Who Besides Lionel Richie Has Topped Billboard's R&B and Country Charts?
An insightful e-mail came in last week (to firstname.lastname@example.org) from avid chart-watcher Garrett Godbey of Tampa, Fla.
Godbey wrote, "With Lionel Richie debuting at No. 1 with Tuskegee on Top Country Albums, he's earned No. 1s on the Top Country Albums and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. In the history of Billboard, how many other artists have accomplished this feat during their careers?"
First, a recap of Richie's No. 1s on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. His self-titled first solo set spent a week at the summit (Nov. 27, 1982). Follow-up Can't Slow Down led for 23 weeks in 1983-84 - the fourth-longest reign since the chart premiered the week of Jan. 30, 1965.
Richie also made four trips to the top of Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums as a member of the Commodores. The group, from Tuskegee, Ala. (ah, that explains it …), ruled with Hot on the Tracks (six weeks, 1976), Commodores (eight, 1977), Natural High (eight, 1978) and Midnight Magic (three, 1979) before Richie's departure to go solo in 1982.
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Tuskegee does not appear on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums due to its country arrangements and guests, including Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton and Shania Twain, all of whom duet with Richie on several of his beloved R&B hits.
Tuskegee is, however, Richie's first No. 1 on Top Country Albums. He appeared on the chart once before, with Can't Slow Down, which reached No. 55.
Getting to Godbey's question: how many artists have topped both surveys? Richie has become just the second artist to have reached No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top Country Albums.
The first? Ray Charles.
Perhaps surprisingly, given his status as a cornerstone in the progression of soul music, Charles tallied only one No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums: 1966's Crying Time.
For the full article, check out Billboard.com