Billboard Names the Biggest Country Songs, Albums & Artists of (Almost) All Time

by VVN Music

As they have done in the recent past for popular music with the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, Billboard has now published the biggest music from the field of Country.

While their are a few surprises on the Albums list and quite a few on the Singles, the tally of the top artists reads like a who's who of the last half century of country music.

The genre's biggest star, George Strait, leads that list followed by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. A slight surprise would be that Garth Brooks, who is the second biggest selling Albums artist of all-time behind just the Beatles, is only number 8; however, he had immense success with just nine studio albums and the associated singles before his almost decade retirement, a fairly short list compared to the very long careers of those above him on the list.

The top female on the list is Reba McEntire while the top group is Alabama.

The top 20:
  1. George Strait
  2. Merle Haggard
  3. Willie Nelson
  4. Alabama
  5. Conway Twitty
  6. Charley Pride
  7. Reba McEntire
  8. Garth Brooks
  9. Alan Jackson
  10. Tim McGraw
  11. Waylon Jennings
  12. Buck Owens
  13. Hank Williams, Jr. 
  14. Johnny Cash
  15. Kenny Rogers
  16. George Jones
  17. Loretta Lynn
  18. Dolly Parton
  19. Kenny Chesney
  20. Ronnie Milsap
A number of classic artists of country, including Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb and Kitty Wells, are not on the list as it only takes into account singles from 1958 on and albums from 1964.

The full Artists list is at Billboard

On the Albums, there is a definite concentration of more modern recordings by the likes of Shania Twain, Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift, the Dixie Chicks and Carrie Underwood as country fans didn't start buying albums in quantity until the 90's. 

Twain tops the list with Come on Over and is also number 9 with The Woman in Me. Brooks, obviously, has numerous albums on the list including No Fences (#2), Garth Brooks (#4), Ropin' the Wind (#26) and The Hits (#29). Swift also strikes big with Taylor Swift (#3), Fearless (#11), Red (#72) and Speak Now (#73).

The top twenty:
  1. Come on Over - Shania Twain
  2. No Fences - Garth Brooks
  3. Taylor Swift - Taylor Swift
  4. Garth Brooks - Garth Brooks
  5. Always & Forever - Randy Travis
  6. Behind Closed Doors - Charlie Rich
  7. Some Hearts - Carrie Underwood
  8. Greatest Hits - Waylon Jennings
  9. The Woman in Me - Shania Twain
  10. O Brother, Where Art Thou? - Various Artists
  11. Fearless - Taylor Swift
  12. Killin' Time - Clint Black
  13. Fly - Dixie Chicks
  14. Here's to the Good Times - Florida Georgia Line
  15. Wide Open Spaces - Dixie Chicks
  16. Blue - LeAnn Rimes
  17. Storms of Life - Randy Travis
  18. My Kinda Party - Jason Aldean
  19. Feels So Right - Alabama
  20. Not a Moment Too Soon - Tim McGraw
The full Albums list is at Billboard

Finally, the singles offer a true mix of vintage and modern music. 

The list is topped by the huge Florida Georgia Line's Cruise which spent 24 weeks at the top of the Country Songs list at a time when regular number 1's held for just one or two weeks. 

It's followed by the 1961 hit Walk on By by Leroy Van Dyke, Hunter Hayes' 2012 hit Wanted, Sam Hunt's 2014 record Take Your Time and the 1966 Jack Greene song There Goes My Everything.

Tim McGraw is the only artist to have more than one single in the top 20, coming in with three.

The top twenty:
  1. Cruise - Florida Georgia Line
  2. Walk on By - Leroy Van Dyke
  3. Wanted - Hunter Hayes
  4. Take Your Time - Sam Hunt
  5. There Goes My Everything - Jack Greene
  6. Love's Gonna Live Here - Buck Owens
  7. Convoy - C.W. McCall
  8. Somebody Like You - Keith Urban
  9. Amazed - Lonestar
  10. Daddy Sang Bass - Johnny Cash
  11. Kiss an Angel Good Mornin' - Charley Pride
  12. Just to See You Smile - Tim McGraw
  13. Once a Day - Connie Smith
  14. Need You Now - Lady Antebellum
  15. Live Like You Were Dying - Tim McGraw
  16. Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love) - Waylon Jennings
  17. 19 Somethin' - Mark Wills
  18. My Hang-Up is You - Freddie Hart
  19. It's Your Love - Tim McGraw with Faith Hill
  20. Check Yes Or No - George Strait
To see the full top 100, go to Billboard

1 comment

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