CSPC: Aaliyah Popularity Analysis

Aaliyah

Various singers have many myths floating around them. One such typical case is R&B Princess Aaliyah. Already owner of a very loyal fan base before her dramatic passing in 2001, at just 22 years of age, made her the icon of many.

Artistically, she had been widely acclaimed way before her death. In spite of issuing her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number at barely 15, critics praised her efforts right from the start. The public was soon to follow with the star in the making’s first single Back & Forth climbing the US Hot 100 all the way to #5.

A meteoric rise to fame, media on her side, and an iconic status… surely Aaliyah must have sold bucket loads. Well, everything is not always as it may seem, especially for her. Out of all the myths largely repeated over the internet about her sales, we will clean things up a bit today to restore some accuracy. Thanks to the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept, we will be able to perfectly visualize her real popularity without being corrupted by urban legends.

As a reminder for users who are not yet familiar with the CSPC idea, you do not need to worry. It is quite simple to understand as it only consists of merging every sales format an artist has been getting and attributing them to respective studio albums. We will start by focusing on raw data, setting how much each Aaliyah album sold. Then, we will check sales of each track from those albums in each format – physical, download and streaming – and weight them to value these figures on a par with album sales. To complete the study, we will study sales of all compilations, live albums and music videos she released. Once all the raw data is set, we will only need to apply appropriate weighting to get the overall picture of the legendary R&B singer’s career results.

Let’s go!

7 thoughts on “CSPC: Aaliyah Popularity Analysis”

  1. Oh My God! MJD, I knew you were gonna do a CSPC analysis on Baby Girl, but not this soon! Thank you so much!!!

    I would like to comment on some few things though. Firstly, about her album sales, do you mind posting her Soundscan sales? I can’t find them anywhere! I only know she sold 8m albums through Soundscan back in 2006. Also, her overall album sales are quite low, though still impressive considering the audience she was catering to.

    For her digital sales, MJD, would you mind giving us your most logical estimation on how her songs from her OIAM and self-titled album would have performed if they were available for downloads.

    Finally, i would like to point out that you made a little mistake with the I Care 4 U page. You used the One In A Million album cover for that page.

    Once again, thank you so much, as well as Hernán and Anthony for your hard work and dedication. Looking forward for your future projects!

    1. Hi Raffi!

      Hehe copy/paste spotted I guess! The cover is now correctly updated 🙂

      Her 8,1 million soundscan sales are spread as 1,4 / 2,4 / 2,6 / 1,7 million in chronological order. The first two albums got incorrectly credited with 3m Soundscan sales each when Billboard posted that figure in 2001, but that tally was in reality the combined total for both. All those Soundscan sales are valid as of 2006, after which the albums pretty much stopped selling due to lack of availability.

      Had her catalog been widely available as for other artists, realistically she would have:
      – sold roughly 2 million more albums Worldwide
      – sold in the 2 to 2,5 million range of OIAM songs in downloads and 3 to 4 million for Aaliyah songs, plus a bit more Orphan songs
      – been in the 150-200,000 range of equivalent album sales for OIAM from streaming and 250,000 units for Aaliyah, plus a bit more Orphan units
      – been at about 3,9 / 6,1 / 7,1 / 4,2 million CSPC sales for each 3 studio albums plus Orphan one, so over 21 million in total

      Obviously this can’t be verified as it just hasn’t happen, but giving available indicators that sounds like a very good gauge of what it would have been.

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