CSPC: Aaliyah Popularity Analysis


Various singers have many myths floating around them. One such typical case is R&B Princess Aaliyah. Already owner of a very loyal fan base before her dramatic passing in 2001, at just 22 years of age, made her the icon of many.

Artistically, she had been widely acclaimed way before her death. In spite of issuing her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number at barely 15, critics praised her efforts right from the start. The public was soon to follow with the star in the making’s first single Back & Forth climbing the US Hot 100 all the way to #5.

A meteoric rise to fame, media on her side, and an iconic status… surely Aaliyah must have sold bucket loads. Well, everything is not always as it may seem, especially for her. Out of all the myths largely repeated over the internet about her sales, we will clean things up a bit today to restore some accuracy. Thanks to the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept, we will be able to perfectly visualize her real popularity without being corrupted by urban legends.

As a reminder for users who are not yet familiar with the CSPC idea, you do not need to worry. It is quite simple to understand as it only consists of merging every sales format an artist has been getting and attributing them to respective studio albums. We will start by focusing on raw data, setting how much each Aaliyah album sold. Then, we will check sales of each track from those albums in each format – physical, download and streaming – and weight them to value these figures on a par with album sales. To complete the study, we will study sales of all compilations, live albums and music videos she released. Once all the raw data is set, we will only need to apply appropriate weighting to get the overall picture of the legendary R&B singer’s career results.

Let’s go!

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MJD it’s great that you did this, and i was wondering how is One In A Million and Aaliyah (albums) were credited with 3 million copies sold when all of her studio albums went double platinum? And if those albums did go double platinum, what is the exact number they sold?


It would be interesting a comparison analysis of Beyoncé & Aaliyah, since there is a myth that says ”Beyoncé wouldn’t be here if Aaliyah were alive”… taking into consideration of how big were Destiny’s Child compared to Aaliyah


Hello. I’m trying to understand what you did here. First, you’re claiming that she has exactly 292,331,997 comprehensive streams between all her releases (page 9 & 10). Then, suddenly in your next table (page 11) you’re claiming she jumped from that figure to 3,603,280,000 streams. A jump of no less than 3,310,948,003, figure that seems completely off considering her actual stats in Spotify and Youtube, so where exactly did those +3 billion streams come from? I think that was a typo since in your final CSPC results chart you only show the equivalent album sales for the original ~292 million… Read more »


Hi Havok! The problem with Aaliyah’s catalog is that bar her debut album, her other albums are not available on any digital platform, including Spotify. That is why her debut album is her best showing on that platform, while the other albums had minimal success there due to their unavailability. The 229m streams you mention are Spotify streams multiply by a certain ratio, representing the streams on all possible streaming platforms like Apple Music. For Aaliyah, the total could be higher, as her catalog is a mess there, but it could also be lower, due to its unavailability on other… Read more »


Hello, Raffi. Thanks for taking the time to answer. I get that, I read the notes in the article and I understand what and why you did that. My question is where exactly is that +3 billion figure coming from? It cannot be from last.fm either because her total scrobbles (plays) are only at 13.2 million. Also, I wouldn’t say last.fm is a streaming service/site, it’s more of a tracking tool. Anyway, like I said you should consider changing those stats because there are people using your work as source to claim Aaliyah has 3 billion streams, when that’s a… Read more »


Hi havok!

I checked out Aaliyah’s page on Last.fm, and you’re right! The streams posted on this article is way higher than that listed in the website. I’ll ask MJD to clarify on this!


Hi again havok!

I asked MJD about this issue and apparently, all the songs’ total were multiplied by 1000 because when using Spotify figures, MJD and the team rounds up Spotify figures in the closest thousands (eg. 1m to 1000) This was mixed using in the calculation of streams on last.fm. MJD will probably edit this soon. Thanks for your contribution!


Is there any sales on the re-released or limited edition albums????


Very good analyis of Aaliyah sales.
Please do Michael Jackson if you have time, thanks 🙂

Music Lover

Can you please Do J Lo & Usher next?

Anthony Blanchard

Hello everyone,

Just to inform you that I have just added the 10 biggest Aaliyah tracks.
Sorry for the delay.


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… Read more »


MJD i would just like to say that it is awesome that you did this, and where did you get these because i can’t find any of her international sales anywhere online.


Should do Mariah Carey


Thank you for this article! I’ve always been curious about Aaliyah’s stats!

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