CSPC: Aaliyah Popularity Analysis

Aaliyah Career CSPC Results


So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each Aaliyah album achieved? Well, at this point we don’t need to combine all the figures found in this article.

In the following table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales. For example, singles from Aaliyah released in digital format sold the equivalent of 75,000 albums – 500,000 downloads with a 10 to 1,5 weighting.

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500)

Mind-blowing? Definitely not. Good? For sure. A lot can be said about Aaliyah’s artistic talents as well as about her impact over R&B and Pop music too. Many popular singers do quote her as a key influence. Most of what is said about her album sales though – figures repeated often a la 24, 32 or even 80 million – are insanely exaggerated.

She definitely sold well as an urban artist, but all figures point out that she never crossed over to a mainstream audience. Basically, kids born in the late 80s may have been big fans of her, but their parents have most likely never heard her name. Not all artists should be A-List stars though. A trio of consistent albums from nearly 4 million to over 6 million equivalent album sales each, plus various successful singles outside of them, is already a very nice showing. If the mess around her discography availability gets cleared up in the future, the diva’s catalog sales pace will get much better..

Overall, Aaliyah moved 17,9 million equivalent albums. This tally is not at the level of most artists studied so far – most of them were absolute monsters though. Although, you would be surprised at how many well known singers are under that mark.

Do not forget to check our amazing lists posted inside the CSPC: Data Collector which includes the full listing of all CSPC results compiled so far to better gauge her position in the history of the music industry.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, Last.fm, Chartmasters.org.

8 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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