We’ve been reporting on all of the happenings surrounding Lionel Richie‘s country duets album ‘Tuskegee‘ since details of the collaborative effort first arose. The highly awaited 13-track collection of duets with Richie and some of the biggest names in country finally dropped March 26. This week, the album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. According to the Tennessean, the project sold 198,892 copies, which also landed Richie at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 200 trailing only Madonna.

Though Richie has had quite a successful track record in music in a variety of genres, this country release actually marks his highest charting project in more than 25 years. In a public statement about the record’s overwhelming success, the legendary Commodores alum said he’s absolutely ecstatic about the whole thing.

“These songs are like my children, so I am overwhelmed that they are being embraced by several generations of music lovers,” he says. “I am so grateful to all of my duet partners for bringing their own distinctive styles and personalities to this album and interpreting these songs in fresh new ways.”

Some of those duet partners included greats like Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Shania Twain and a regular who’s who of country music talent. And it looks as though getting his hands into the country soil of Nashville and the genre as a whole has whet the multi-Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter’s appetite for more — and even has him thinking about planting some roots there.

“I haven’t had this much fun in the studio since the Commodores,” he admits. “I have loved my time in Nashville and can’t wait to spend more time there writing songs and collaborating in the studio. It inspires me creatively and being there just makes my heart feel good.”