France Album Sales: Britney Spears

Britney (2001) Era

Putting her student clothes into the closest, Britney Spears returned in late 2001 with her third album Britney and an image way hotter than during her first two eras. If she obviously lost some of her younger fans, this move was needed at some point and was completed with some success.

In fact, Britney wasn’t as big as its two predecessors but still moved some healthy amounts. Polemical lead single I’m Slave 4 U was a consistent #8 hit and paved the way for the album that was poised to met strong competition due to its November release date. This is exactly what happened as Britney started and peaked at #2 in France, blocked by the second week of Michael Jackson album Invincible.

As I’m Slave 4 U managed solid airplay for various weeks, Britney held rather well during the Christmas season too selling 170,000 units by the end of the year. Second hit Overprotected, which peaked at #15 helped well the album too, just like follow up I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman. Top 50 until August, Britney sold as much in 2002 as in 2001, climbing to 350,000 copies in total.

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. I’m Slave 4 U – 18,499,000
  2. I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman – 8,681,000
  3. I Love Rock N Roll – 8,211,000

6 thoughts on “France Album Sales: Britney Spears”

    1. Hello Sam!

      Thanks a lot for the nice words. I’m well aware of both figures you are quoting, as I’m also the webmaster of fanofmusic website. Those two pages were done many years ago with assumptions related to the market size and IFOP year end chart. It appeared in later years that IFOP figures were often quite off the mark, which is why it was replaced by GFK as official data provider.

      The key information in the case of Britney album is that Virgin did a major audit of their catalog on July 9 2002. At that point, Britney was 2xGold (200,000) and it was not updated to Platinum (300,000). The album slowed down a lot after July, had it sold 405,000 units by the end of the year, it would have necessarily shipped enough to be certified Platinum during this July audit. It went Platinum in the next Virgin catalog audit in February 2003 instead. My assumption is that the album was truly close to the 300,000 mark by that point, which is how it concluded the year on 350,000 overall copies sold.

    1. Well first of all, this article is outdated. Her CSPC analysis has updated sales for her albums in France. They look like this now:

      1999 Baby One More Time – 720,000
      2000 Oops!… I Did It Again – 510,000
      2001 Britney – 415,000
      2003 In The Zone – 280,000
      2007 Blackout – 95,000
      2008 Circus – 190,000
      2011 Femme Fatale – 90,000
      2013 Britney Jean – 30,000

      She’s the biggest female of her generation in France. Not just there, in most of Europe actually. Her numbers are very good, I don’t see what’s disappointing about them. They’re slightly less impressive compared to what she pulled in Asia/North America/South America, but not “disappointing” by any means. Christina Aguilera’s whole discography (<400k) sold less than Britney's 3rd album in France and Beyoncé's total in France is equal to 720,000 aka the sales of Britney's 1st album there.

      The only European market where she had album sales that I could understand someone labeling them as "disappointing" is the UK, considering what a big market it is. However, everywhere else, she was huge. (Germany, Poland, Belgium, France, Austria ect)

      1. Even in the UK her album sales are still very good. She’s among the Top 20 best-selling female artists ever in terms of album sales.

    2. Can’t be that disappointing when she has outsold all her main female peers there, and by a large margin…

      1. Britney Spears – 2,675,000
      2. P!nk – 1,605,000
      3. Alicia Keys – 1,420,000
      4. Jennifer Lopez – 1,085,000
      5. Avril Lavigne – 850,000
      6. Destiny’s Child – 820,000
      7. Beyoncé – 755,000
      8. Christina Aguilera – 400,000

      She’s also outsold Shakira (around 2.2 million album sales), and obviously the likes of Taylor Swift (who has yet to outsell Glory with her new album), Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, etc.

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