CSPC: Whitney Houston Popularity Analysis


UPDATE: Please note all figures have been updated as of May 4, 2017.

On February 11, 2012, big news saddened millions of people – the death of legendary diva Whitney Houston. The woman that used to be recognized for her pure voice and image faced bad timesuntil her ultimate passing.

Memories of her stand-out performances and songs were still very much alive in the minds of many, yet her catalog still received, quite naturally, a sizable boost after her untimely passing.

How much is her catalog worth though? Everybody remembers the iconic The Bodyguard. Everything is iconic about it – the movie, the album, the single, and, of course, its main actress and singer, Whitney Houston. Such a juggernaut would shadow the remaining albums of most acts. So how do other studio albums from her stand in comparison?

Starting way back in 1985 with an eponymous album, she then returned with Whitney in 1987 and kept recording until her last effort, the 2009 release I Look To You. If her career had ups, it definitely had downs too. Thanks to the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept, we will be able to perfectly visualize this evolution and compare her albums with those of her peers like Madonna or Celine Dion.

The concept will not only bring you sales information for all of Whitney Houston’s albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming, but it will also determine her 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 skip the video and get into the figures. Let’s go!

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Why is it in US, whitney houston the greatest hits sold only 3M copies but in RIAA certification states 5X platinum or 5M copies Me as the Bodyguard Original Soundtrack Album only more than 17M not 18M, RIAA certifications are accurate or the least value of million copies sold in an album was in or stated at Certification, not less than the value of the certification. I am so DISAPPOINTED!!!, I hope you can explain and update this article, IN ORDER TO BE EXACT AND NOT BIASED, AT THE SAME TIME


The Greatest Hits was certified 5x Platinum due the equivalent sales by streams. The pure sales posted by MJD is correct.


MJD is there any way you could post the sales of The Ultimate Collection as, like a bonus? Its a pretty good catalog seller, especially in Europe where its has charted on the norm in the last decade.

Jorge Suárez

Why “I Will Always Love You” is at 16M+ in pure sales? I ever think it have 20M+ sales


The 20 million figures is obviously inflated


If you are referring to Wikipedia, don’t. Houston’s wikipedia bio page and her related pages are full of untruths (lies). They try to make her out to be some kind of trailblazer for black female artists, with a Time Magazine article for reference – which states “she was no trailblazer”; the page even claims the writer goes on the list the various barriers she broke down. Which is false, the writer does no such thing. But it has been up on wikipedia for a decade. Wikipedia also claim IWALY has sold over 20 million copies.


No trailblazer? She very much did open a path for plenty of singers after her how can you make such a claim?


MJD when do you think “Whitney” will be certified(and actually sell) diamond or 10 million copies? And have you ever thought about doing a article on Prince?


Question. Why did you dramatically change Whitney’s 2nd album sales in Europe. Your previous predictions were…

Europe : 7.480.000
– UK : 2.450.000
– France : 500.000
– Allemagne : 1.400.000
– Italie : 600.000
– Espagne : 250.000
– Suède : 300.000
– Pays-Bas : 400.000
– Suisse : 140.000
– Autriche : 130.000
– Finlande : 60.000

Now you don’t even have her at 6 million in Europe for “Whitney.” How is that possible?


Also to add to the “Waiting to Exhale” debate you are right about Baby face having many hits. Boyz II Men’s song “I’ll make love to you” spent 14 weeks at no.1 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27ll_Make_Love_to_You and their second album was certified 12x platinum us sales alone https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/II_(Boyz_II_Men_album) Crazysexycool also sold more going than the soundtrack. None of the people i just mentioned were America’s Sweetheart or big celebrities like Whitney. Even if you are a big celebrity, the A&R department at your record label still needs to find the right songs/hit singles. You must have a lot patience because record labels are… Read more »


Hey mjd! Some people are really mad at you for excluding “waiting to exhale” but they would be disappointed to learn that toni braxton’s single “you’re making me high” was a bigger hit than “exhale (shoop shoop)” in America and international markets in terms of sales and airplay. Also TLC, Toni Braxton and Mary J Blige were multi platinum acts. I understand the Bodyguard made her a huge celebrity but Mariah,Celine,Alanis Morissette had bigger hits than shoop shoop. How do you deal with overzealous fans??? Whitney : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exhale_(Shoop_Shoop) Toni: http://www.uk-charts.top-source.info/top-100-1996.shtml http://www.bobborst.com/popculture/top-100-songs-of-the-year/?year=1996 http://www.aria.com.au/pages/aria-charts-end-of-year-charts-top-50-singles-1996.htm You will also notice lauryn hill and the… Read more »


“You’re making me High” was not on the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. Toni’s song was called “Let it Flow” and barely charted. This thread is a mess. lol


Here is another link for the top selling albums of 1987 https://www.sporcle.com/games/Alstair/1987-top-100-albums but this is the original issue of billboard magazine that had the figures. https://books.google.co.za/books?id=JCgEAAAAMBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=billboard+26+dec+1987&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjh88eQldzWAhWCCsAKHUnODrgQ6AEIJDAA#v=onepage&q=billboard%2026%20dec%201987&f=false If you notice also control by janet was a top 10 album for 2 years in 1986 and 1987 and it never went 6x platinum in those two years which is why I have a problem with the certification for whitney’s second album.Here is more proof from an article in the chicago tribune on 3 feb. 1989 http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1989-02-03/entertainment/8903020512_1_bon-jovi-whitney-houston-anita-baker . I dont hate her at all but I guess it was a marketing strategy by… Read more »


hi sir. with regards to whitney’s second album whitney, clive employed some very shady promotional tactics. The first was with where do broken hearts go. Skip to the third paragraph—-> http://stargayzing.com/the-greatest-love-of-all-on-what-really-killed-whitney-houston-and-the-mainstream-medias-coverup-of-the-stars-sexuality/. Also I sense Clive overshipped the album to stores to get those RIAA certifications and he got away with it because of his clout. Check the Billboard top selling albums of the year in 1987 and 1988 https://books.google.co.za/books?id=JCgEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA49&dq=top+selling+albums+100+billboard+1987&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=top 100 albums pop&f=false and https://www.sporcle.com/games/Alstair/1988-top-100-albums . But whats crazy is it got certified 6x platinum by 1988 and it never reached the top 10 in year end sales. Phil Collins album… Read more »


okay thanks for the insight because i didnt understand why her second album didnt make the top 10 and it was certified 6x platinum in april of 1988. Also Im not American but music clubs like Sony BMG and Colombia House, how many copies were free and how many did you have to pay for because I know the riaa used to count the sales from those clubs. Is it true that some copies, record labels gave them for free to those music clubs?


If you want to know about sales in the US market, you would look to Cashbox Magazine (not Billboard), they were a sales based Magazine 1942 -1996. Houston’s debut album was the top album for 1986. Her sophomore album was 6th for 1987 behind Bon Jovi, U2, Whitesnake, Paul Simon & Beastie Boys.


Hi MJD,how many of Whitney and mariah’s singles have RIAA certifications?Do you have the actual sales of their compilation albums? Is One Wish certified in the USA? How do you get to know their Spotify views?
thanks a lot and keep up the nice work.


For questions 1) and 3), you can check it yourself at RIAA.com
For question 2), yes… he provides the sales right here
For question 4), Spotify has a counter. Easy to see

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