Lionel Richie's 'Tuskegee' Becomes Year's Second-Biggest Album

Lionel Richie's 'Tuskegee' Becomes Year's Second-Biggest Album

Singer's Country Set Has Outsold His Last Three Combined

This week, Lionel Richie's smash "Tuskegee" album becomes the second-biggest selling album of the year with a total of 789,000 sold according to Nielsen SoundScan. The Mercury Nashville set surpasses Whitney Houston's "Greatest Hits," which falls to No. 3 (784,000). The year's top seller is Adele's "21" with 3.3 million.

Lionel Richie: The Billboard Cover Story | Video Q&A

Even better news for Richie: "Tuskegee" has now outsold his last three studio albums combined. His three previous sets have moved a cumulative 751,000. "Just Go" was the album that preceded "Tuskegee" and has sold 95,000 since its bow in 2009. "Coming Home" (2006) and "Just For You" (2004) have shifted 449,000 and 207,000, respectively.

"Tuskegee" debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart eight weeks ago with 199,000 -- his best sales week since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. It rose to No. 1 two weeks later, becoming the R&B and pop icon's third No. 1 album, and his first since 1986's "Dancing on the Ceiling" spent two weeks in the penthouse.

The new album's single, "Endless Love" (featuring Shania Twain), rises from No. 16 to No. 15 on the Adult Contemporary airplay chart this week. The tune's video is nominated for collaborative video of the year at the upcoming CMT Music Awards, due to be broadcast on June 6.