Kenny Rogers’ ‘The Gambler,’ one of the signature songs of the great country entertainer, has hit No. 1 on Billboard‘s all-genre Digital Song Sales chart in the wake of his death on 20 March. His equally adored ‘Islands In The Stream’ duet with Dolly Parton is at No. 2.
The Don Schlitz song ‘The Gambler,’ which spent three weeks at No. 1 on the country chart in 1978 and reached No. 16 pop, sold 21,000 downloads in the week ending 26 March, reports Billboard. That was an increase of 5,543%. It’s Rogers’ first No. 1 on Digital Song Sales, and the oldest song to top the 16-year-old chart. Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ previously held that record, at 32 years old when it led the survey after his death, in 2016. ‘Gambler’ also re-enters Hot Country Songs at No. 14.
‘Islands In The Stream,’ No. 1 for two weeks on both the US country and pop charts in 1983, improves by 4,723% to 15,000 downloads sold. It’s back on Hot Country Songs at No. 20. Rogers not only has the chart’s top two titles, but a total of 12 in the 50-song list. Only Prince, with 21, BTS with 18 and Michael Jackson with 17 have had more tracks in one edition of the chart.
Rogers is also at No. 7 on Digital Song Sales with the Lionel Richie-written ‘Lady,’ No. 9 with ‘Through The Years,’ No. 13 with his duet with Sheena Easton, ‘We’ve Got Tonight’ and No. 20 with ‘Coward of the County.’ He also stands at No. 24 with ‘She Believes In Me,’ No. 26 with ‘Lucille’ and No. 28 with his later collaboration with Parton, ‘You Can’t Make Old Friends.’
His domination of the chart is completed by his 1969 hit with the First Edition, ‘Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town’ at No. 37; ‘You Decorated My Life’ at No. 40 and ‘Don’t Fall in Love With a Dreamer,’ with Kim Carnes, at No. 50.
Rogers also has this week’s No. 1 on Top Country Albums with 2018’s The Best of Kenny Rogers: Through the Years and re-entered the UK chart at No. 6 last Friday (27) with a new peak of No. 6 for All The Hits and All New Love Songs.