Destroying Myths: Fake 10 million sellers

Britney Spears – In The Zone (2003)

Claimed Sales – 10,000,000
Estimated Sales – 7,400,000

If there is one group of die hard fans truly fighting as much as possible for their favorite artist, that is the group of Britney Spears fans.

Myself, I’ve seen at least four times emails / PMs screenshots posted on forums supposedly coming from me, giving out inflated figures for some country or another. They were Photoshopped screens as they were mails / PMs I never sent. In the same way, Freddy, the webmaster of Mediatraffic, copied all my estimates onto his website’s all-time best selling albums lists, but for the couple of Britney Spears albums on it he voluntarily inflated them. I often have fun about Wikipedia’s accuracy and did so in this very message, but they have been putting a lot of effort into fixing a lot of delusional claims. Still, Britney Spears’ discography page is showing her debut Baby One More Time on 30 million, her second Oops! I Did It Again on 25 million, Britney at 15 million and In The Zone at 10 million, all figures inflated by a massive 30%.

With such context, the hardest part for the artist fans’ is to not become delusional. The propaganda is so strong that when official facts finally come out like IFPI figures they are mocked as inaccurate.

What about In The Zone then? It was the 8th top seller worldwide in 2003, a year that saw only five albums selling upwards of 5 million units. Then in 2004, it was outside the Top 50 when the cut was on 2 million units. That puts a roof at 7 million at the very best up to the end of 2004. By that time, it was on 2,893,000 units scanned in the US, while to date it is up to 3,0 million. In other words, it doesn’t sell a thing as a catalog album. To be honest, I even consider my 7,4 million estimate up to date rather optimistic!

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Jarrad Hurley

Invincible started out as one of Michael’s fasted-ever selling albums but Sony cut all promotion for it within three months of release and defunded Michael’s planned film clips. It’s unfair to call the album a flop when you consider how well it did in the period when it was actually active – And it did that on the power of only one song that was promoted. I am not going to say Invincible was an incredible album (it wasn’t). But the album had a lot more potential than it showed and Sony didn’t allow it to find its feet. Certainly… Read more »

Pat Smith

Both Sony and Michael Jackson cut all promotion. Michael Jackson refused to perform Invincible songs when he had opportunities to do it. Instead, he decided to perform old stuff like Dangerous (2002) or Man In The Mirror (2001). That’s a strange way to promote his new album… He could have made more sales if he had just decided to perform his new songs. Michael Jackson also refused to get involved in his own video for “Cry”. How can he expect that the album Invincible will get some hype with such a bland video? That tends to show that he was… Read more »

Giuliano

Sorry but was Sony that refused to authorize MJ to perform the new songs. Always Sony decided to stop all kind of promotion ( including cutting short the budget for the Cry video and that’s why M Wasn’t in it ). In a radio interview before the release of the album MJ said clearly that he had planned to do a video for Umbrekable, the lost children and whatever happens at least and after that other kinds of promotions, maybe also a tour. He worked really long and hard as always on this record and had no reason at all… Read more »

Gina

Question is which of these albums held up & still sound fresh? Imo Invincible sounds better as time goes on

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