In its first week, ending Oct. 8, the collection, released Oct. 2, earned 27,000 equivalent album units, with 26,000 in album sales, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.
“I am so proud and humbled to have my album reach No. 1 on the Billboard country and holiday charts,” Parton says. “Boy, what a great early Christmas present for me! Thanks to Billboard and the fans.”
This week marks the second in a row that holiday titles have debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums, a first since the list launched in 1964. On the Oct. 10-dated tally, Carrie Underwood’s My Gift arrived on top with 43,000 units.
Parton adds her eighth No. 1 on Top Country Albums and first on Top Holiday Albums. Her new release also opens at No. 16 on the all-genre Billboard 200.
A Holly Dolly Christmas is Parton’s third holiday-themed LP, after Home for Christmas, which peaked at No. 74 on Top Country Albums in December 1990, and Once Upon a Christmas, with Kenny Rogers (No. 12, January 1985). Also in her catalog of carols, “Hard Candy Christmas,” originally from the 1982 musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, starring Parton, hit No. 8 on Hot Country Songs in January 1983.
Parton earns her first Top Country Albums No. 1 since Pure & Simple in September 2016. That set became the icon’s first leader in more than 25 years, since Eagle When She Flies in May 1991.
Meanwhile, Parton banks her 46th Top Country Albums top 10 and first of 2020. Having first reached the region in 1968 with Just Between You and Me, with Porter Wagoner, she joins Willie Nelson as the second artist, and becomes the first female, to have achieved top 10s on the chart in each decade starting in the ’60s. Her top 10 totals by decade: ’60s (four); ’70s (18); ’80s (11); ’90s (five); 2000s (three); ’10s (four); and ’20s (one).
The new LP, which Kent Wells produced, includes collaborations with Nelson (“Pretty Paper”), Michael Bublé (“Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas”), Billy Ray Cyrus (“Christmas Where We Are”), Miley Cyrus (“Christmas Is”), Jimmy Fallon (a cover of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You”) and Dolly’s younger brother Randy Parton (“You Are My Christmas”).
Most of the singing partners recorded their parts separately from Parton, who finished the project with Wells after the COVID-19 pandemic started.