Kenny Rogers On Top of the Charts Once Again

If you’re wondering just how much the music of Kenny Rogers meant to fans, this is a pretty good indication. The Country Music Hall of Famer passed away on March 20, and since then sales and streams of his music have spiked dramatically, putting The Gambler on the top of the Billboard Country Albums chart for the first time in some 35 years.

In the week after the death of Kenny Rogers, copies of his most recent Greatest Hits collection, The Best of Kenny Rogers: Through the Years released by Capitol Records in 2018 have been in high demand. The album moved some 32,000 album equivalents over the week, including 10,000 physical copies. Songs from the collection were streamed some 18.3 million times, and track equivalent sales also amounted to another 8,000 total units under the current tabulating formula.

This puts Kenny at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, as well as #9 on the all-genre Billboard 200. It marks the first time Kenny Rogers has been at #1 in country since February 1st, 1986 with his album The Heart of the Matter. It’s also Kenny’s first Top 10 on the Billboard 200 since 1983, and Kenny’s 12th #1 album overall. Obviously, these are unusual circumstances, but the numbers speak to the lasting influence of the music of Kenny Rogers, and how much the loss affected fans in country music and beyond.

The Best of Kenny Rogers: Through the Years includes many of the best-known Kenny Rogers songs, but it doesn’t include “Islands in the Stream.” So the record got to #1 even without that boost. To put the achievement into context, mainstream radio star Kelsea Ballerini released her latest album Kelsea the same week, and Kenny beat it, along with the big Luke Combs releases that have been stuck at the top of the country albums charts for the last many months.

Kenny Rogers also had multiple re-entrys on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart the week after his passing, including “The Gambler” that came in at #14, and “Islands in the Stream” at #20.

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