Toby Keith Returns to the Top of the Billboard Album Chart

Toby Keith, the boisterous, unapologetically patriotic country star who died last week at 62, has a posthumous No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart, as a 16-year-old hits collection narrowly edged out Morgan Wallen’s latest — and easily topped releases by the rapper 21 Savage and the Grammy winners Taylor Swift and SZA — to reach the top of the chart.

Keith’s “35 Biggest Hits,” with tracks like “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” “Who’s Your Daddy?,” “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” and the Willie Nelson duet “Beer for My Horses” — all of them No. 1 country smashes — re-entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 1. It had the equivalent of 66,000 sales in the United States, including 64 million streams and 11,000 copies sold as a complete package, according to the tracking service Luminate.

“35 Biggest Hits,” which came out in 2008 on two CDs and previously reached as high as No. 2, becomes Keith’s fifth album to go to No. 1, and the first since “Bullets in the Gun” in 2010.

“35 Biggest Hits” is the first posthumous No. 1 on the Billboard 200 since “Faith” by Pop Smoke, in early 2021, about a year after the Brooklyn rapper was killed in a shooting at age 20. Billboard notes that Keith’s collection is also the first retrospective album to hit No. 1 since “The Very Best of Prince,” shortly after Prince’s death in 2016.

The 66,000 equivalent sales for “35 Biggest Hits” barely beat out Wallen’s “One Thing at a Time,” a streaming blockbuster for much of the last year that has logged a total of 18 weeks at No. 1 and had the equivalent of 65,000 sales in its most recent week, landing at No. 2.

Also this week, SZA’s “SOS” is No. 3, 21 Savage’s “American Dream” is No. 4 and Swift’s “Midnights” — the album of the year winner at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 4 — rises four spots to No. 5.

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