Special Report

The 40 Most Popular Country Music Albums of All Time

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20. The Chase
> Artist: Garth Brooks
> Year: 1992
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 16
> Copies sold: 10 million

Garth Brooks’ “The Chase” was certified diamond by the RIAA in January 2020, meaning it has sold 10 million copies in the U.S. Upon its release, Capitol Records shipped 5 million copies to sellers — the largest initial album shipment at that time. “The Chase” spent 97 weeks on the country albums chart, 16 of which at No. 1.

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19. Killin’ Time
> Artist: Clint Black
> Year: 1989
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 31
> Copies sold: 3 million

Clint Black’s 1989 debut album includes some of his biggest hits: “Better Man,” “Killin’ Time,” and “Walkin’ Away,” all of which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. Black co-wrote or wrote every track on the album.

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18. Mountain Music
> Artist: Alabama
> Year: 1982
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 28
> Copies sold: 5 million

“Mountain Music” was Alabama’s most successful studio album, spending 28 weeks atop the Billboard country album chart and certified 5x platinum by the RIAA. It is one of 11 Alabama LPs to top the country album charts. All three singles from the LP — “Mountain Music,” “Take Me Down,” and “Close Enough to Perfect” — topped the country charts. The album also reached No. 14 on the Billboard 200 chart.

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17. Greatest Hits
> Artist: Kenny Rogers
> Year: 1980
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 11
> Copies sold: 12 million

Kenny Rogers 1980 “Greatest Hits” album primarily focuses on material from the late 1970s through the early 1980s. Among the album’s 12 hits are “The Gambler,” “Coward of the County,” and “Lucille.” Also included are re-recorded versions of “Reuben James” and “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town.”

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16. The Hits
> Artist: Garth Brooks
> Year: 1994
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 16
> Copies sold: 10 million

Garth Brooks is one of country music’s biggest hit makers, having released 36 Top 10 hits and 19 No. 1 singles on the Hot Country Songs chart throughout his career. Fourteen of these chart-toppers appear on this 18 song compilation, which Brooks eventually had discontinued and buried the master recording under his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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15. Taylor Swift
> Artist: Taylor Swift
> Year: 2006
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 24
> Copies sold: 7 million

Recorded at the age of 16, Taylor Swift’s debut album ultimately sold 7 million copies in the U.S. Swift wrote or co-wrote every song on the album, including country chart-toppers “Our Song” and “Should’ve Said No,” establishing herself as a talent to watch.

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14. Blue
> Artist: LeAnn Rimes
> Year: 1996
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 28
> Copies sold: 6 million

LeAnn Rimes’ twangy debut album was released when the singer was merely 13 years old. “Blue” spent 28 weeks at No. 1, and its title track earned the young singer a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

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13. Not a Moment Too Soon
> Artist: Tim McGraw
> Year: 1994
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 29
> Copies sold: 6 million

“Not a Moment Too Soon” was Tim McGraw’s second studio album and a blockbuster. It topped the country and Billboard 200 charts, the first of four times that McGraw would accomplish the feat. The album went 6x platinum. Much of the LP’s success has been attributed to the controversy around his novelty song, “Indian Outlaw,” that some found offensive to Native Americans. The album produced the first two of McGraw’s 26 No. 1 singles, “Don’t Take the Girl” and “Not a Moment Too Soon.”

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12. Need You Now
> Artist: Lady A
> Year: 2010
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 31
> Copies sold: 9 million

The follow-up to country trio Lady A’s self-titled debut album spent 31 weeks at No. 1 out of a total of 94 weeks on the country albums chart. It also debuted at No. 1 on the multi-genre Billboard 200 albums chart after selling 481,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It won Best Country Album at that year’s Grammy Awards, and its title track won the awards for Record of the Year and Best Country Performance by a Group With Vocals.

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11. Some Hearts
> Artist: Carrie Underwood
> Year: 2005
> Weeks spent at No. 1: 27
> Copies sold: 8 million

“Some Hearts” is Carrie Underwood’s debut album, released after the now-superstar won “American Idol” TV talent contest. The album is loaded with hits, including country chart-topping singles “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” “Before He Cheats,” and “Wasted.”