CSPC: Janet Jackson Popularity Analysis

Wallpaper Janet Jackson

Physical Singles Sales

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single.

Janet Jackson (1982) – 201,000 equivalent albums

Young Love – 230,000
Come Give Your Love to Me – 290,000
Remaining Singles – 150,000

Dream Street (1984) – 66,000 equivalent albums

Don’t Stand Another Chance – 120,000
Remaining Singles – 100,000

Control (1986) – 2,118,000 equivalent albums

Control – 1,000,000
Nasty – 1,290,000
What Have You Done for Me Lately – 1,470,000
The Pleasure Principle – 530,000
When I Think of You – 1,410,000
Let’s Wait Awhile – 1,340,000
Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun) – 20,000

Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989) – 2,601,000 equivalent albums

Rhythm Nation – 1,250,000
Miss You Much – 1,610,000
Love Will Never Do (Without You) – 1,150,000
Alright – 1,020,000
Escapade – 1,310,000
Black Cat – 1,210,000
Come Back to Me – 1,110,000
State of the World – 10,000

Janet Jackson’s career started slowly with weak album sales and weak singles sales too. In spite of the Michael Jackson madness happening at the same time, singles from her first two albums failed to become hits, selling moderately thanks to a solid market only.

Barely 16 years old when dropping her first LP, she grew both as a person as well as an artist in the following years. What Have You Done for Me Lately, the lead single of Control which went to #4 in the US, broke the main audience for her, paving the way for upcoming singles. Nasty at #3, When I Think of You at #1, Control at #5 and Let’s Wait Awhile at #2 confirmed her new status. The breakthrough was valid abroad too with three of those songs hitting the Top 10 in the UK.

Such successes logically boosted the album to tremendous sales but also direct sales of singles. The singles market had dipped in the US at that time but, it hasn’t prevented those five hits from crossing the million mark in global sales. All together, Control hits sold upwards of 7 million units, an equivalent of 2,1 million albums.

A string of smashes as impressive was difficult to replicate but Janet Jackson did even better with her following era. After five Top 5 hits, she stepped up again to register 4 chart toppers plus 3 more Top 4 songs from Rhythm Nation 1814. Just like Control singles, none made it to 2 million units sold due to low European sales overall, all 7 did however become million sellers. The cumulative tally of 8,7 million singles equals to 2,6 million albums.

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I find the estimates here for both janet. and The Velvet Rope to be overly conservative. Some totals are reasonable but many major markets are simply too low. Even in February 1995, media reported the janet. album as a “13 million seller”. It’s important to note this is before the release of janet.Remixed and her Australian, Asian and European tour. March 1995 also saw the release of final single Whoops Now which was a big radio and sales hit in various markets. See this news report of Janet arriving in Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEK4iQkE1CE&list=PL8J8yEW5Ps5YGlayX3SUr5eQ1-yU77qYk&index=152 Reissues of janet. from this period in Europe… Read more »


According to the 1999 EMI report:

Garth Brooks’ “Double Live” shipped 6.1M copies April 1998-March 1999.

And yet the album was certified:
12x Platinum US (6,000,000 units) – December 17, 1998
6x Platinum Canada (600,000 units) – February 12, 1999
= 6.6M  

So over 500,000 copies were officially “confirmed” which according to that EMI report didn’t exist?

Joseph John

one question: does this account for BMG and club sales as those were specifically never counted in other formatted tallies? I know in the 90searly aughts she had several millions related to the clubs..

Joseph John

Per capita based on amount of music released, press/marketing done, $$ collected/earned, ownership of masters, and yes – her music is extremely timeless due to avant garde innovative production from JJ & TL and its getting that recognition now bc well, the 2nd most powerful mogul sent out a hit on her and had her “erased” and barred from things – Janet might be tops. Id say the big females except Enya – have done maybe 2-3 – in madonna’s terms – 500x – of publicity, press, marketing, endorsements, interviews, products blah blah blah…madonna is the queen bc she damn… Read more »


ukmix + the rock n’ roll hall of fame seem more credible sorry. there’s no way people would just randomly lie about another 80 million sales especially for someone like a janet.


The janet. album sold 20 million worldwide Virgin Records themselves stated this it’s even on Janet Jackson website stating the claim and there is a 1998 article stating it sold 20 million.

Andrew Mark

Thanks to the fanatics! When Janet updated her website years ago, the sales of the albums in the discography section were very similar to the numbers here at Chartmasters, but a flurry of fanatics went to Twitter saying that sales were higher and mostly outdated. The sales were withdrawn and some time later in the news section the inflated sales began to appear. Unfortunately, the way the site was made at that time did not allow it to be archived on archive.org and the information became lost. Someone who managed to get a print should post it on Ukmix, even… Read more »

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