Once again when a country legend releases an album, fans rise to the occasion and support the artist to a greater degree than their contemporary counterparts. And for Dolly Parton, those additional sales earn her a distinction she hasn’t seen in a quarter of a century.
Parton’s latest record Pure & Simple—released in a partnership with Dolly Records and RCA Nashville—has debuted at the top of Billboard’s Country Albums chart this week, making it the first time Dolly has hit #1 since her record Eagle When She Flies in May of 1991, and the first time in the SoundScan era. Pure & Simple sold approximately 20,000 copies to earn the distinction.
Dolly, who wrote all the songs and co-produced the record said upon the news, “Boy, it’s a good day for me. I am a happy girl! It feels great to be #1 as it’s been a long time and it feels so good to still be in the game after all this time.”
Pure & Simple also shows up on Billboard’s all genre chart at #11. And showing Dolly’s international appeal, she comes in at a surprising #2 position all genre in the U.K., only behind Frank Ocean’s surprise release. She also hits #1 in country in Canada, the U.K., and Australia.
The Pure & Simple album coincides with Dolly Parton’s current Pure & Simple tour. Parton’s tour is one of the most extensive tours she has been on in many years, including dates in Canada where she hadn’t toured in 25 years. She explained the premise of the album and tour in a press conference back in March.
“I don’t know how pure I am but I’m pretty simple,” Dolly said laughing. “The reason I’m calling it that is because actually I’ve stripped down my show quite a bit to where we don’t have a lot of electric instruments, we don’t have a lot of videos … But I’m doing a lot of songs that’s really scaled down, and not a lot of music. Of course, I do a lot of talking. What else would I do, right?