CSPC: Cher Popularity Analysis

Cher recogerá el Premio Honorífico a su Trayectoria en la gala de los Premios 40 Principales

We are used to being reminded how Britney Spears was still a child when Madonna was already topping the charts. In August 1965, when the Queen of Pop was going to turn 7 years old, Cher was leading the US Hot 100 ahead of Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones and until being topped by the BeatlesYesterday. I Got You Babe, her duet with former husband Sonny Bono was the third 

longest #1 of the year precisely behind those two monstrous hits.

Since that early breakthrough, Cher faced an extensive run of flops and successes. She was never the biggest pop star on Earth a la Madonna or Celine Dion, but she undoubtedly accumulated record sales all along a never ending road. Impressively, she managed various stunning come backs, most notably the 1998 smash Believe. With 6 studio albums with Sonny, 25 solo LPs, various Soundtracks, countless compilations and tons of singles, her catalog is much deeper than just Believe though. How many records has the godmother of all divas sold? How is her catalog performing nowadays? How does she stand in comparison to the other household female singers names?

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge her results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all Cher‘s albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming, but it will also determine their true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, the next page explains it with a short video. I fully recommend watching the video before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the figures.

Let’s go!

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Hi MJD! I’m updating Chartsinfrance’s thread about Cher’s sales with your new numbers (you will be mentionned, obviously) and I have a couple of questions : – Why did you estimate the “Backstage” and “3614 Jackson highway” up to 10 000 copies sold in the UK ? I thought those records had never charted there. According to my old archive, “Backstage” never even charted in the US. – Why is there no trace of the “Chastity” OST in the compilations part ? I know it hardly sold a thing but it still existed and it’s a whole Sonny & Cher… Read more »


Ok, thank you very much ! One last question : why do you think her “20th Century Masters” compilation sold 800 000 copies ? I haven’t seen it ranked in any chart (whereas her Gold compilation sold in Scotland and Sweden). Same question for the 1992 “Half-breed” compilation and the 1974 greatest hits. Those numbers seem surprisingly high to me lol.
Thanks ! 🙂


Wow ! Thanks. It’s funny to see how those budget compilations that were barely promoted at the time of their release make us understand the actual success of an artist. Cher was not so overlooked as I thought from 1974 to 1987 … she was selling compilations.


One factor not usually considered in evaluating the success of Cher (and the duo Sonny & Cher) as recording artists is the impact of their television variety series, which ran from 1971-1977. At its height in the 1973-1974 season, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour averaged a 23.4 rating, ranking the series #6 for the season, averaging more than 15 million viewers per week. The effect of their TV popularity surely helped revive their recording careers in 1971, but it also had the effect of diminishing it, as well. With such massive exposure every week over such a long span,… Read more »


The MAIN thing is that Cher did end up selling more than 100 MILLION records, and won 3 out of 4 main industry awards. Those are the things general public knows and it’s why she’s considered a legend. She had hits and was selling millions each time when she had a comeback, something which is very hard to achieve considering how harsh the pop music scene is towards female artists, especially towards ageing pop divas.

A true icon, and that’s exactly why a musical about her life is debuting on Broadway this year :-)!


Why the single ‘Little Man’ isn’t included in her top selling singles list? It sold more than 1,5 million copies in the 60s, and was a top 10 hit in 15 countries ( #1 in five countries).

marcus andre

Closer to the Truth sold 285,000 according to Nielsen Soundscan, as of February 2014, why do you estimate its sales 380,000 in USA?

marcus andre

Thank You MJD! 😉


“WTF is MDNA?”

An album that has sold more than 94% of all of your albums, Cher



You are sooo bad! But is true!

MDNA >>>

Stephen Nield

MJD, can you please do a similar post about Spice Girls and Avril Lavigne?

marcus andre

There’s a CSPC analysis for Spice Girls’s discography yet…

Stephen Nield

Thanks for that!

Stephen Nield

Thanks for this hard work, just a few questions though. It’s a Man’s World can’t be at 225k in the UK as it only sold 101k in 1996 and only reached no.28 in 1995 so that number really should be at 150k max. Also, the Cher 1987 album can’t be at 200k in the UK as it sold less than 100k in 1988 and didn’t chart again. Heart of Stone didn’t reach double platinum in the UK so can’t be at 750k, more like 550k. Great work but some of the album sales for the UK and some other European… Read more »

marcus andre

MJD, you’re the man! 🙂
A case that impressed me much about UK sales, was the Emma Bunton’s album Life in Mono, which was released near Christmas (December 4), and peaked only 3 weeks there (#65,#75,#79), it sold around 40k in UK, thanks to “Christmas effect”. Cher albums, same case… ^^

Stephen Nield

Thank you for answering me MJD, I didn’t know that sales were that high in 1995! In terms of the 1987 Cher album, it was only released in the UK in January 1988, so maybe the 200k should be a little lower then. Also, you have IICTBT: Chers Greatest Hits at 1.2 million in the US but the last update from Billboard was about 955k, so why the big difference? In terms of Australian sales, I have a contact from Aria who has answered many questions for me about Chers sales and I know that the Greatest Hits 1965-1992 album… Read more »

Stephen Nield


I didn’t know it was released in 1987 so thanks for that. Certifications for albums in Australia are based on shipments and Greatest Hits 1965-1992 has only shipped 25k. Aria don’t track sales for older albums but they know the shipments. Cher is certified as Gold in Australia and Greatest Hits 1999 is at 3x Platinum. You can see the certification for the Greatest Hits album here:

Mary McCray

This was fascinating. It’s always amusing to me when fans of other more popular female pop singers take such umbrage with Cher’s record, accusing her of an icon status they don’t feel she deserves or a history of hits she has never claimed to have had. Considering how Cher’s career has solely been in the hands of producers like Snuff Garret and Sonny Bono and upwards of 8+ producers piling up on later albums, you can say Cher is too over-produced to be successful. MDNA, in comparison, has an entirely calculated (in a good way) and controlled oeuvre. Cher has… Read more »


Yes educate them