Joey + Rory's new, inspirational "Hymns That Important To Us" album capped Billboard's Top Country Albums chart (dated March 5), after selling 68,000 copies in the sales week ending Feb. 18, according to Nielsen Music. The album, which was released on Feb. 12 through Cracker Barrel, also topped Billboard's Contemporary Christian Album and Christian Video charts.
On the multigenre Billboard 200, the LP debuts at No. 4, with 70,000 in consumption, reports AOL.
"When the label called to give us the news I immediately took the phone in to Joey," Rory said in a press release about the milestone.
"This recording was 'hers' from the beginning. This is one that she has always wanted to make, and she's worked so hard to make it happen, in spite of the difficult circumstances she is facing. As I congratulated her, she responded through tears, 'No, Honey, this is God's record....'"
The duo's debut is emotional for many reasons, though. Joey and Rory Feek married in 2002 and have one daughter, Indiana, who just turned 2 years old on Feb. 17. In 2014, Joey began chemotherapy for stage-four cervical cancer. She relapsed in 2015, with the cancer being deemed terminal. Electing to cease treatments in November, Feek is currently under hospice care at the family's home in Indiana.
"No one is more surprised that our Hymns record has sold this many copies than Joey and I," Rory told Billboard. "For the last few months, we've been in Indiana, far away from the music business, living and sharing the story of our personal journey through my blog. We haven't been promoting our careers at all. The only way I can explain the sales of this record is that it's a byproduct of something bigger: love."
The sales week marks the pair's strongest. Previously, Joey + Rory tallied seven appearances on Top Country Albums, including two top 10s: "The Life of a Song" (No. 10 peak in 2008) and "Album Number Two" (No. 9, 2010). "The Life of a Song" represented the act's prior best weekly sales total: 8,000 upon its debut (Nov. 15, 2008).
"Hymns" was made in Nashville, Tenn., shortly after Joey's first surgery. "A lot has taken place in a year's time, but through it all, these songs have given me such strength," said the 40-year-old singer. "They've given me such hope, and they give me something to look forward to."