title track, which was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry in 2018.

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23. Wide Open Spaces
> Artist: Dixie Chicks
> Year: 1998
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 7
> Copies sold: 13 million

The first album from the Dixie Chicks to feature lead singer Natalie Maines proved a huge success, selling 12 million copies in the U.S. The album blends many musical styles, including bluegrass, in which sisters Martie Seidel and Emily Robison had a strong background.

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22. Feels So Right
> Artist: Alabama
> Year: 1981
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 27
> Copies sold: 4 million

“Feels So Right” was the first of Alabama’s 11 country chart-topping albums, going 4x platinum. Three singles from the album reached No. 1, including the title track, “Old Flame,” and “Love in the First Degree.” The singles “Feels So Right” and “Love in the First Degree” became crossover hits for the band.

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21. Sevens
> Artist: Garth Brooks
> Year: 1997
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 13
> Copies sold: 10 million

Garth Brooks’ eighth studio album, “Sevens,” walked back the country superstar’s arena rock tendencies in favor of a more traditional country sound. The record debuted at the top of both the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums charts with sales totaling nearly 897,000 units during its first week. The singles “Longneck Bottle” and “Two Pina Coladas” both shot to No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart.