And given Mr. Cash's posthumous charting, Mr. Dylan also became the oldest living artist (at 65) to score a No. 1 album, beating Louis Armstrong's previous record by three years.
Geoff Mayfield, director-charts and senior research for Billboard, said an iTunes tie-in providing fans with first-dibs ticket purchasing for Mr. Dylan's fall tour was a boost to digital sales. Digital sales typically make up 5% of an album's weekly total; "Modern Times" boasted an impressive 10% its first week out.
"The older consumer is one who needs a little bit of a wake-up call. For a rap act or a modern act, their fans can smell a street date. ... But for the older fan, it takes them a little longer to find out one of their favorite artists has an album coming out," he said. "Being in this high-profile commercial really did help create awareness for [Mr. Dylan's] street date that wouldn't have been there otherwise."