30 Years Ago: Garth Brooks Sets a ‘Billboard’ Chart Record With ‘Ropin’ the Wind’
By the fall of 1991, Garth Brooks had notched six No. 1 singles and two Top 5 albums, as well as a slew of ACM and CMA Awards — all in a little over two years. His third studio album, Ropin' the Wind, however, made him a Billboard chart record-setter.
For the chart week dated Sept. 28, 1991, Brooks' Ropin' the Wind debuted at No. 1 on not only the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, but also on the all-genre Billboard 200. On the latter, Metallica (also known as The Black Album) by the rock band of the same name moved to No. 2 when Brooks assumed the top position; on the former, Brooks actually displaced his own previous album, 1990's No Fences, to take the top spot.
Over the next six months, Ropin' the Wind spent a total of 18 weeks, across four separate occasions, at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart. The album contains three No. 1 singles ("Shameless," "What She's Doing Now," "The River") and two more Top 5 singles ("Rodeo," "Papa Loved Mama").
By early November, Ropin' the Wind was certified four-times platinum by the RIAA; it went five-times platinum in mid-December, six-times platinum in mid-January 1992 and nine-times platinum in mid-December 1992. As of Sept. 23, 1998, the album has been certified a whopping 14-times platinum.
Ropin' the Wind helped Brooks rake in more awards, too. The record won Album of the Year at the 1992 CMA Awards, during which Brooks also took home the Entertainer of the Year trophy and was nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year. At the 1992 ACM Awards, Brooks won Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist, and was nominated for Album of the Year for both Ropin' the Wind and No Fences. At the Grammy Awards that same year, the album won Brooks Best Country Vocal Performance, Male.
While Brooks was the first country artist to debut at the top of both charts, he wasn't the first to get there. Kenny Rogers spent time at the peak of both the Top Country Albums and Billboard 200 charts with his 1980 Greatest Hits album.
How He's Changed! Garth Brooks' Storied Career in Pictures: