CSPC: Mariah Carey Popularity Analysis

Mariah Carey Picture

Its arrived. The one many of you wanted to be studied. For various months many of you have been requesting to add Mariah Carey among the studied acts. After completing career-listings of Madonna, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston this demand increased even more. From the mid-80s to early 00s these four singers sold so many records that talks about those iconic divas started to gain ground and haven’t stopped since.

So who sold the most? In reality, wondering which one did the best out of those four females is kind of a rich person’s problem. In fact, the first thing that needs to be said is that they all did insanely well. They all broke various records here and there and they all have no competition at all in their respective leagues – well, sorry Barbra Streisand, I haven’t forgotten about you but your career is too different to fairly include you inside this Madonna – generation legends battle.

Among Mariah Carey’s achievements feature her 18 US #1 hits, a tally putting her on par with Elvis Presley and runner up to the Beatles. She did so in a relatively smooth period for singles sales and the Hot 100 heavily factored Airplay during this era. So has she really sold that well? Let’s not forget she owns several of the very top selling foreign albums of all-time in Japan so surely she moved some units. How many though? Her 90s decade was undoubtedly intense, but that is still only 10 years. Can she really challenge the all-time top sellers within such a short period of high sales?

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge her results. The concept will not only bring you sales information for all Mariah Carey albums, physical singles, download singles, music videos and streaming, it will also accurately weight all this information to conclude the truth on meaningful popularity indicators. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC idea, the next page explains it with a short video. I fully recommend you to check it out before getting into sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to get straight into the sales figures. Let’s go!

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Loveyour channel. As a mariah Fan i do not need an update, it wouls only matter to the Merry Christmas Albums. But would love to see her streams update full, with asian stats etc.


She just surpassed the Eagles and entered the top 15 best selling artists of all time! (although I guess Frank Sinatra is above her too)


Yep. Been accompanying that race for the past couple of days 🙂


It’ll be a race for a couple of more days. Have fun!


Since the 2017 analysis on this website declared Mariah Carey had “abysmal catalog album sales for very long”, the RIAA alone has certified an additional 47 million units (39 million singles plus an additional 8 million albums sold) from that same catalog. The RIAA has declared her the top female albums artist in American history, with over 70 million album sales in the biggest music market in the world. The figures reported on this site’s analysis for Mariah are wildly out of date and/or were always incorrectly estimated. Her top US album is Daydream (11 million), not Music Box. Merry… Read more »


It’s stated that she did very well. RIAA adds streaming numbers to album certifications, that’s why the numbers differ.


“The RIAA has declared her the top female albums artist in American history, with over 70 million album sales in the biggest music market in the world.”

Barbra Streisand sold 90 million albums in the US.

Michael Machado

??? Have you checked the RIAA before making those statements? The data is there available for everyone to see…


Being the highest certified female artist, doesn’t mean she is the highest selling female artist. Streisand has sold more albums, as she has many albums that are either uncertified or under certified and as such, are not included in her RIAA total. On top of that, certifications are not an exact or true reflection of pure sales, given that they include streams, downloads, double counting etc.


These same metrics would apply to Barbra as well, as streaming is universal, even if Barbra has way less streams than Mariah, they would still factor in her certifications just like anyone else


And? Streaming would give Mariah maybe 3 million EAS more than Barbra in the US, it’s not gonna make up the 20m difference in pure sales…

Madonna also sold more than Mariah in the US.


Well, according to Chartmasters she still outsold / outstreamed Barbra Streisand across the world so let’s just enjoy the fact that she’s currently the 15th best selling artist according to the website and keep supporting the website.


I wasn’t meaning it affected either artist differently. I meant RIAA certifications and their statements, are not always what they seem to be. Take their headline “Top Female Album Artist, with over 70m sales”, what does this really mean? To the untrained eye, it means she is the best selling female album artist in the US ever, with over 70m sales. What it really means is, she is the most certified female album artist, at the RIAA and tops their list, two different things. Also, they often state an album or acts total, based on their units shipped, not copies… Read more »

Last edited 17 days ago by Martin

Plus, unlike many, I´m not here to request constant updates as I believe you guys have done a tremendous job with the website. So even if you never update her again, I’ll still visit from time to time to see the artists’ streaming numbers as they grow, etc. Thank you for keeping the website going.


It’s so funny to see that certifications are not an exact or true reflection of pure sales.LOL,in fact,artists celebrate RIAA’s certifications instead of CM’s certifications,you know why?Cause they know what is true!


I take it they call you lambs because you are all so young and naive. There is no point in someone like you coming to this site, as you have no absolutely no interest or desire to learn or understand about sales etc.


Certifications indeed include other factors apart from pure sales, but why did her compilation album go 6x platinum while being at 5.55M pure sales? What other factor is incorporated? Do they really just include the sales+streams of all the songs for compilation albums?


“If the label chooses to have track sales and streams applied towards Greatest Hits certifications, then those track sales and streams are precluded from future inclusion in the original studio album. The RIAA and GR&F will require labels to confirm in writing that no track sales and streams are counted towards both a studio album and a Greatest Hits album, and the RIAA and GR&F may request additional testing of system reports to ensure validity.”


You guys should keep up with RIAA,don’t know why you are even later than the certified units,I guess you really do not like mariah LOL.


Mariah Carey’s own website says that she has 200M albums sold -> Mariah Carey



Mariah Carey Chartmasters Australia sales – 225,000
Mariah Carey Australia certification – 350,000

Emotions Chartmasters Sweden sales – 70,000
Emotions Sweden certification – 100,000

Also, Universal Music China reported 200,000 for Emancipation in November 2005, and MTV Asia stated that “The Emancipation of Mimi” was the best selling album by a Universal Music artist in 2005. Is that not reliable at all?


Maybe it’s time to update her sales . I hope it will be sooner then later .


Sorry to be a bit off topic MJD but I’d like to bring you some “light” in regards to the 25x Platinum cert of Shania Twain’s Come On Over in Australia. This accreditation also looked fishy to me at first but it makes some sense. It’s not the first Universal Australia cert. that looked strange to me. For instance, ABBA’s 18 Hits was accredited 4x Platinum in 2016 (280k). Yet, an optimistic estimate based on its ARIA chart performance put it at 220k units. Same for ABBA Gold. I estimated sales at around 865k units at best by late2000. Its… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Innocent_Eyes

Sorry for the double reply. I could no longer edit my first post. I find 225k estimate for her debut quite conservative. It was certified 2x Platinum in April 1991 and remained in the Top 50 until October 1991. Looking at its chart run and its position in the ARIA 1991 YEC, I’d estimate it’s sales like this: 1990: 50k 1991: 210k (#6) Then it might have had some not TOO bad catalogue sales during the Music Box and Daydream ears which were successful there. To be honest, I’ve always thought that the 4x Platinum cert. had been overdue since… Read more »



I’m doing fine, thank you 🙂

Thank you for your detailed reply as well. I didn’t know that YEC in the 90s were based on chart points, instead of sales. I totally understand your Mariah Carey’s estimate then.

Do not hesitate to PM me if you ever find out the reason behind those “strange” Universal certs.


RIAA just recertify The Emancipation of Mimi as 7 millions copies in the USA and We belong together at 6 millions


Please update Mariah’s – she may have surpassed 200M mark by now. Thank you in advance!!!


Don’t think so, acts like Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Abba and Rolling Stones were updated longer ago and would probably have a bigger leap as streaming is already updated


She is pretty up to date, as her streaming figures are regularly updated, which is every artists main source of “sales” these days. While she will obviously have added some physical sales since her last update, they will not be very significant.


wasn’t the formula used to update her streams outdated? She’s also updated several of her certifications lately, I’d think she’d be well over 180m with an update.

Last edited 2 months ago by fancybytwice

Since the 2017 Mariah Carey analysis on this website, the RIAA alone has certified an additional 44 million units (37 million singles plus 7 million albums sold), along with more updates in the UK, Australia and elsewhere. The figures reported on this site’s analysis for Mariah are wildly out of date and/or were always incorrect. One glaring example is that “We Belong Together” is certified in the US alone for 6 million and is actually her second biggest single when combining her Universal and Sony catalogs, but it’s reported ranking here is #10 with 5.22 million globally. Sony Music’s Certified… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by usernameneeded

I believe he said We Belong Together was certified 6 million not AIWFCIY. And it seems like what he said is legit, because on RIAA website We Belong Together is certified 6x platinum.


Yes but he is mixing EAS (5.2m) with single sales (6m in the US)…


Yes, but even with MJD estimation, worldwide downloads for WBT is 3.4 million. Definitely less than that for US sales. So there in itself means that his number doesn’t match with the RIAA 6 million sales. RIAA might also add streaming equivalent sales to come up to that 6 million figure, but considering WBT streaming is so low, I doubted that it brings any much difference.


WBT sold 2m in the US… I don’t know how the RIAA arrive at 6m but it’s clearly not pure sales.


It’s based on sps sales with streams.
The song got over 548 million on-demand streams by Dec 2021.
Nearly 600 million on-demand streams by now.

2million digital sales + 600 million streams/ 150=2 million +4million= 6million units.


Last edited 13 days ago by TapestryCK

She may be at 180m in a few months

Why in this section of Mariah Carey's Facebook does it say that TEOM sold more than 15 million Copies.



The album shipped 7.7 million copies in 2005.No way to reach that high.

Last edited 13 days ago by TapestryCK

Why does her Spotify Tool not include the “Big Energy Remix”?