Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr Achieve a Beatles Chart First, Thanks to Dolly Parton

Thanks to Dolly Parton, The Beatles’ legendary chart history has added a first.

Parton’s version of The Beatles’ classic “Let It Be” – featuring Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr – arrives at No. 2 on Rock Digital Song Sales, No. 15 on Country Digital Song Sales and No. 22 on the all-genre Digital Song Sales chart (all dated Sept. 2), with 3,000 downloads sold Aug. 18-24, according to Luminate. A week earlier, it debuted at No. 3 on the Hot Trending Songs chart, powered by X.

The Fab Three’s song is set to be on Parton’s 30-song album Rockstar, due Nov. 17. The Beatles’ original led the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in 1970.

Notably, the remake is the first song on which McCartney and Starr – or any of the four Beatles, including the late George Harrison and John Lennon – have shared credited billing with one another on an entry on a Billboard songs chart outside the group.

The closest such occurrence previously: McCartney and Starr both received credit on Give My Regards to Broad Street, which hit No. 17 on Top Videocassettes Sales and No. 30 on Top Videocassettes Rentals in 1985. (Both charts were shuttered in 2010.) The film stars McCartney and Starr, among others, depicting a fictional day in McCartney’s life. The soundtrack, credited solely to McCartney, and on which Starr plays drums on multiple songs, hit No. 21 on the Billboard 200.

While “Let It Be” is the first hit crediting two Beatles by name on a Billboard songs chart, the members have collaborated on prior projects outside the group, which disbanded in 1970 (with Harrison, McCartney and Starr having updated archived tracks by the late Lennon for The Beatles’ Anthology series in 1995-96, with its three editions all hitting No. 1 on the Billboard 200).

Starr played drums on several tracks on Harrison’s solo album All Things Must Pass, which ruled the Billboard 200 for seven weeks in 1971. Musicians in that era often contributed their skills without seeking official credit (and both subsequently stated in interviews that they didn’t recall who played on which tracks on the set).

Starr also worked with Harrison on the latter’s album Cloud Nine, including on “Got My Mind Set on You,” which led the Hot 100 in 1988, marking the most recent No. 1 by a solo Beatle.

Starr and McCartney have also appeared on each other’s LPs through the years, beyond Broad Street. Starr played drums on McCartney’s “Take It Away,” which reached No. 10 on the Hot 100 in 1982, while McCartney joined Starr as recently as 2021, on Starr’s song “Here’s to the Nights,” from his EP Zoom In.

Both McCartney, 81, and Starr, 83, have busy schedules. Starr resumes touring with his All Starr Band Sept. 15 in Lake Tahoe, Nev., and will release the four-song EP Rewind Forward on Oct. 13. McCartney’s Got Back Tour heads to Australia on Oct. 18.

Plus, McCartney has revealed a forthcoming Beatles track. “Can’t say too much at this stage but to be clear, nothing has been artificially or synthetically created,” he teased in June. “It’s all real and we all play on it. We cleaned up some existing recordings – a process which has gone on for years.”

Making for even more star power on the new “Let It Be” cover, Mick Fleetwood, of Fleetwood Mac, provides percussion and Peter Frampton plays guitar.

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