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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Great Analysis! Mimi is queen of us and queen of singles in 90s, it’s a pity she didn’t have worldwide success and longevity as Madonna and Celine. As for your refer to in the article, “they all have no competition at all in their respective leagues – well, sorry Barbra Streisand, I haven’t forgot about you but your career is too different to fairly include you inside this Madonna-generation legends battle.” Do you include Barbra in your next plans to study? She is the top2 choice in vote, and now the only “miss” one of the Biggest Five Divas in your site.


I wanted to kindly ask if you could provide a breakdown for Mariah’s HUGE albums in Asia (from Music Box to Rainbow) with a country-by-country estimation of yours here in the comment section if you have some free time, because these countries unfortunately don’t appear in the article (i do understand that you try to keep the article well-arranged and not too “packed”). I see that most of those numbers will be educated guesses, but i would LOVE to see your opinion on it. That would be cool and a very special treat for us Mariah fans since she has… Read more »


Also one thing abt AIWFCIY is that it’s often featured in digital xmas compilation albums so I can only imagine its real selling power

Like the rest, thanks for all the hardwork MJD 🙂



There’s a revised formula for comprehensive streaming?

Marcus André

You said there’s no miss in Greatest Hits, but if you see in the page, there are a N/A about the sales of the album in Brazil. Also, like in the UK, double CDs are certified like single CDs, so the album sold 125,000 here…


Best selling female artists according your data
3.Celine Dion
4.Mariah Carey
5.Whitney Houston
7.Taylor Swift
8.Lady Gaga
9.Katy Perry


It is a joke for us, because we know about charts, but unfortunately people confuse records with albums, including the media.


I think you should give Rihanna more respect because even her peers and the newer artists are not even close to what she has achieved. And still young. She’s the only female artist who can possibly beat Madonna.

But in terms of album sales only, then yes, Rihanna still has to work more on that category.


Hi MJD! It’s me again, and i wanted to ask a few more questions about Mariah’s stats. 1. On page 38 of Greatest Hits album sales breakdown, you had it at 90,000 in Argentina. Are you sure you didn’t mix that up with the Brazilian figures, or did it really sell that much there? 2. Based on all your album sales breakdown, Mariah’s total album sales in Europe are at 29,285,000 while in Asia the figure is 30,525,000. Obviously, those figures should be higher due to other minor compilations. Still, the question is, has Mariah sold more albums in Asia… Read more »

Fco Pastrana

Hi! Did you merge Fantasy Remix into Fantasy? that remix is huge


Female ranking: 01 – 244,062,000 – Madonna 02 – 192,088,000 – Céline Dion 03 – 164,642,000 – Mariah Carey 04 – 151,051,000 – Whitney Houston 05 – 96,942,000 – Britney Spears 06 – 79,944,000 – Shania Twain 07 – 76,462,000 – Janet Jackson 08 – 72,937,000 – Adele 09 – 65,334,000 – Rihanna 10 – 61,702,000 – Beyoncé Madonna is truly the undisputed Queen of Pop. She is also the highest grossing solo touring artist of all time. No one comes close even Celine. Celine is amazing. Not only she has sold MORE albums than Mariah, her tours have also… Read more »


Madonna is amazing!

Truth Teller

Whitney’s sales actually impress me the most considering her catalog is very small. Keep in mind, Madonna, Celine and Mariah have massive catalogs (in size). Celine has more advantage considering she sings in English and French. Celine has a very large discography. Madonna has the advantage since many of her releases were compilations. Had Whitney released just 1 or 2 more pop albums in her prime, recorded the full Waiting To Exhale soundtrack, she would be well surpass Celine and Mariah, and possibly Madonna.


Celine is a real legend, Mariah is not, that’s why. Mariah is a huge flop when it comes to touring and despite having 18 #1s her singles sales are horrible! Her albums sales are impressive, yes, but that’s because she debuted during the peak of albums sales when everyone and their mother was going multiplatinum (see Teen Pop – Backstreet Boys, Britney, Spice Girls etc.). In the 2000s her sales are not good at all sans The Empancipation of Mimi and that album was local as hell. If she was a legend, she would be able to tour and sell… Read more »


Madonna is much a single artist???

Madonna solds albums, singles, dvds and tours.

Celine just sold albums, never was a huge hits, never was a huge single sales artist. just one or 2.


Madonna >>> Celine!


Where Celine is aheads Madonna on albums???

I think you don’t know about sales…


That’s why Madonna is more of a singles artist, she always needed huge hits/controversy in order to push albums sales. Celine doesn’t, she’s an albums artist because she achieved respectable amounts of albums with no many big hits (over 60 million singles is still a great number though). With The Titanic Soundtrack counted, she’s ahead of Madonna in albums sales and MHWGO is a bigger classic and more remembered than all Madonna’s songs combined. Celine is as huge as Madonna when it comes to touring, she can sell out stadiums everywhere but she doesn’t tour the world that often because… Read more »


The Titanic soundtrack is not a Celine Dion album.


I think that’s true. Madonna can’t sell her albums without hit singles. I was shocked by that, too. But something’s wrong with this world where Confessions on a Dance Floor is “just a good commercial album”. Maybe after her death in 50+ years people will recognize her more as a songwriter and musician. But not in recent future. And not in US.


Hi Didi,

How come Madonna is a single artist, when IN FACT she sold way more albums than Celine Dion. Nice try! 😀
Madonna is a multimedia and multi-format artist. In Canada (Celine’s homeland), she got two diamond albums and 20 number-one singles (faaaar more than Celine).

Yeah, Celine got the VOICE, but that’s only thing she got. Madonna is a musician, a songwriter, a producer who controls every single aspect of her musical output. Celine only sings what her producers give her to sing. That’s why she’s more acclaimed as an artist compared to Celine.


Céline is a untalented trash, she doesn’t have any hits except that titanic thing. Mariah sold more singles and almost more records. Céline just sold more because of her french catalogue. Bye hater


Celine sold more albums than Mooriah with her English material alone. After all those #1s the difference in their singles sales is like 15-20 million. Don’t shade Mooriah like that.
Mooriah is an embarrasing flop in 2017. Can’t sing, can’t even sell out an amphitheatre in the market where she has 18 #1s (mostly fueled by massive payola and cheap discounts tricks), can’t sell albums, can’t even lipsync properly. Imagine stanning that fat whale in 2017.


Mariah’s still a talent legend who changed the Music Industry. Celine is a basic AC that old people still buys. Besides her forgotten songs


you think that Mariah’s not a legend? I think you forgot that she influenced Beyoncé, Rihanna, Christina Aguillera, Leona Lewis, Fifth Harmony and Kelly Clarkson. If you think that she’s not, well Patti Labelle, MJ, Whitney, Aretha, Prince, Beyoncé and Rihanna would disagree.


Celine is a good lip-syncer trust me. Mariah’s not that’s why she always get caught. Anyway, album sales doesn’t define you as a legend. Mariah influenced many artists today, so as Vision of Love( VOL alone inspired the American Idol family, Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera and Rihanna).
If you think she can’t sing, watch her performance on Dubai Jazz Festival.
Mariah and Whitney influenced many artist than Celine. If you think Mariah’s not a legend, why the hell singers today using the rap/sung collaboration which MC popularized in 1995?


Yes she sold more albums than Mariah. But you can’t deny the fact that she’s still a legend. She’s the ‘Queen of Melisma’ , hailed as the ‘Songbird Supreme’ by the GUINESS WORLD OF RECORD, she’s a STAR LISTER vocalist accrdng to CRITICS OF MUSIC why Celine is only an A-lister.


Because Celine is successful in both languages, unlike Mariah who can’t.

Besides, if Celine actually focused on releasing english albums rather than french albums, her total album sales could have been bigger.

So you should be thankful Celine releases french albums so that the eas gap between Celine and Mariah wouldnt be huge.


Absolute fan opinionated nonsense. Who is to say if she released English albums instead of French ones she would have been any more successful. There is no way to prove or disprove this, it is just pure conjecture on your behalf.


Easy. Her english albums sell better/more so if she focused on releasing english albums like every 2/3 years with the same promotion she does for her french albums like music videos and tours, her english albums would sell more.


Yet again that is not proof, nobody knows how things could or would have went for her, if she had released English albums in place of those French albums.

For all we know, if she had released English album after English album in the 00’s & 10’s, her popularity and sales could have waned due to over exposure and that spacing them out between French albums actually created more desire in her English albums when they came around, but again, this is just conjecture, not fact.


MJD, i was referring on 2007 and onwards because there’s a huge gap between her english albums.


I disagree for two reasons. I think that it’s important to take under consideration how many albums were released when we talk about overall sales, and what was the climate in the music industry when each of these artists were active and popular. That being said, I think that Whitney was the most successful, and I’m not even a fan. The climate was great in her case, but she released only few albums. It’s impressive that she sold them in over 150 million. To me that showcases popularity more than someone’s 244 million with nearly 30 releases. Overall sales is… Read more »


I disagree because it’s also a matter of making the right decisions. Celine and Mariah are still alive and healthy because they showed self-control, they were intelligent enough what to do and what not to do. That’s why they’re still making music.

My Heart Will Go On already beat I Will Always Love You. And someday, All I Want For Christmas Is You will beat I Will Always Love You too.

And Madonna, Celine and Mariah numbers will get bigger and faster because theyre still alive.


Its funny watching Mariah, Celine, Madonna and sometimes Whitney fans fighting like a bunch of 6 year old kids. Lol.


Really!? I’ll give you they do sound like silly little argumentative 6 year olds but I find it pathetic, ridiculous & not at all funny. It is an unfortunate trait that sadly seems to always rear it’s head, when a lot of female artists are discussed, not just the few you selectively mention.


It’s funny because months ago you estimated:

TEOM: 9.1M
Daydream: 20.3M
Butterfly: 10.5M


Your Sales for Music Box And Daydream are simple inaccurate, she sold much more in South America and is a shame that you can’t count these sales. The same goes for the debut and Butterfly


She had the biggest song in 1990 here in Brazil and you think the debut only sold 65k?


Wake up and accept the truth that Celine is still a legend while Mariah is no longer an icon of the currect people.


This forum is not for fight