Dolly Parton’s Rockstar blasts in at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart (dated Dec. 2), scoring the music legend her first leader on the 32-year-old tally.
Rockstar bows with 118,500 copies sold in the U.S. in the week ending Nov. 23, according to Luminate. That marks biggest sales week for an album in the modern era, since Luminate began electronically tracking sales in 1991. She more than doubles her previous biggest week, notched in 1993 when Slow Dancing With the Moon sold 50,500 copies in its second week on the chart (rising 54-19 on the March 20, 1993-dated list).
Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart ranks the top-selling albums of the week based only on traditional album sales. The chart’s history dates back to May 25, 1991, the first week Billboard began tabulating charts with electronically monitored piece count information from SoundScan, now Luminate. Pure album sales were the sole measurement utilized by the Billboard 200 albums chart through the list dated Dec. 6, 2014, after which that chart switched to a methodology that blends album sales with track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent album units. The new Dec. 2, 2023-dated chart will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on Nov. 28. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both X, formerly known as Twitter, and Instagram.
As previously reported, Rockstar also debuts at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 – Parton’s highest charting album ever, and her third top 10 on that list.
Of Rockstar’s first-week sales of 118,500, physical sales comprise a little more than 96,000 (78,000 on CD, 18,000 on vinyl and a negligible sum on cassette) and download album sales comprise a little over 22,000.
The star-studded Rockstar was promoted as Parton’s first rock album, and its recording was sparked by Parton’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2022. Parton has primarily released country music in her nearly 60-year career, through has taken detours (with albums and/or songs) into such genres as Americana/folk, bluegrass, children’s music, Christian, dance/electronic and pop.
The 30-song Rockstar set has a mix of original songs and covers, and boasts a cavalcade of guest stars – 40 in all. Among them are Pat Benatar, Miley Cyrus, Melissa Etheridge, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, Elton John, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Chris Stapleton, Ringo Starr, Sting and Steven Tyler.
Rockstar’s first-week sales were bolstered by its availability across a variety of editions and formats, in addition to some non-traditional music retailers including Cracker Barrel, Dollar General and HSN. The album’s CD edition was available in four editions – a standard version and three variants, each with alternative cover art: for HSN, with three bonus tracks; a Dallas Cowboys version, and a Tennessee Volunteers edition with a bonus track. The latter two were tied to a pair of high-profile live TV performances from Parton: during the Georgia Bulldogs vs. Tennessee Volunteers football game on Nov. 19, and during halftime of the Washington Commanders vs. Dallas Cowboys football game on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23).
Rockstar was pressed on more than 10 vinyl variants, including exclusive editions (all in different colors, some with different cover art) for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, independent record stores, Parton’s webstore, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame store, Target and Walmart. Parton’s webstore also carried a deluxe digital download version of the album with three exclusive bonus tracks. Rockstar was also offered in multiple deluxe boxed sets, sold through Parton’s webstore, containing either a vinyl or CD version of the album with a branded T-shirt of various designs.