BILLBOARD MAGAZINE’S TOP 25 COUNTRY ARTISTS, 1985-2011
Nashville, TN (August 12, 2011) – The Judds, one of the most successful Country music duos of all time, have been named #15 of Billboard Magazine’s Top 25 Country Artists from 1985-2011. Earlier this summer, Billboard ranked the top 25 country artists of the last twenty-five years, combing their Country Songs and Country Album charts since 1985.
Kentucky natives, The Judds became country music’s sole successful mother-daughter duo and practically owned the country charts during the ‘80s. Naomi and Wynonna shot to stardom with a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Had a Dream (For the Heart)” in 1983, followed by heartfelt ballads such as “Mama He’s Crazy” and “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days).” After launching their career with Curb/RCA Records, The Judds sold 20 million albums in just six short years. All but two of The Judds’ 16 radio singles between 1984-1989 topped Billboard’s Country Songs chart. By 1989, The Judds were one of the top-grossing and most popular touring acts in America, earning more than 60 industry awards, including multiple CMA, ACM and GRAMMY awards.
Sadly, at the height of their career, Naomi Judd announced her impending retirement at the end of 1991 due to health complications. Their subsequent tour sold more concert tickets than any artist that year except for The Grateful Dead and The Rolling Stones. The pair reunited on Dec. 31, 1999, for a New Year’s Eve show, prompting a successful reunion tour, multi-media partnership and CBS Special in 2000 sponsored by Kmart. Then, ten years later, after a performance at the 2009 CMA Music Festival, and with encouragement from their fans, the duo decided to tour another time for their 2010 tour, The Judds: The Last Encore. During this significant time, they invited the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) to document their journey.. In April 2011, their six-episode docu-series, “The Judds,” debuted with the highest rated premiere outside of OWN’s launch week. Viewers tuned in every Sunday night to watch the moving exploration of Wynonna and Naomi’s mother-daughter bond weaved throughout the backdrop of this momentous concert tour.
How This Chart Was Created
The Top Country Artists 1985-2011 ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Country Songs and Country Albums charts dated Jan. 5, 1985 – June 4, 2011. Artists are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at the lower end of the chart earning the least.
Prior to the Country Songs chart’s implementation in January 1990 of monitored radio airplay by Nielsen BDS and the Country Albums list’s incorporation of point-of-purchase sales date from Nielsen SoundScan in May 1991, titles on those lists had shorter reigns at No. 1 and shorter chart lives. To ensure equitable representation from all 25-plus years, earlier time frames were each weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those years and the turnover rates that have occurred since the advent of Nielsen music data. (Used by permission)