##### The Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC)

There are two ways to understand this revolutionary concept. The first is the Scribe video posted below. If you are unaware of the CSPC method, you will get the full idea within just a few minutes.

If you are a mathematical person, and want to know the full method as well as formulas, you can read the full introduction article.

Now let’s get into the artist’s sales figures in detail in order to apply this concept and define the act’s true popularity!

## 81 thoughts on “CSPC: Madonna Popularity Analysis”

1. Yog says:

Please Do George Michael, I’m sure he’s sold more throughout the year.

1. Hi Yog!

It is no doubt disappointing but if George Michael gets updated now his sales would barely change. He was updated after the main formula updates. Also, the update came out after the heavy shipments that happened just after his death. Since, he has been selling precisely what was already shipped by then!

2. Mat says:

What the hell??? What’s going on here! Michael Jackson Dangerous! I hate you!

Hahaha

Her sales down! Why???
Well… now we have the sales of You Can Dance, TIC, Something To Remember, GHV2 and Celebration per country.

Thank you so much!

I love you work!

1. Hi Mat!

Her small drop of 3m is almost exclusively due to physical singles! Since the last article, especially while working on Spice Girls article, new formulas have been set to replace estimates by calculations which factor in market size. That market appeared to be nearly non-existent outside of the already known countries since the end of the LP era.

Her streams are low so the new plays do not fully afford the less favourable formula that extrapolated the full market from Spotify. This change is very minor though.

Her album sales hardly vary too. I removed the 70k of the box from individual records, replaced former manual estimates for Asia / Africa with the detailed formulas created while working deeply into Britney Spears and Coldplay. I have put more precise rounding and also added the few catalog sales when needed. Most variations are well under 1% though.

Obviously, the 10:1 ratio was replaced by 10:1,5 for downloads. They have also been updated.

I must say that I’m fairly happy with the accuracy of this article, all figures are very solid and backup by extensive sets of data. I would say physical singles are the most well researched / challenged figures ever posted on Chartmasters so far for that category.

I count on you to identify typos and achievements to make it as good as it can be 😉

1. Mat says:

Thank you for the answer but i can’t understand. She sold 90 million single! How now sold 75 million single???

I believe on my life she sold more than 90 million fisical single.

1. Hi Mat!

The life of every human being is important so please don’t bet it on Madonna having sold 90 million singles, you would lose yours! 😉

2. Izac says:

This is great she is def a top seller what is her total ? And do you think anyone current can over take her numbers ? , hope not , amazing work , thank you !

3. marcus andre says:

Great work, thank You! s2

4. Al says:

I guess Madonna is the best selling female artist of all time in Italy and also when it comes to international acts, only Pink Floyd have sold more. Overall she’s probably behind quite a few local stars (Zucchero, Ramazzotti, Dalla…) But top 10 maybe?

1. Dan says:

Do you know how to read?

5. Pelvis says:

Always compliments for the site and your good work dear MJD, I remember that last year Madonna’s sales were around 244 million, now with your latest update being around 241 million, so there is a decrease of about 3 million. Why is this decrease ?

1. Hi Pelvis!

Please refer to the answer to Mat’s similar question. I’ll add details inside the Fixing log article too 🙂

6. raffi says:

Hi MJD!

Glad you’re back! I’m glad you’ve updated the stats of the biggest female artist of all time!

There are some minor errors I would like to point out! First, you said that Like A Virgin is more successful than Adele’s 21. However, on the last article of Adele, 21 was at 39,5m. With the new ratio of downloads, 21 would undoubtedly be 40m+, even topping FIY by Celine. Still, LIV could still be the #6 most successful album of all time. Although Jagged Little Pill is a 30m+ seller, I doubt it has big additional sales as Alanis doesn’t have a big selling live/compilation album, or huge single sales/streaming to push it to over 40m+. Another thing I wanna point out is that you omitted the Asian totals for your estimations on her studio albums!

Regarding Asia, I’m glad to see Madonna’s total sales in Asia! 20m+ albums sold in that continent is huge! It’s nice to also see she sold more in continental Asia than in Japan. I wanna ask though, who sold more in Asia: Celine or Madonna? I wanna ask the same thing for Madonna and Mariah, but in the US. Both sold over 70m+ there.

-Love your more detailed figures! It’s great that you add catalog sales, as well as correct sales based on new information/more developed formulas. I don’t mind seeing lower numbers to be honestly. I’d rather have more detailed info than slightly inflated ones. Besides, the changes are very minor, and Madge still has a wide lead over other females. I just realized that Madge’s total is bigger than the massive careers of Whitney and Janet combined, 2 of the already most successful women in history!

-I have to say, her 80’s results are absolutely extraordinary! Bar Who’s That Girl, that era for her was flawless. With just 4 albums alone, she accumulated 120m+ CSPC sales, a mind-blowing 30m+average! Had she released 1/2 more album during that decade, she would very well surpass the 140-150m CSPC sales achieved by Mariah and Celine during the 90’s!

-Aside from her 80’s hey-days, I have to say Madonna remained very consistent throughout the years, especially from 1990-2008! A lot of people shaded her career during the early 90’s, but they’re quite good, TBH! Erotica and Bedtime stories totals are not far or even higher than other diva’s successful albums, such as Janet’s TVR, Mariah’s Butterfly and Whitney’s IYBT. This goes to show that Madonna’s level of success was much higher than the rest as albums at 7-12m are deemed flops when they are respectable figures. 62m album equivalents from 5 albums in the 90’s is also amazing, as well as scoring 2 13m+ albums in your 3rd decade in the industry!

-Another thing Madge should be applauded is that she truly smashed in almost every format (mainly Live, Compilation, MV, physical singles and album sales). I even find her downloads impressive! 40m+ with such old hits, as well as a few hits in the digital era, is very good! The only format she failed to smash is streaming. With that being said, Madge’s streaming can be regarded as lackluster. Not a single song over 100m on Spotify is bad enough, but her total of 1,4m streaming equivalents is horrible for someone of her status! That’s close to Mariah’s total, despite having 2 additional LPs, much more orphan songs and a wider international appeal. Still, over 1 billion and 2 billion streams on Spotify and Youtube respectively is not something horrendous.

-Speaking of international appeal, I can’t believe Madge sold the unbelievable total of 12m+ in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil! How many albums has she sold in total in South America? And how does she rank among best selling artists there?

That’s all for now. I hope you’re gonna post something soon after being missing in action for that long! I really hope Usher is next! I’ve been dying to know how his trio albums from 1997-2004 performed, especially Confessions!

1. Hi Raffi!

You are right about Adele’s 21, myself I didn’t really how to mention it knowing the figure at the end of the article was lower but the update would be it higher. I just removed the reference 🙂

All Asian sales were in my spreadsheet, not sure why I forgot them inside the article, now they got added!

I would give Madonna a slight edge over Celine in Asia although it would require additional time to check – at the time of Celine article my Excel sheet wasn’t the same one, with sales in off the radar markets (Asia, rest of Latin America, Africa etc) written into a unique cell. As for Madonna vs Mariah in the US, they are barely 600k away as per my figures, Madonna at 71,26m, Mariah at 70,6m. Even if this is close enough to allow doubts, odds are on M’s side.

I have her on 14,5m in total for Latin America. Again, it would need more verifications but obviously very few (international) acts can touch this total. For example, Pink Floyd are just under 12m. The Beatles are near 19m to the surprise of nobody, especially with an absurd 6m in Argentina alone. I don’t think anyone else already studied has done more than Madonna. Among missing artists, her challengers will be MJ and Queen!

Sadly for you Cher is next 😉

7. RLAAMJR says:

Looks like Madonna will not be outsold by any other female artists unless we only count singles and albums sold, then Rihanna has a huge chance especially that she’s still young and relevant.

Among the Big Four, Madonna somehow doesnt have an immortal song unlike Whitney with IWALY, Celine with MHWGO and Mariah with AIWFCIY.

Or maybe Madonna shouldnt be compared to the Vocal Trinity because she’s way, way higher than them that she is compared to male artists record sales too.

Celine really has huge 4 singles, compared to other female artists.

1. Broh says:

Madonna is know for multiple worldwide “big” hits, instead of only one signature “monster” hit.
Like a Virgin, Into the Groove, Like a Prayer, Vogue, Music, Hung Up were all huge hits worldwide. You’re just never able to pick only one song to define her career 🙂

2. Broh says:

and, Rihanna could sell 300 million digital tracks. But they are only equal to 30 million albums.

I strongly disagree putting “records” vs “records”, you just can compare one copy of album sold with one copy of iTunes track.

8. RLAAMJR says:

I hope Michael Jackson is next. We’ve been waiting for it too long MJD. 🙂

9. Daydreamer says:

Please Do R.E.M, Alanis Morissette, Genesis, Jethro Tull….:-)

10. Alex says:

This analysis is the first I’ve encountered on your site. Amazing. Notably missing is my other favorite artist – Elton John. I realize it’s a big project considering he has 30 studio albums….but I’m looking forward to seeing you get there!

11. Dan says:

Good analysis. Still hope to see someday – Queen, Michael Jackson and Elvis. AC/DC could also be great.

12. Daydreamer says:

It would be interesting to know who are the worst-selling music artists of all time? 🙂 🙂

13. Broh says:

The Queen of Pop needs her Kings.
We wait the CSPC for ELVIS PRESLEY and MICHAEL JACKSON.

14. Archi says:

Any plans on doing the CSPC for Phil Collins? He sold a shitload of records!

15. Luminator says:

Is Michael coming anytime soon?

16. Pelvis says:

Good evening dear MJD, with the new methods I’m noticing that many artists lose about 2 to 3 million equivalent albums as in the case of Madonna, this fact will also happen for artists that you have already analyzed such for example U2 or The Beatles ?

1. Pelvis says:

equivalent album sales

2. Hi Pelvis,

It really depends on the artist. Madonna sold bucketloads of physical singles in the period that had formulas inflating numbers, she suffered from that. U2 will too but on a lower scale since they sold less singles.

The Beatles were studied after several method changes and singles from the 60s remained unaltered.

17. Chrysalynne Lingling says:

Is Cher coming soon?

1. Hi Chrysalynne Lingling!

Hernan and Anthony, on physical singles and streams, already completed their parts on Cher! I’m the one being late there due to very limited available time in recent weeks. I’ll be working on her discography in full charge from now!

18. Nicolò says:

Hi MJD, thanks for the update!

I noticed you included both “American Pie” and “Die Another Day” in the orphan category, in terms of physical and digital sales, but you did include them among tracks of their respective albums when it comes to Streaming. As “Into the Groove”, they were exlcuded from the album tracklist in the US only, so I think their sales should be included in the CSPC totals of their respective albums (just like you did with “Into the Groove”).

Her straeaming numbers are certainly unimpressive… Concerning video streamings, it has to be said that the absence of a comprehensive VEVO channel has damaged her figures a lot. Many of her videos are missing, some of them are on her Vevo channel, others on Warner/her personal channel and they’re not available in many countries. Then there are some videos, uploaded by fans that got millions view! For instance, about a month ago, “La Isla Bonita” video was removed from a fan-channel. It had just surpassed 90 million views!

Concerning sales estimations, I have to say I’m surprised how much some of her 90s singles have gone down. Especially Vogue, with its sales under 3 million units! I had no idea RIAA would double-count sales of 12″ singles, that perfectly explains “Angel” platinum certification though: “Into the Groove”, which did not receive a commercial release in the US, was included as a b-side on “Angel” 12″. I’d like to know how you found out about this rule, and which of her other singles this rule has affected (most notably, I’d say “Vogue” and “Like a Prayer”).

Another question: everyone knows that Soundscan wasn’t comprehensive at all when it comes to album sales; what about singles sales? I’d like to know the percentage you used to calculate the US sales of her post-1991 singles, starting from the Soundscan figure.

Last but not least, I noticed a typo! You listed “Hanky Panky” as “Hanky Party” on pages 22 and 28! 😉

Thanks again for this great body of work! I’ll probably have more questions to ask, but I need a more careful read of the article first.

1. Hi Nicolò!

About songs of Soundtracks, they are distinct cases. The song Into The Groove appeared on the movie Desperately Seeking Susan, but it wasn’t part of its Soundtrack, so it really was a song of True Blue in first place. In the other side, Die Another Day and American Pie promoted first external products, so I can’t assign the CD singles to the original era. For streams, as they started years later, what matters is the track list of the CD rather than which record was first promoted, so there indeed I include those two songs into her studio albums containing them. Hope it makes sense!

The 12″ rule is an old news, the main difference from the old to the new article is the quantity of 12″ sold. I had in mind that by the 90s, 7″ where largely dominating with the explosion of the CD. The 12″ were most hyped during the disco years. I was wrong there for the US. The true new element was me and Hernan going all the way threw Discogs releases in the US to notice the immense majority of them for songs like Vogue were 12″, making their certifications effectively doubled.

About Soundscan / Singles, I mentioned that point a few weeks ago, I think on Mariah’s comments. In fact, Soundscan figures were off for singles too. If you compare yearly top sellers from the 90s – they are available on Billboard January issues – to their respective RIAA certifications, you will notice the scanned tally was short of the comprehensive total.

Thanks for noticing the typo, now fixed 😉

19. MATHEUS DUTRA says:

Where’s Michael Jackson CSPC analysis?

20. Kenny says:

OMG, what a wonderful work we have here. I just discover this site and a just need to congratulate you for this iniciative. It’a amazing to see how sales are distributed in each album… And what I loved the most is that you use more realistic numbers than what we usually see on internet. Some fans are delusional and create numbers out of nowhere. LOL

I’m really excited for your future analysis. Hope you got to Michael, I’d love to see how his monster sales would be distribuited into your sistem (CSPC).

21. ChartStan says:

I think some of her albums are off.

Dangerously is surely over 10m today. I am Sasha fierce should be nearing if not already hit 8M. B’Day lmo is at 6M even. Lemonade also needs a update. Beyoncé & 4 looks great.

Here is a I am Sasha breakdown.

North America
3,300,000 America
50,000 other

Europe
1,700,000 UK
250,000 Germany
150,000 France
130,000 Ireland
110,000 Italy
100,000 Spain
100,000 Poland
40,000 Portugal
40,000 Belgium
60,000 Sweden
40,000 Switzerland
40,000 Norway
30,000 Denmark
100,000 other

South America
400,000 Brazil
50,000 other

Asia
250,000 Japan
250,000 other

Oceania
300,000 Australia
40,000 New Zealand

Africa
100,000 South Africa
50,000 Other

Please please update. I’m a huge fan and look at you as the most reliable site for us beyfans

1. Hi ChartStan,

All Beyoncé figures were fully reviewed last December. She does sell some steady amounts over time, but nowhere near enough to push SF over 8m for example! She would lose more on physical singles than win on albums!

22. ChartStan says:

120,000 Netherlands

23. Stephen says:

Hi MJD! Great job as always! So it’s pretty clear that Madonna is the top selling female in Europe and her success is pretty much untouchable by other females. Only Celine Dion comes close and she’s still far behind! What do you think of this list of the best selling female artists in Europe? Some of these are your very own numbers, like Madonna, Mariah, Britney, etc! (all of them rounded):

02. Céline Dion – 60m albums
03. Whitney Houston – 40m albums
04. Tina Turner – 32m albums
05. Barbra Streisand – 30m albums
06. Mariah Carey – 29m albums
07. Tracy Chapman – 24m albums
08. Diana Ross – 20m albums
09. Gloria Estefan – 18m albums
10. Britney Spears – 18m albums

Personally, I don’t think Gloria and Diana have sold that much/more than Britney, but I could be wrong. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this!

24. Stephen says:

Also, Confessions was certified 5x Platinum in Denmark for 200k units right after you published this article! Is this included?

1. Hi Stephen!

Since April 2016 Denmark introduced a system similar to the one of the BPI, automatically certifying albums on the back of scanned sales and streams (ratio 1000/1). Their scans provider (M&I Service) has been in place since 1996. That’s why all big albums from that date are getting certified regularly as their scanned tally reaches a new milestone. Recently, we had A Rush Of Blood to The Head going 5xP, Curtain Call 5xP too, Eros 6xP, Older & Rockferry 7xP etc.

All those certifications refer to the criteria currently in place though, e.g. Platinum = 20,000. In concrete words, during the week of August 8, COADF wasn’t audited to get a new 5xPlat award, instead you should interpret it as its scanned sales plus streams broke 100,000 units.

As you should know, just like the remaining Scandinavian countries streaming has been developped for years there, representing more than 60% of the comprehensive market already by 2013. Thus, due to Hung Up plays, we can expect that a good part of the new certification to come from there alone, letting likely about 80,000 to 90,000 copies sold by the album itself. This is perfectly in line with the 2xPlatinum award reflecting 80,000 units shipped that was received in March 27 2006. This highlights how careful we should be with the shipment vs sales confusion as it appears that 10 years later the album still has basically sold ‘only’ what was shipped 4 months after the album release!

25. Jorge says:

Nice! Do you plan on updating Céline, Rihanna and Adele stats?

26. Fix says:

Cant believe she sold close to 80 million records in Europe. No female singers could even come closely to match that records. It just proves how popular she is internationally speaking. Probably bigger internationally compared to her fame locally.

1. Mat says:

Hi!

Is 80 million albums alone!

1. fix says:

Yes 80 million albums alone. Including greatest hits in Europe based on this chart. However, not including CSPC.

27. babyshower says:

How much has The Next Best Thing OST sold? I know it’s not a Madonna album but I would love to know.

I am looking forward:
No Doubt/Gwen Stefani
Kylie Minogue

28. Djosci Coelho says:

I’m surprised to see that Closer to the Truth sold more than Madonna’s Rebel Heart in the U.S. ‘Truth’ had two singles which were absolutely non-hits and only one music video, which looks VERY low-budget. Rebel Heart had three singles and despite all of them having flopped, “Bitch I’m Madonna” managed to generate some buzz thanks to its all-star music video, which is kinda a hit on YouTube with 200,000+ views. Plus, I can’t remember the last time Madonna made such an aggressive campaign for a studio album. During her latest releases, she would drop the first single and its music video, release the album, launch its parent concert tour and that was that – no red carpet appearances, no TV performances/interviews, no nothing. I wonder what went wrong with Madonna’s popularity in the U.S.

1. babyshower says:

LOL, don’t even start. Closer to the truth “sold” that because she gave away thousands of CDs with her show tickets, just like Madonna did with MDNA. So, you should compare Closer to the truth to MDNA (350k vs 550k in the States). And besides, Rebel Heart outsold Closer to the truth woldwide and I think 98% of Cher’s other albums according to this site.

1. Djosci Coelho says:

I just don’t understand how you felt the need to came out with such a fanboy-ish response to a simple question. I like to know about music chart trivia, but I don’t act as if my dignity depended on how much albums my fave sold. Neither Cher nor Madonna need me – or anyone – to defend their careers. Thanks for the info though. LOL

29. Raffi says:

Hi MJD!

Just here to point out you made an error with her album sales. On your breakdown, you have I’m Breathless and Erotica at 6,7m and 6,825m respectively. Yet, on your album sales comments and final CSPC results, you have them at 6,8m and 6,7m respectively. Which one is the correct figure?

Another thing I want to ask you if whether you can update George Michael and Whitney Houston’s analysis. They were upadated after the inclusion of Youtube streams, but prior to when you changed the ratio of their downloads. Could you please update their downloads results. I know the change is not that big, but it kinda bugs me😅.

1. Hi Raffi!

The correct figures for both Madonna albums is the one from breakdowns, the other set of figures was an old copy/paste from the previous version! Everything is now fixed 🙂

True about updates! I’ll try to accelerate the pace on those updates during the next few weeks, they do not take that long and put back all artists on the same starting line!

1. Anna says:

How many years (or decades) it will take for Rebel Heart to become Gold in US according to its current catalogue sales trend?

30. Lin says:

Hi, MJD!

Fantastic work! As a diva fan myself, it is always so much fun to follow your meticulous analysis of each and every diva.

I’d like to point out a potential confusion/error. In page 41, Something to Remember contributed 623,000 sales to Confessions on a Dance Floor. There is perhaps a mix-up between the track “Forbidden Love” from COADF with the homonymous, but different track from Bedtime Stories. STR included the one from BS, not COADF (which was released one decade later). If I am correct, should these sales be credited to Bedtime Stories instead?

1. Lin says:

MJD – Did you get a chance to correct for the COADF sales?

1. Hi Lin!

Thanks for spotting out this error! I have now fixed the article almost completely, Anthony will adjust the Songs chart at the end and then the Data Collector. The fact that the song Forbidden Love from Bedtime Stories has less streams than the one from COADF means its share from Something to Remember goes down, as a result her main 3 albums (Like A Virgin, True Blue, Like A Prayer) all register slight increases!

1. Anthony Blanchard says:

Hi Lin!

Madonna’s article and the Data Collector are now updated 🙂

1. Ziggy says:

Would you updated Celine’s and Mariah’s two? Their sold a lot during Chirstmas

31. alex says:

oh no!

something is wrong with this,

Ray Of Light has sold over 3.9 in the US, no that almost 5 millions and it has sold 13 million world wide

32. Justin says:

Madonna was not as big as Whitney Houston or Celine Dion or Mariah Carey in Asia at her peak. She was big but not as big. Having said that her consistency is just so amazing. She managed to get an overall bigger sales in Asia compared to Celine and Whitney. Im surprised she managed to surpass their total.

1. Mat says:

Madonna is the second best selling female artist on Asia after Mariah.

1. Anna says:

Yeah. And I’ve always thought Madonna is an album artist. It was surprising for me that people don’t think so and buy greatest hits. She doesn’t have a reputation of being a “real musician” and singer-songwriter like Adele. People considered her being a bitch and slut. And that’s why it’s really hard for her now, without radio support and MTV. But even in 80s Cher was asking Madonna to write songs for her because “she can’t sing herself”. Maybe Madonna trubute-albums of alternative music like “Through the Wilderness” help a little bit to conquer slut-shaming narrative. But since I remember myself “whore Madonna” wasn’t “cool” among schoolchildren and students of 90s and 00s. I hope she reconciled with the idea of low sales and won’t blame Interscope or Universal for that like Michael Jackson did with Sony (according to Tommy Mottola).

33. Alantbw13 says:

Hi,MJD!
First of all ,thank you and congratulations on your fantastic work.
I just wanna point two missing items regarding Mafonna’s video sales.
First is Justify My Love that sold quite well in the US due to being banned by MTV and all the controversy it generated.
And also Ray of Light video single is missing.
One more doubt. The MDNA World Tour is certified 3x platinum in Brazil if im2not mistaken. These equals shipments of 90k ,right ?
How has it only sold 200k then?
Again,sorry if I’m mixing things up!
Cheers,
Alan

1. Hi Alan!

Sales of video singles were added to the singles directly. That’s how Justiy My Love broke 2 million!

About MDNA World Tour, Brazilian certifications are just like Polish / American ones, e.g. factored per discs. In this country shipments of the 2CD+DVD format are 20,000 units, the DVD 23,000 units and the Blu-Ray 5,000 units.

34. Ann says:

MDNA has sold 70k in Russia. And “Masterpiece” was the 6th most played song of the year here (even without single release and video). I’ll never undrstand why it wasn’t released as a single.

https://lenta.ru/articles/2012/12/28/chart/

35. Anna says:

It’s all about ageism on the radio and cultural references. E.g. look at Alla Pugacheva (1949)-worshiped Russia and Madonna’s iTunes Top 10 songs in Russia now: Hung Up, Bitch I’m Madonna, Frozen, Masterpiece, 4 Minutes, Ghosttown, Vogue, You’ll See, La Isla Bonita, Sorry.

Looks different from the US or UK iTunes, isn’t it? People compare her to 70-80s Soviet diva and find Madonna’s reign so much better))). She didn’t change “paradigma from rock group to female solo” here and in 2006 it took Orthodox Church hours of slut-shaming on central TV during prime time to spoil her first show here with just 80% attendance. Catherine II was German and she rulled Russia more than anybody else. People were waiting for invitation to Cremlin a-la Paul McCartney, largest newspaper published “3 burning questions”:
1. What do you know about Russia?
2. Do you know Russian musicians?
3. If you weren’t married and Putin weren’t married would you marry him?
(Putin’s daughters were rumoured to be Madge’s fans).

People of Russia were morally prepared for anything. But hours of slut-shaming in prime-time worked miracles. Now we have gay-propaganda law and “religious feelings of believers” are protected by law, Madonna divorced, Putin divorced. Her fans are much younger here but she cut them with her promise not to travel Russia again. Rebel Heart is a lot better than her previous two albums, IMHO. Her story of her hacker still looks very suspicious to me.

36. Mat says:

Hi MJD!

I have question!

Ray Of Light in France don’t have diamond album yet? Because her album sold more than million copies there!

Thank you so much!

1. Hi Mat!

Indeed, Ray of Light was never awarded a Diamond cert in France. It broke the million mark in recent years, after the change of criteria which dropped the Diamond level in 2009.

Feel free to share more relevant achievements if you think at some, I’ll add them!

1. Mat says:

Thank you so much!

I found this:

Like A Virgin 1984 (10 M) USA
The Immaculate Collection 1990 (10 M) USA

Like A Virgin 1984 (1 M) Canada
True Blue 1986 (1 M) Canada

True Blue 1986 (1 M) Francia
The Immaculate Collection 1990 (1 M) Francia
Confessions On A Dance Floor 2005 (700 K) Francia

All Madonna’s diamond award. But i think she has more… maybe. You can help me with this?

I love your site! Is sooo interesting!

I want made the list and show you the Madonna achievements! But you can tell me that is a record or not!

Thank you thank you thank you!

1. Hi Anna!

There isn’t one unique reason for variations, each album has been updated as per up to date information available which may led to slight changes. The main reasons of the small changes were:
– for late 80s albums, the poor results proportionaly speaking that she got in off radar (that were thus calculated by automatic formulas) countries like South Africa, India or Indonesia.
– for American Life and post-2008 albums, change of policy in regards to returns. I used to stick to certifications as the minimum amount shipped for albums that most likely sold less, the most obvious example is American Life in the US, certified Platinum which a third of those copies that were quickly returned. I decided to focus on real shipments to date since some time, which is why some figures can be lower than certified amounts. As all her post-2008 albums had lower than expected results, they all had optimistic shipments upon release and all of them have at least a few countries with certifications higher than their real sales to date.
– for post-2003 albums, most notably COADF, I decreased formulas for continental Asia. They were too high in the past, we noticed lately that markets like South Korea or Taiwan collapsed much more and much faster than Japan after early 00s, which led mid-00s albums to be a bit overstated there.

37. Juan says:

Hi MJD!
Do you have the total sales for Rebel Heart Tour 2CDs, Blu-Ray + DVD:????

USA
Brazil
Mexico

America:

UK
France
Germany
Italy
Spain
Poland
Portugal

Europe:

Australia

Oceania:

Thanks you!

1. Juan says:

I have 225,000 WW (2cds, DVD + Blu-Ray) combined.

38. Hexar says:

1). Are the totals for The Immaculate Collection based purely on physical and digital sales? I thought the Immaculate Collection only sold 10 million in the United States

2). Just wondering why compilations are not included in your ranking of the biggest selling albums? If they were included, I’m wondering where The Immaculate Collection would be in the ranking.

1. marcus andre says:

It’s in the article! Total = 28,100,000 (physical + digital) + 470,108 (streaming) =28,570,108

1. Hexar says:

Interesting–I had no idea Immaculate basically went twelve times platinum in the United States. I’m wondering if it just needs to be re-certified? And I do think it should be included on the list of biggest selling albums.

2. Hi Hexar!

10 million is the number of units certified way back in October 2001, TIC continued to sell ever since especially from 2001 to 2009 prior the release of Celebration.

Compilations aren’t included since the objective is to define which albums created the most value and the value is created by studio albums rather than compilations. Their sales are spread into each original studio album which is why Madonna’s 80s albums are so high!

1. Hexar says:

Thanks MJD, I’m surprised Immaculate Collection hasn’t been re certified, it has been 17 years.

I get what you are saying, but I feel like it would be really cool to make a list of pure album sales with compilations thrown in. Just to put things in perspective.

2. Hexar says:

I like the work you do, I just feel compiliations should be included in the biggest selling albums list based on raw sales. A compilation is still an album afterall.

1. Hexar says:

The list could be called “top selling albums AND compilations ever (raw sales)”

39. Johnny Gnecco says:

Can I ask a question cause I’m confused. According to your list Madonna is the 3rd best selling artist with 241,135,000 sales. These are just her album sales right? Not including singles?

1. Hi Johnny Gnecco!

The figure of 241 million stands for comprehensive sales of all formats weighted as per album sales. This includes 202 million albums, 75 million physical singles with a 0,3 weighting, 9 million music videos / box sets, 42 million digital singles (weigthing 0,15) and 1,4 million equivalent album sales from streams.