Special Report

This Is the Best Selling Country Music Album of All Time

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No one is certain where or when country music got its start. The first commercial country music album was recorded in 1922, and the genre’s popularity surged within 10 years, according to George Jones. Today, it is a multi-billion dollar part of the overall music industry in America.

Garth Brooks, one of the biggest stars in country music, has sold 157 million albums so far in his career. His top-selling album, and the top-selling country music album of all time, is “Double Live,” released Nov. 4, 1997.

Even people who do not listen to country music have most likely heard of the Grand Ole Opry, the temple for country music artists, many of whom started their careers there. The Grand Ole Opry is in Nashville, Tennessee, and is often called “Music City.”

To determine the best-selling country album of all time, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on certified U.S. album sales from the Record Industry Association of America. Country albums — albums identified as country by the RIAA or that have charted on Billboard magazine’s Top Country Albums chart — were ranked based on lifetime U.S. unit sales. Data on certification also came from the RIAA. Historical chart data used to determine performance on the Billboard 200 was collected October 2021.

The list of best-selling albums is mostly dominated by albums from the 1990s and 2000s but there are some more recent records. The ‘90s and ‘00s were a golden era for country stars. Legends like Garth Brooks and Shania Twain pumped out megahits throughout the period. (These are the 50 greatest country music stars of all time.)

Taylor Swift also scored several hits with her modern fusion of country and pop. While the sounds of the ‘90s and ‘00s have transformed, country music is very much a living and growing genre. (These are the best movies for country music fans.)

It is impossible for a country album to post huge sales if it does not top the sales charts for several weeks — or in a few cases, many months. Garth Brooks’ “Double Live” album, which sold 21 million copies, spent 56 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart, five of them in the top position. Garth Brooks also dominates the list of best selling albums.

Click here to see the best selling country albums of all time

60. Hank Williams Jr., “Greatest Hits”
> Release date: September 17, 1982
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: October 2, 2003
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 152 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 15

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59. Alabama, “For The Record: 41 Number One Hits”
> Release date: August 25, 1998
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: June 19, 2003
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 13 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 33

58. Garth Brooks, “Scarecrow”
> Release date: November 13, 2001
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: January 26, 2006
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 28

57. Alabama, “Greatest Hits”
> Release date: January 27, 1986
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: April 1, 1996
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 24 (for 3 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 38

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56. Reba McEntire, “Greatest Hits Volume Two”
> Release date: September 28, 1993
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: August 10, 1998
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 5 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 94

55. Willie Nelson, “Stardust”
> Release date: April 19, 1978
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: April 20, 2002
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 30 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 117

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54. Wynonna, “Wynonna”
> Release date: March 31, 1992
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: January 10, 1997
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 4 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 86

53. Randy Travis, “Always & Forever”
> Release date: May 5, 1987
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: August 7, 1996
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 19 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 103

52. Kenny Chesney, “Greatest Hits”
> Release date: September 26, 2000
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: August 9, 2018
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 13 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 105

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51. Deana Carter, “Did I Shave My Legs For This?”
> Release date: September 3, 1996
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: January 14, 2000
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 10 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 86

50. Waylon Jennings, “Greatest Hits”
> Release date: April 10, 1979
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: March 27, 2002
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 28 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 115

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49. Brooks & Dunn, “Hard Workin’ Man”
> Release date: February 23, 1993
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: July 23, 2002
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 9 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 99

48. Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler”
> Release date: September 30, 1978
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: August 27, 1997
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 12 (for 3 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 112

47. Vince Gill, “I Still Believe In You”
> Release date: September 1, 1992
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: May 10, 2000
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 10 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 100

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46. Alabama, “Mountain Music”
> Release date: February 25, 1982
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: February 12, 1998
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 14 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 114

45. Gretchen Wilson, “Here For The Party”
> Release date: May 11, 2004
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: October 20, 2006
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 2 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 102

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44. Rascal Flatts, “Feels Like Today”
> Release date: September 28, 2004
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: January 31, 2008
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 105

43. Bonnie Raitt, “Nick Of Time”
> Release date: March 15, 1989
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: April 3, 1998
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 3 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 185

42. Zac Brown Band, “The Foundation”
> Release date: November 18, 2008
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 5 million
> Certification date of 5 millionth album sale: August 8, 2016
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 9 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 294

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41. Alan Jackson, “Greatest Hits Volume II”
> Release date: August 12, 2003
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 6 million
> Certification date of 6 millionth album sale: April 14, 2005
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 19 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 61

40. Elvis Presley, “Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits”
> Release date: September 24, 2002
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 6 million
> Certification date of 6 millionth album sale: March 8, 2018
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 3 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 118

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39. The Chicks, “Home”
> Release date: August 27, 2002
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 6 million
> Certification date of 6 millionth album sale: March 18, 2003
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 4 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 56

38. Tim McGraw, “Greatest Hits”
> Release date: November 21, 2000
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 6 million
> Certification date of 6 millionth album sale: September 2, 2008
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 4 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 106

37. Faith Hill, “Faith”
> Release date: April 21, 1998
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 6 million
> Certification date of 6 millionth album sale: October 6, 2003
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 7 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 99

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36. Alan Jackson, “The Greatest Hits Collection”
> Release date: October 24, 1995
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 6 million
> Certification date of 6 millionth album sale: October 20, 2006
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 5 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 104

35. George Strait, “Pure Country (Soundtrack)”
> Release date: September 15, 1992
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 6 million
> Certification date of 6 millionth album sale: November 10, 1999
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 6 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 129

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34. LeAnn Rimes, “Blue”
> Release date: July 9, 1996
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 6 million
> Certification date of 6 millionth album sale: March 24, 1999
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 3 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 97

33. Tim McGraw, “Not A Moment Too Soon”
> Release date: March 14, 1994
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 6 million
> Certification date of 6 millionth album sale: October 2, 2008
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 115

32. Brooks & Dunn, “Brand New Man”
> Release date: August 13, 1991
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 6 million
> Certification date of 6 millionth album sale: October 31, 2002
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 10 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 153

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31. Alan Jackson, “A Lot About Livin’ (And A Little ‘Bout Love)”
> Release date: September 30, 1992
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 6 million
> Certification date of 6 millionth album sale: July 16, 1995
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 13 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 122

30. Taylor Swift, “Speak Now”
> Release date: October 25, 2010
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 6 million
> Certification date of 6 millionth album sale: December 11, 2017
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 6 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 139

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29. Eagles, “Long Road Out Of Eden”
> Release date: October 30, 2007
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 7 million
> Certification date of 7 millionth album sale: January 7, 2008
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 75

28. George Strait, “50 Number Ones”
> Release date: October 5, 2004
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 7 million
> Certification date of 7 millionth album sale: December 13, 2007
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 182

27. Sheryl Crow, “Tuesday Night Music Club”
> Release date: August 3, 1993
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 7 million
> Certification date of 7 millionth album sale: February 4, 1997
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 3 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 100

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26. Taylor Swift, “Red”
> Release date: October 22, 2012
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 7 million
> Certification date of 7 millionth album sale: July 23, 2018
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 7 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 170

25. Taylor Swift, “Taylor Swift”
> Release date: October 24, 2006
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 7 million
> Certification date of 7 millionth album sale: December 11, 2017
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 5 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 275

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24. George Strait, “Strait Out Of The Box”
> Release date: September 12, 1995
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 8 million
> Certification date of 8 millionth album sale: July 29, 2003
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 43 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 54

23. Garth Brooks, “Fresh Horses”
> Release date: November 21, 1995
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 8 million
> Certification date of 8 millionth album sale: February 14, 2020
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 2 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 66

22. Faith Hill, “Breathe”
> Release date: November 9, 1999
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 8 million
> Certification date of 8 millionth album sale: April 8, 2003
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 103

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21. Soundtrack, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
> Release date: December 5, 2000
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 8 million
> Certification date of 8 millionth album sale: October 10, 2007
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 112

20. Carrie Underwood, “Some Hearts”
> Release date: November 15, 2005
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 8 million
> Certification date of 8 millionth album sale: October 24, 2016
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 2 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 157

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19. Billy Ray Cyrus, “Some Gave All”
> Release date: May 19, 1992
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 9 million
> Certification date of 9 millionth album sale: July 16, 1996
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 17 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 97

18. John Denver, “John Denver’s Greatest Hits”
> Release date: November 15, 1973
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 9 million
> Certification date of 9 millionth album sale: May 23, 2001
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 3 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 176

17. Patsy Cline, “Patsy Cline’s Greatest Hits”
> Release date: February 14, 1973
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 10 million
> Certification date of 10 millionth album sale: September 22, 2005
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: N/A
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: N/A

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16. Garth Brooks, “Sevens”
> Release date: November 1, 1997
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 10 million
> Certification date of 10 millionth album sale: November 1, 2006
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 5 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 58

15. Garth Brooks, “The Chase”
> Release date: September 14, 1992
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 10 million
> Certification date of 10 millionth album sale: January 23, 2020
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 7 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 64

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14. Garth Brooks, “In Pieces”
> Release date: August 31, 1993
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 10 million
> Certification date of 10 millionth album sale: August 14, 2020
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 5 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 76

13. Garth Brooks, “The Ultimate Hits”
> Release date: November 6, 2007
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 10 million
> Certification date of 10 millionth album sale: September 21, 2016
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 3 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 137

12. Garth Brooks, “The Hits”
> Release date: December 1, 1994
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 10 million
> Certification date of 10 millionth album sale: November 11, 1998
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 8 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 110

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11. Garth Brooks, “Garth Brooks”
> Release date: April 12, 1989
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 10 million
> Certification date of 10 millionth album sale: November 1, 2006
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 13 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 224

10. Taylor Swift, “Fearless”
> Release date: November 11, 2008
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 10 million
> Certification date of 10 millionth album sale: December 11, 2017
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 11 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 261

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9. Shania Twain, “Up!”
> Release date: November 19, 2002
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 11 million
> Certification date of 11 millionth album sale: September 23, 2004
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 5 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 93

8. The Chicks, “Fly”
> Release date: August 31, 1999
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 11 million
> Certification date of 11 millionth album sale: March 5, 2020
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 131

7. Kenny Rogers, “Kenny Rogers’ Greatest Hits”
> Release date: October 18, 1980
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 12 million
> Certification date of 12 millionth album sale: August 27, 1997
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 161

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6. Shania Twain, “The Woman In Me”
> Release date: February 7, 1995
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 12 million
> Certification date of 12 millionth album sale: December 1, 2000
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 5 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 107

5. The Chicks, “Wide Open Spaces”
> Release date: January 23, 1998
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 13 million
> Certification date of 13 millionth album sale: March 5, 2020
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 4 (for 1 week)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 134

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4. Garth Brooks, “Ropin’ The Wind”
> Release date: September 2, 1991
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 14 million
> Certification date of 14 millionth album sale: September 23, 1998
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 18 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 132

3. Garth Brooks, “No Fences”
> Release date: August 27, 1990
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 18 million
> Certification date of 18 millionth album sale: February 14, 2020
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 3 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 224

2. Shania Twain, “Come On Over”
> Release date: November 4, 1997
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 20 million
> Certification date of 20 millionth album sale: November 15, 2004
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 2 (for 2 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 151

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1. Garth Brooks, “Double Live”
> Release date: November 17, 1998
> Certified U.S. unit sales: 21 million
> Certification date of 21 millionth album sale: November 1, 2006
> Peak position on Billboard 200 chart: No. 1 (for 5 weeks)
> Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 56

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