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. Star Garth Brooks has sold 157 million albums so far in his career.
Even among people who do not listen to country music, who has not heard of the Grand Ole Opry, the temple for country music artists, many of whom started their careers there? Among America’s larger metropolitan areas, Nashville is often called the “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 (RIAA). Country albums (those 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 in October 2021.
The list we considered is mostly dominated by albums from the 1990s and 2000s, but there were 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.
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, it is very much a living and growing genre.
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.
The top-selling country music album of all time is “Double Live” by Garth Brooks. Here are the details:
- 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 five weeks)
- Total weeks on Billboard 200 chart: 56
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