CSPC: Wham! & George Michael Popularity Analysis

george michael

UPDATE: Please note all figures have been updated as of May 6, 2017.

November 10 1984. US Billboard Hot 100. David Bowie hit Blue Jean was spending its last week inside the Top 10 at #8. It remains the very last time the British singer visited the top tier as a solo act. Higher on the charts at #3, Prince anthem song Purple Rain was going strong, while the album of the same name was on its 15th – out of 24 – week at #1. Still within’ that Hot 100 Top 10, George Michael in his teen group Wham! werefeaturing at #4 with Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (soon-to-be #1 smash) while the album Make It Big debuted. The year 2016 has really been a brutal end of an era for an entire generation.

An entire generation indeed… as it wasn’t only about 1984. From 1977 to 1989, only 4 solo artists had an album spend 10+ weeks at #1 in the US – Michael Jackson with Thriller, Whitney Houston with both Whitney Houston and WhitneyPrince with Purple Rain and George Michael with Faith. In the last several years all of them passed away with none of them coming even close to turning 60. While fans inevitably mourn the death of George Michael on December 25 – talk about a twisted fate for the singer of Last Christmas – we will make our own tribute as well by going through his classic catalog.

Releasing his first single at only 19, as part of the duet Wham! along with his friend Andrew Ridgeley, the Greek descendant George Michael’s rise to fame was absolutely unstoppable. A mere five years after his first record he had dropped cult hits such as Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Careless Whisper, Last Christmas and Faith. Let’s not only remember those songs but George’s full catalog.

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge his results. The concept will not only bring you sales information for all of George Michael‘s albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming, but it will also determine his true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, the next page explains it with a short video. I fully recommend watching the video before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the figures. Let’s go!

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I find myself listening to George Michael more than any other artist these days.
I still am sad he passed away (2 years later), and his music is the most touching you could ever hope for.
Incredible songwriter, angelic singer, and generous philanthropist.
People throw around the phrase “Once in a lifetime/ One of a kind”………….
But George Michael………….truly was

I hope the human race discovers his music till the end of time!


What I find impressive, even tho he fell off in the states, he was still selling amazingly everywhere else, proving…you can still be global without trumps’s america… 🙂


I hope you combine genesis/phil collins ………….and
Rod Stewart/Faces/Jeff Beck (Truth/Beck Ola albums)
Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac (starting in 1975 with “Fleetwood Mac”) the same way 🙂


I am so sorry to say this but George Michael and Wham should have a separate analysis.




Exactly, George did 90% of the wham work on his own therefore makes it HIS, even Billboard counts the wham hits as George’s, so even they the tea.


I will not insist on separating figures of Wham! and George Michael as well as Cher’s analysis with Sonny but can you also include on the best selling artists (eas) without the combined figures?


Truly an album seller, nice work..

Marcus André

Older was certified 7x platinum in Denmark recently. Do you know if this means 350,000 (since many associations certify according to the release date) or 140,000 (looks like IFPI Denmark are certifing platinum when records sold 20,000 since 2012…)? Thank You. 😉

Marcus André

Thank You! 😉


Thanks for those interesting figures. May I dare to think that Wham Japanese sales are underestimated.
From oricon’ stats alone “Music From The Edge Of Heaven” is over 180.000 in 2004.


I have made a big mistake with my figures of “Music From the Edges of Heaven”, in fact you are right.


thanks a lot.
It’s great work of your team. and hopely to see your whole statics.


Thank you very much for those figures. “Make it big” is very underrated, it’s crazy. There’s another reason why no one should doubt about Wham!’s figures being included into George Michael’s total sale numbers : he wrote and co-produced 90% of each Wham! album. Unfortunately, most people tend to think Wham! was a teen-pop band a la Spice Girls whereas they were closer to bands like Take That for the leading singer (that was George Michael) was a real artist who wrote and produced the band’s songs. Sadly enough, his death is the occasion to consider the quality and real… Read more »


Thanks for this MJD. Another legend sadly gone too soon. R.I.P. George.