CSPC: Janet Jackson Popularity Analysis

Janet Jackson & Michael Jackson

Physical Singles Sales – Part 3
Damita Jo (2004) – 36,000 equivalent albums

All Nite (Don’t Stop) – 40,000
I Want You – 10,000
Just a Little While – 70,000

20 Y.O. (2006) – 27,000 equivalent albums

So Excited – 20,000
Call on Me – 70,000

Discipline (2008) – 9,000 equivalent albums

Feedback – 25,000
Rock with U – 5,000

Orphan – 2,147,000 equivalent albums

Diamonds – 820,000
Making Love in the Rain – 150,000
The Best Things in Life Are Free – 1,410,000
Scream – 1,660,000
Runaway – 1,170,000
Twenty Foreplay – 80,000
What’s It Gonna Be?! – 1,110,000
Luv Me, Luv Me – 170,000
Girlfriend / Boyfriend – 440,000
Feel It Boy – 140,000
Don’t Worry – 5,000

There’s not much to say about Janet Jackson’s post-2004 albums as the physical singles market was truly weak by then, a situation getting even worse with largely unsuccessful songs. The interesting category is the Orphan one which contains several hits from different years.

Herb Alpert duet Diamonds was a US hit in 1987, just like The Best Things in Life Are Free with Luther Vandross in 1992. A series of Orphan Top 10 singles continued in 1995 with the duet alongside her brother Michael, Scream, then Busta Rhymes’ #3 smash What’s It Gonna Be?! in 1999.

All those successes brought the artist a total over 40 million physical singles sold, a fairly huge tally in an era which favored 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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