Willie Nelson extends his record for the most top 10s in the nearly 50-year history of Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, as the duets set "To All the Girls…" enters at No. 2. He also claims his best Nielsen SoundScan week and highest rank on the tally in 24 years, as the set starts with 43,000 sold.
The 80-year-old Nelson's incredible top 10 history on Top Country Albums stretches almost to the chart's beginning. He tallied his first such hit with his first entry, "Country Favorites – Willie Nelson Style," in 1966.
Punctuating hit latest feat, the Country Music Hall of Fame honoree rings his best sales sum since "Live and Kickin' " started with 27,000 in 2003. The new album is Nelson's highest perch on the chart since "A Horse Called Music" peaked at No. 2 in 1989.
The all-star "To All the Girls…" references Nelson's 1984 Hot Country Songs No. 1 "To All the Girls I've Loved Before," with Julio Iglesias. While he doesn't cover that song on the new release, he does update old favorites such as "Always on My Mind" with Carrie Underwood (originally a No. 1 in 1982). Partners on the new album also include Brandi Carlile, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, Miranda Lambert and Dolly Parton.
Here's a look at the acts with the most top 10s since Top Country Albums premiered the week of Jan. 11, 1964:
46 -- Willie Nelson
41 -- Dolly Parton
40 -- Merle Haggard
39 -- Loretta Lynn
37 -- George Strait
33 -- Johnny Cash
33 -- Conway Twitty
32 -- George Jones
31 -- Elvis Presley
31 -- Hank Williams Jr.
As previously reported, on the overall Billboard 200 albums chart, "To All the Girls..." debuts at No. 9. It's just Nelson's second top 10 on the ranking: 1982's "Always on My Mind" spent four weeks at No. 2.
The new album was supported by a promotional campaign with QVC, as the shopping network hosted a live concert with Nelson on Sept. 12, which helped drive approximately half of the album's first-week sales (according to industry sources). The QVC version of the album also sported six exclusive bonus live tracks.
Additional reporting by Keith Caulfield and Gary Trust