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Kenny Rogers Has the Top Two Best-Selling Songs of the Week

The two top-selling songs of the week belong to late legend Kenny Rogers, as "The Gambler" soars in at No. 1 on Billboard's all-genre Digital Song Sales chart, followed by "Islands in the Stream,"…

The two top-selling songs of the week belong to late legend Kenny Rogers, as “The Gambler” soars in at No. 1 on Billboard‘s all-genre Digital Song Sales chart, followed by “Islands in the Stream,” with Dolly Parton, new at No. 2.

The classics, released in 1978 and 1983, respectively, surge as fans celebrated Rogers’ music following his death on March 20 at age 81.

“Gambler” vaulted by 5,543% to 21,000 downloads sold in the week ending March 26, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. The Don Schlitz-penned standard becomes Rogers’ first No. 1 on the all-genre Digital Song Sales chart, as well as the oldest song ever to lead the list, which began in 2004. It passes Prince and the Revolution’s 1984 opus “Purple Rain,” which led in May 2016, following Prince’s death.

Meanwhile, “Islands,” written by the Bee Gees, increased by 4,723% to 15,000 sold.

Rogers accounts for nearly a quarter of all the titles on Digital Song Sales, as 12 entries from his catalog debut. (Before this week, he had never previously appeared on the chart.) Only three acts have ever boasted greater weekly shares of the survey’s top 50 spots: Prince (as many as 21 songs), BTS (18) and Michael Jackson (17).

Here’s a rundown of Rogers’ songs on the latest list.

Kenny Rogers on Digital Song Sales Chart
No. 1, “The Gambler” (21,000, up 5,543%)
No. 2, “Islands in the Stream,” with Dolly Parton (15,000, up 4,723%)
No. 7, “Lady” (10,000, up 6,215%)
No. 9, “Through the Years” (9,000, up 5,282%)
No. 13, “We’ve Got Tonight,” with Sheena Easton (7,000, up 7,230%)
No. 20, “Coward of the County” (6,000, up 4,517%)
No. 24, “She Believes in Me” (5,000, up 7,578%)
No. 26, “Lucille” (5,000, up 6,847%)
No. 28, “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” with Parton (5,000, up 24,021%)
No. 37, “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” with The First Edition (4,000, up 6,836%)
No. 40, “You Decorated My Life” (4,000, up 8,816%)
No. 50, “Don’t Fall in Love With a Dreamer,” with Kim Carnes (3,000, up 7,077%)


“Gambler” and “Islands” also re-enter the streaming-, airplay- and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart, which they topped for three weeks in 1978 and two weeks in 1983, respectively.

“Gambler” returns to the tally at No. 14, having drawn 5.2 million U.S. streams (up 462%) and 1 million in airplay audience in the tracking week. “Islands” re-enters at No. 20, with 3.1 million streams (up 378%) and 1.1 million in radio reach.

As previously reported, Rogers additionally claims the No. 1 title on the Top Country Albums chart, as his 2018 set The Best of Kenny Rogers: Through the Years (which includes “Gambler”) debuts at the summit, marking his first leader on the list since 1986.