Dolly Parton makes history with ‘Rockstar’

Parton scores the biggest album debut sales week of her seven-decade career

Seven decades into her unmatched career, global superstar Dolly Parton lands her biggest album debut ever as the 30-track, star-studded Rockstar collection debuts at No. 1 on six different Billboard charts. With 127,778 units sold in its inaugural week, Rockstar debuts at No. 1 on Billboard Top Rock Albums, No. 1 on Billboard Top Rock & Alternative Albums, No. 1 on Billboard Top Country Albums, No. 1 on Billboard Top Album Sales, No. 1 on Billboard Top Current Album Sales, and No. 1 on Billboard Independent Albums charts. The album also debuted at No. 2 on Billboard Vinyl Albums and No. 2 on the Billboard Tastemaker Albums charts. Released on Parton’s own Butterfly Records with worldwide distribution via Big Machine Label Group, Rockstar joins Drake’s For All The Dogs – Scary Hours Edition and Taylor Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version) in the overall top three, marking Parton’s career-best rank on the all-genre list.

Rockstar also becomes Parton’s biggest debut week ever and biggest sales week in 30 years, since 1993’s Platinum-selling Slow Dancing With The Moon logged 50,000 units in its second chart week. With its No. 1 debut on Billboard Country Albums, the album also becomes Parton’s 48th top 10 entry on Billboard Country Albums and eighth No. 1, extending the Rock & Roll and Country Music Hall of Famers’ record on that tally for most top 10 albums by a female artist. The album extends Parton’s run of No. 1’s on Billboard Country Albums to 46 years—from 1977’s Here You Come Again to the present—a record she claimed in 2020 with the No. 1 debut of A Holly Dolly Christmas and now furthers with Rockstar.

“Wow, this is a big thrill!” exclaims Parton. “I owe a thank you to the fans who have always been there for me. Their support made this achievement possible. I’d also like to thank my producer Kent Wells, and all the wonderful artists, musicians, and engineers who brought their talents to this project.”

Parton’s Rockstar first-week worldwide sales have topped 143 thousand units, highlighted with a top five debut in the UK, Parton’s first top 10 debut in Germany, N0. 1 debut in Canada on both Country Albums and Current Digital Album Sales chart, a N0. 2 debut in Canada on the Current Album Sales chart, a N0. 2 debut on the Digital Albums chart in Australia, a N0. 3 debut on the Country Albums chart in Australia, a N0. 2 debut in Switzerland, and more ex-US debuts still to be announced.

Parton’s massive global campaign for Rockstar featured a halftime performance at the Dallas Cowboys Red Kettle Kickoff game on Thanksgiving Day, where in advance of the performance, Parton surprised Dallas Cowboys’ Charlotte Jones with a donation of $1 million dollars to the Salvation Army. Additionally, Parton’s appearance in the game helped it become the third most-viewed regular-season game in NFL history with a 44 million viewership peak. She also appeared on The Howard Stern Show, launched her own limited-run SiriusXM channel, previewed the album in movie theaters by hosting a global listening event, and teamed with TouchTunes to feature songs in jukeboxes.

Among the special guests on the highly-anticipated project are former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, John Fogerty, Stevie Nicks, Miley Cyrus, Kid Rock, Warren Haynes, Joan Jett, Peter Frampton, Pink, Brandi Carlile, Elton John, Melissa Etheridge, Lizzo, Steven Tyler, Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx & John 5, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, among others.

The album has produced chart-topping hits including the original song “Bygones” featuring Rob Halford which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Rock Digital Songs chart and Parton’s original song, “World on Fire,” which also reached the No. 1 Billboard Rock Digital Songs chart the month of its release. Also, recently released was the classic “Let It Be” – including a roster of rock legends — Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Peter Frampton and Mick Fleetwood as well as “What’s Up?” featuring Linda Perry. The most recent release is a duet of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” with the pop star herself.

Parton’s Rockstar project is available in multiple digital and physical versions. With ten options for retailers across the globe, Rockstar is available in black, gold, clear, red, Smoky, silver, purple, white, pink, and blue vinyl variants. Additionally, a standard 2 CD, UT Vols 2 CD (featuring a live version of “Rocky Top”), Dallas Cowboys 2 CD, HSN exclusive 2 CD (featuring bonus tracks “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Mama Never Said,” and “Rockin’ It”), and a TalkShopLive exclusive double cassette offering are in the market. During the album’s release week, Parton surprised fans with an exclusive digital download of the Rockstar album featuring two additional bonus tracks (“Two Tickets To Paradise” and “Jolene” featuring Måneskin) via her website.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: info@themusicuniverse.com