Top 20 Best-Selling Country Artists of All Time: No. 7 Alan Jackson

by Jim Casey

Alan Jackson has been keeping it country for more than 30 years. Since releasing his debut album, Here in the Real World, in 1990, Alan has scored 26 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. In addition, the Newnan, Georgia, native has collected 14 chart-toppers on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, as well as four No. 1 albums on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart.

Alan is No. 7 on our list of the Top 20 Best-Selling Country Artists of All Time, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The RIAA tracks domestic album sales in the U.S. with its gleaming certifications: Gold (500,000 units), Platinum (1 million units), Multi-Platinum (2 million units and more), and Diamond (10 million units).

No. 7: Alan Jackson

  • 43.5 Million Units Sold
  • 8 Multi-Platinum Albums
  • 7 Platinum Albums
  • 3 Gold Albums
  • 4 Gold Singles

That’s Livin’

Alan Jackson’s best-selling studio album is 1992’s A Lot About Livin’ (And a Little ’Bout Love). The RIAA certified AJ’s third studio album 6X Platinum for sales of 6 million units. The 10-song offering was buoyed by No. 1 hits “She’s Got the Rhythm (And I Got the Blues)” and “Chattahoochee,” as well as Top 5 hits “Tonight I Climbed the Wall,” “Mercury Blues,” and “(Who Says) You Can’t Have It All.”

In addition, two of Alan’s compilation albums have been certified 6X Platinum: 1995’s The Greatest Hits Collection and 2003’s Greatest Hits: Volume II.

Pour Me Something Tall & Strong

While Alan copped 15 Platinum or Multi-Platinum albums, it’s hard to believe he never scored a Platinum single. However, Alan does have four Gold singles to his credit, each certified for sales of 500,000 units: “Good Time,” “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” “Remember When,” and “Chattahoochee.”

Alan’s 2003 duet with Jimmy Buffett, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. The single represented Alan’s longest reign atop the chart. In addition, the tune peaked at No. 17 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart.

In Defense Of Alan Jackson

Mustachioed and mulleted, Alan Jackson pulled off one of the most amazing flexes in awards show history.

At the 1994 ACM Awards, Alan was asked by the show’s producers to perform his new tune, “Gone Country,” to a pre-recorded track. Keep in mind, Alan was also the co-host of the show with Reba McEntire. Of course, Alan didn’t view himself as an illusionist, especially for a song like “Gone Country.” But what could he do? He kept it country—the only way he knew how.

Alan instructed his drummer Bruce Rutherford to “play” the drums without sticks. Bruce obliged by swinging like an empty-handed madman. Bruce’s stickless performance went largely unnoticed at the time. However, it is now a part of Alan’s folkloric escapades.