CSPC: Madonna Popularity Analysis

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Remaining Long Format – Part 2 – Remixes

Flagged as the best selling remix album ever until Michael Jackson‘s Blood On The Dancefloor challenged it in 1997, You Can Dance is one more evidence of the all-around power of Madonna. It came early into her career, with hit songs coming exclusively Madonna and Like A Virgin albums. They are both responsible for more than 2,5 million of its sales.

Remixed & Revisited is nowhere near as strong, but since it includes almost only songs from American Life, it gives that album a good push to make it look better in comparison to Madonna’s 80s and 90s LPs.

91 thoughts on “CSPC: Madonna Popularity Analysis”

    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!

  1. 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. 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. 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 !

  2. 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?

  3. 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 ?

  4. 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.

    Some comments:
    -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 😉

  5. 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. 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. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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. 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.

    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!

  8. 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 😉

  9. 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).

  10. can you please update Beyoncé?

    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
    300,000 Canada
    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!

      Also, please use Beyoncé own article to speak about her figures, I’m not sure all Madonna fans are interested on comments about Beyoncé!

  11. 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):

    01. Madonna – 79m albums
    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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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
    Nelly Furtado
    Kylie Minogue

  15. 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. 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. 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

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

  17. 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?

    Love your work!

      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!

  18. 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

  19. 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. 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).

  20. 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.

  21. 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.
    https://itunes.apple.com/ru/artist/madonna/id20044#see-all/top-songs

    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.

  22. 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!

    And one more thing! You can update Madonna’s achievements please?

    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. Thank you so much!

        I found this:

        Madonna:

        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!

        Please?

        Thank you thank you thank you!

        This article is reading for a lot people. Like a Madonna fan i want it to be complete this article.

    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.

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

    USA
    Canada
    Brazil
    Mexico

    America:

    UK
    France
    Germany
    Italy
    Spain
    Poland
    Portugal

    Europe:

    Australia

    Oceania:

    Thanks you!

  24. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. Hi.
    “Madonna” sell 60.000 in brasil (veja, magazine 1986).
    Maybe 120.000-140.000

    American life brazil 60.000 very low… 80.000?

    Thnk you for your work.

  27. 750.000 for the immaculate in brasil very low
    In 2003-2018 almost 85.000 shipments.
    Maybe 900.000 total.

    For brasil, double albun counts one or twice times?

    If twice times celebration almost 100.000

    1. Hi Marcelo!

      ABPD do count each CD of records but it doesn’t make sense to include it on global figures, especially when you add figures from remaining countries were more often than not count them as one.

      As for TIC, 900,000 units isn’t realistic. The album shipped 123,000 units by 1992. It got a huge surge in late 1993 when she toured there for the Girlie Show with her Rio performance airing live on national radio. That’s why when they did a major audit in 1994, with 5 albums being certified, TIC went Platinum. Its sales were in all likelyhood well over 250,000 units already. Additional catalog sales led it to 2xP, 500,000 units certified, in 1998, after the boost of Ray Of Light. Considering sales since 2003, it would take over 300,000 units from 1999 to 2002 to reach 900,000 units to date, which is way too high. The album sold about 30,000 copies per year during the 90s outside boosts, then it was shifting under 15,000 units a year when codes started in 2003. I already assumed close to 30,000 units a year for a 5 years period (mid-98 to mid-03) with isn’t conservative at all. It isn’t optimistic either since they were good years for her overall, the figure of 750,000 is simply realistic given known information.

      BTW, codes are collected and used for articles of all artists.

  28. 750.000 very low for the immaculate in brasil
    2003-2018 85.000 shipments

    Maybe totals 900.000

    In brasil double albuns counts one or twice times?

    If twice, celebration almost 100.000

  29. I have information about shipments in brasil
    Live albuns

    Im going to tell a secret 42.000
    Confessions world tour 48.000
    Stick and sweet tour 52/55.000
    Mdna world tour 20.000 but double cd… 40.000?
    Rebel heart tour 15.000 maybe but double cd… 30.000?

    Remixed and revisited ep 39/40 mil
    Ep sale very well because i believe in more than 80.000 for amercan life.

  30. Shipments 2003-2018

    Madonna – Madonna
    AA1000
    AB1000
    AC500
    AD1000
    AE500~~
    AF500

    Madonna – Like a virgin (Remastered)
    AA1000
    AB?
    AC1000
    AD1000
    AE?
    AF?
    AG1000
    AH1000
    AI1000
    AJ500
    AL1000
    AM1000

    Madonna – True blue (Remastered)
    AA1000
    AB1000
    AC?
    AD1000
    AE?
    AF?
    AG1000
    AH1000
    AI1000
    AJ500
    AK500

    Madonna/Soundtrack – Who’s that girl
    AA1500
    AB1000
    AC500

    Madonna – You Can Dance
    AA1000
    AB1000
    AC500

    Madonna – Like a prayer
    AA1000
    AB1000
    AC1000
    AD?
    AE1000
    AF500
    AG1000
    AH1000
    AI1000
    AJ1000
    AK500
    AL500
    AM1000

    Madonna – I’m Breathless
    AA1000
    AB500
    AC1000
    AD1000

    Madonna – The Immaculate Collection
    AA2000
    AB?
    AC1000
    AD?
    AE?
    AF2000
    AG?
    AH2000
    AI3000
    AJ1000
    AK1000
    AL2000
    AM2000
    AN3000
    AO3000
    AP1000
    AQ2000
    AR?
    AS?
    AT12000
    AU1000
    AV10500
    AW1000
    AX6000
    AY3000
    BA4000
    BB3000
    BC
    BD1000
    BE1000
    BF20500
    BG3500
    BH
    BI2000
    BJ4000
    … 500
    BN1000

    Madonna -erotica
    AA500
    AB1000
    AC1000
    AD1000
    AE?
    AF1000
    AG1000
    AH1000
    AI1000
    AJ500,,,
    AK500
    AL1000

    Madonna – Something to remember
    AA1000
    AB1000
    AC1000
    AD?
    AE1000
    AF?
    AG?
    AH3000
    AI5000
    AJ?
    AK1000 AK 4500
    AL2000
    AM5500
    AN1000
    AO
    AP1500
    AQ1000
    AR2500
    AS1000
    AT6000
    AU1000

    Madonna – Ray of light
    AA1000
    AB1000
    AC1000
    AD1000?
    AE4500
    AF500
    AG?
    AH1000
    AI1000
    AJ1000?
    AL500
    AK500
    AM500

    Madonna – Music
    AA1000
    AB1000
    AC2000
    AD?
    AE500
    AF1000
    AG1000
    AH1000
    AI1000

  31. Madonna – Drowned World Tour (DVD)
    AA?
    AB1500
    AD1000
    AF1000/4000
    AG3000
    AH3000
    AI?
    AJ2000
    AK1000
    AL2000
    AM1000
    AN1000
    AO?
    AP1000
    AQ?
    AR3000
    AS?
    AT1000

    BE1000

    BG3000

    BO2500

    Madonna – Ciao ia: Live from Italy (DVD)
    AA1000
    AB1000
    AC?
    AD?
    AE?
    AF1000
    AG1000
    AH1000
    AI?
    AJ1000
    AK?
    AL1000
    AM1000
    AN?
    AO1000
    AP1000
    AR1000

    Madonna – The Immaculate Collection (DVD)

    AM1000
    AN2000
    AO?
    AP?
    AQ?
    AR1000
    AS1000
    AT?
    AU2000
    AV1000
    AW2000

    BC1000
    BI5000

    Madonna – Girlie Show: Live Down Under (DVD)
    AA?
    AB1500
    AC1000
    AD2000

    AH1000
    AI1000
    AJ?
    AK? ..

    AL?
    AM2000
    AN1000
    AO?
    AP1000
    AQ2000
    AR1000
    AS2000
    AT1000
    AU?
    AV1000
    BD1000
    BE1000
    BG1000
    BH1000

    Madonna – Video Collection 93:99 (DVD)
    AC1000
    AD1000…
    AJ3000
    AK?
    AL?
    AM?
    AN?
    AO1000
    AP1000
    AQ1000
    AN1000
    AR?
    AS?
    AT1000

    AV1000
    AY1000
    AX1000
    AW1000

    Madonna – GHV2
    AA?
    AB1000
    AC1000
    AD1000
    AE1000
    AF1000
    AG1000
    AH500
    AI5000
    AK1000
    AL5500
    AM4000
    AN3000
    AO
    AP500

    Madonna – American life
    AA10000
    AB?
    AC1000
    AD1000
    AE6000
    AF1000

    Madonna – Remixed & Revisited EP
    AA35000
    AB?
    AC500
    AD500
    AE1000
    AF1000

    Madonna – Hung up (Brazilian Promo)
    AA1000

    Madonna – Confessions on a dancefloor
    AA40000
    AB20000
    AC20000
    AD20000
    AE3000
    AF1000
    AG1000
    AH10000
    AI1000
    AJ5000
    AK13500
    AL1000
    AM1000

    Madonna – I’m going to tell you a secret (CD with DVD)
    AA25000
    AB3000
    AC3000
    AD2000

    Madonna – I’m going to tell you a secret (DVD with CD)
    AA7000
    AB2000
    AC?
    AD1000

    Madonna – The Confessions Tour (DVD)
    AA15000
    AB5000
    AC5000
    AD5000
    AE5000
    AF?
    AG10000
    AH3000

    AL3000
    AM2000
    AN?
    AO?
    AP8000

    AW2000
    AZ1000
    BA2000

    BE1500
    BF1000
    BH7000

    Madonna – The Confessions Tour (CD+DVD – Digipack)
    AA6000
    AB7000
    AC7000
    AD10000
    AE3000
    AF3000
    AG3000
    AH3000
    AI1000
    AJ3000
    AK1000
    AL1000
    AM1000
    AN1000

    Madonna – Hard Candy
    AA30000
    AB10000
    AC10000
    AD10000
    AE4000
    AF1000
    AG5000
    AH4000
    AI3000
    AJ4000
    AK3000
    AL2000
    AM16000
    AN1000
    AO2500
    AR6500
    AV500?

    Madonna – Celebration (cd simples)
    AA25000
    AB2000
    AC2000
    AD5000
    AE1500
    AF7000
    AG2500

    AJ1000

    AK500

    Madonna – Celebration (cd duplo)
    AA25000
    AB2000
    AC1000
    AD3000
    AE2000

  32. Madonna – MDNA
    AA15000
    AB10000

    AE500
    AE3000

    Madonna – MDNA deluxe
    AA40000
    AB10000

    Madonna – Celebration (DVD)
    AA20000
    AB5000
    AC5000
    AD6000
    AE1000

    Madonna – Stick and Sweet tour (cd/DVD)
    AA30000
    AB5000
    AC5000
    AD5000
    AE5000
    AF5000

    Madonna box collection (5CD)
    AA2000

    AC1000

    Madonna mdna world tour (dvd)
    AA10000
    AB7000
    AC5000
    AD5000

    Madonna mdna world tour DVD +2CD
    AA10000
    AB5000
    AC5000

    Madonna mdna world tour blu-ray
    AA3000
    AB
    AC1000
    AD1000

    Madonna rebel heart deluxe
    AA30000
    AB1000

    Madonna rebel heart super deluxe
    AA5000
    AB5000

    Sometimes two cod with shipments differents. I dont know why… wrong cod but true shipments?

  33. Rebel Heart Tour
    DVD:
    AA 10,000
    AB 1,000
    AC 2,500
    13,500

    2 CD’s
    AA 5,000
    AB 6,000
    AC 1,500
    AD?????
    AE 1,500 
    14,000x 2 =28,000

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