CSPC: Madonna Popularity Analysis

[106/365] Totally 80s

Physical Singles Sales – Part 1

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single.

Madonna (1983) – 1,191,000 equivalent albums

Everybody – 170,000
Burning Up – 60,000
Holiday – 1,850,000
Lucky Star – 650,000
Borderline – 1,240,000

Like A Virgin (1984) – 3,375,000 equivalent albums

Like A Virgin – 4,360,000
Material Girl – 1,560,000
Angel – 1,160,000
Into The Groove – 3,010,000
Dress You Up – 1,070,000
Love Don’t Live Here Anymore – 90,000

True Blue (1986) – 3,651,000 equivalent albums

Live To Tell – 2,020,000
Papa Don’t Preach – 3,280,000
True Blue – 2,380,000
Open Your Heart – 1,300,000
La Isla Bonita – 3,190,000

From 1983 to 1986 the popularity of Madonna increased every month. Singles sales of the likes Holiday or Borderline, over 3 million combined, make it look like the 1983 era was already big. The diva rise to fame was much more linear though. Those songs peaked at #6 and #54 during the year 1984 in the UK, it is after the Like A Virgin fever that their reissues shot to #2 in August 1985 and January 1986 respectively.

That fever was powered by the 4 million selling title track, a song that led the US Hot 100 for 6 weeks, but also by Into The Groove, an incredible smash in Europe. This song went on to sell 3 million copies despite a limited release as it never came out in the US, Canada or Australia. That 1984 era had 3 more million sellers in Material Girl, Angel and Dress You Up to combine for a grand total of 11 million physical singles sold.

A near-impossible tally to beat, it was topped by its direct follow up as hits from True Blue moved 12 million copies. Papa Don’t Preach and La Isla Bonita broke 3 million a piece, Live To Tell and True Blue 2 million while Open Your Heart almost seems to be weak although it sold a strong 1,3 million.

As for sales figures, a clarification is needed. From late 70s to early 90s, two formats were strong, 7″ and 12″. This latter format was double certified by the RIAA, the US organization in charge of providing Gold and Platinum awards. Artists of dancing music were selling a large amount of 12″ singles as they included mixes of those hot tunes.

Madonna was one of them. A song like Angel went Gold for 1 million units in 1985 while peaking only at #9 in the Sales chart, it was due to the single being a 12″ exclusive, meaning it sold 500,000 units rather than 1 million. Most other singles sold well in both formats, which inflates their RIAA tallies by 20-30%.

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Your numbers for sales before 2010 are so incomplete! I can’t believe you’re spreading false information this way! Some of Madonna physical singles even sold twice what you wrote they did! You should really contact her Record Labels to get the real info but not sure they have it available to get it to you (if they are lazy to even re-certify albums that sold multiple platinums more in some countries (for over 3 decades) I wouldn’t be that helpfull. Some of your single sales for Madonna are just US + UK and a little more sales (when those singles… Read more »


Why don’t you post your sources for these sales? If you have the “correct” information, then provide the sources to back it up.


Imo LIB was the most commercially successful Madonna single. Although it was released as the 5th single of the album, it managed to outsell all previously released with the exception of PDP which was released before the album release, which obviously boosted sales. Had it been the other way around, I believe the numbers would be like more than 5m for LIB and about 2 m for PDP. And if one takes into consideration that LIB, a summer anthem, as the 2nd single would be released in the beginning of summer 1986 and not in February, or the fact that… Read more »


She’s a spent force , get over it. Most successful single of all time ? Your having a laugh l😂 😂😂😂😂😂😂


He said La Isla Bonita is Madonna’s most successful single, Not all time best.


Maybe that’s what he meant but the last paragraph does state “the most commercially successful single of all time”, not her most successful.

Last edited 1 month ago by Martin

After reading Madonna’s popularity analisys, the first thought I have is what if Youtube and Spotify would be exist since 1985, and the instant reply is that she would be still the biggest female artist of all times, easily in the top 3. Beside, she is the most pirated artist in all times (leaked albums, black market, piracy), countless unofficial channels in Youtube with her videos, shows, performances with dismissed views, etc.


Are you guys including the new versions of Frozen’s remixes in the Ray Of Light EAS? The song became viral on tik tok and she took advantage and realeased A LOT of versions. YOUTUBE: Madonna Vs Sickick – Frozen (feat. 070 Shake) 1,4 Milion Madonna Vs Sickick – Frozen (Firebou DML Remix) 7 milion Madonna – Frozen (Sickick Remix) | Circles Bob – Frozen (TikTok Remix) 11 milioon Madonna Vs. Sickick – Frozen (Sickick Remix) 8,3 milion Madonna Vs. Sickick – Frozen Remix – 2,7 milion = 30,4 milion on youtube One version of these on Spotify has more than… Read more »

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