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Lionel Richie ‘Tuskegee’ Is Country’s Top Seller for First Half of 2012

UMG Nashville

This week’s Billboard country album chart features a repeat showing of Kenny Chesney‘s Welcome to the Fishbowl at the No. 1 spot. With 255,000 copies of the superstar’s album sold thus far (in just two weeks), according to Nielsen Soundscan, the album is already among the 10 best-selling country discs of the first six months of 2012. Kenny is also featured on the year’s top-selling disc, too, having contributed guest vocals to pop superstar Lionel Richie‘s star-packed duets collection, Tuskegee.

Already platinum-certified, signifying sales of one million copies, Tuskegee also features Lionel collaborating with Shania Twain, Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Billy Currington, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Jennifer Nettles and others on some of his most popular hit songs. It’s the iconic singer-songwriter’s first album to reach platinum status in the U.S. since 2003, and the first million-selling collection of newly-recorded material since 1986′s Dancing on the Ceiling.

The year’s second-best-selling country album so far is Carrie Underwood‘s Blown Away, now in its ninth week of release and registering sales of just over 600,000 copies since its debut. It’s the sixth best-selling album overall, and the only one by a female country artist to place within the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 at mid-year. On the country chart, Lady Antebellum (Own the Night, No. 4) and the Band Perry (No. 8) are also among the year’s best-sellers so far.

Two of 2011′s biggest albums are hanging tough in 2012. Luke Bryan‘s Tailgates and Tanlines is the year’s third-best-selling country disc, with Jason Aldean‘s My Kinda Party at No. 5. Luke has been around for 47 weeks (and holds at No. 2 on the country chart this week), while Jason, who is expected to release a brand-new album later this year, has logged an impressive 87 weeks on the charts with his Party, the top-seller of 2011 and the reigning CMA Album of the Year.

Tim McGraw‘s Emotional Traffic is the No. 10 best-seller in country for the year thus far, while Rascal Flatts’ Changed is No. 7 and Eric Church‘s Chief is No. 6.

Among the highly-anticipated albums due in the second half of 2012: Zac Brown Band‘s Uncaged, new discs from Keith Urban, Gary Allan, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Ann Womack and Little Big Town‘s latest, featuring the smash summer hit, “Pontoon.”

Watch Lionel Richie & Shania Twain’s ‘Endless Love’ Video


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