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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We got an update for Mariah’s UK album sales, but they seem to be totally off: “When it comes to albums, 1993’s Music Box – her first Number 1 – is leader of the pack, with an impressive 1.18 million combined sales, while two retrospectives, 2001’s Greatest Hits (809k) and 1998’s #1s (768k) at 2 and 3. The Emancipation Of Mimi is her next biggest studio album (671k), and Daydream completes the Top 5 with sales of 649k. ” https://www.officialcharts.com/chart-news/mariah-careys-top-40-biggest-singles-on-the-official-chart__24715/ Can you explain how those figures for “Music Box” and “Daydream” come together? They seem so low. I’m almost sure… Read more »


Yes please. They know that they’re wrong yet they continue to spread inaccurate data. But oh well, they have their own way of computing sales so the best thing to do is just accept their data but the most accurate data is here, at chartmasters.org


Your numbers are totally fake and wrong Mariah sold more than 14kk on emancipation of mini. Plus daydream sold 32kk as well


Claim that the numbers are fake is easy, buddy. Can you show us where these 14 million came from? I will ignore the Daydream’s 32 million at first.


Even the Wikipedia (which already reports inflated numbers sometimes) reported these TEOM’s 14 million. I’m very curious about your sources haha


Im looking now and Wiki does NOT claim TEOM at 14 million. The highest sales its ever been set at was 12 million and that was proven wrong.

Joachim Agerup Løkkevik

Hi MJD! Just came over this site, and I must say it’s much fun reading about all the most successfull artists. But I wonder, after have read about Madonna, Whitney, Britney and Celine, I’m a bit surprised the negative tone in the article about Mariah. In other articles, you usually praise success and can say something positive about the artist’s achievements. But about Mariah, you always say something like “…but that can’t compare to..”, “…which is not close to…”, “…is nowhere near…”, and when you’re finnished reading the article, you have a feeling Mariah’s career was somewhat of a disappointment.… Read more »


Hi Joachim! I understand your frustration, coming from a Mariah fan myself, but quite frankly, I see a lot of phrases MJD used in the article praising Mariah’s success. For example, “so this must be saluted already“, ” the 14 million plus average for her seven 90s albums is outstanding“,” perfectly summarizing the immense popularity of the artist during the 90s” etc. The only real criticism on Mariah’s success I see from MJD in the article concerns her physical singles sales, which I find understandable! For someone with 14 US #1’s during the 90’s, one would probably expect wonders for… Read more »


Hi CM staff,

May I know the total EAS of Mariah’s version of O’ Holy Night? I wanted to compare it to total EAS of Celine’s version. And since Mr. Blanchard posted the top 100 Celine Dion songs before, maybe your office can post (since we have the top 25 Mariah songs already) the top 26-100 Mariah Carey most successful singles?

Please don’t get me wrong. I love Mariah Carey too. I just love Celine Dion more. And they’re my top 2 favorite female music artists and I hope that someday they will have a duet.


It looks like I have changed my favorite Mariah Carey song again. Before it was “Without You”, then it became “Always Be My Baby”. then it became “Anytime You Need A Friend” but I have realized I’ve always been singing “My All” on karaokes/videokes. My All is my favorite MC song and will not change anymore.

Still wishing for a Celine/Mariah duet.


Hi. I just wanted to get your opinion on how Mariah Carey can redeem herself considering that her 14th effort sold just shy of 800,000 AEU? Thanks


Not on MC’s top 25 biggest tracks list, but may i know the numbers of her ” O’ Holy Night” version? I wanted to compare it to Celine’s figures of the same song.


I have a question… You wrote that Celine is the best selling artist of the 90’s on a Celine post. But, after adding up your statistics of her 6 albums in English and 3 album releases in French World Wide from 1990 – 1999 Celine is at 108.1 million for 90’s album sales. While Mariah’s 11 album releases from 1990 – 1999 have her at 120.9 million. Also, how come Never Forget You isn’t listed as a single or any of her Spanish songs?(mariah) Just as a side note – I don’t think it’s odd Mariah didn’t do well in… Read more »


I think Mariah and Mottolla does not spend that many effort on Europe simply because she did have a pretty hard time breaking into the European markets. She has one very big album, one pretty big album, and the rest are just ok. Mariah only toured Asia, after she receives huge album sales within that region. Just my opinion.


The figure you refer to only count studio albums’ sales nowadays, not sales during the 90s
, and Celine sold many more Live and Compilat albums in 90s than Mariah.So Celine is the best selling artist of 90s in terms of records, albums, singles.


Edit: In 2005, Hollaback Girl was the best selling digital single in US with 1.2M.

WBT is not a strong catalog seller. I think 3.4M is a pretty good total for the release year and 15 years of career to Mimi.


In 2005 digital was not strong yet. Big hits sold in that average. If i’m not wrong the best selling digital single of 2005 in US was Hollaback Girl with 1.95M.