CSPC: Madonna Popularity Analysis



So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each Madonna album achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!

In the following table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales. For example, singles from Hard Candy released in digital format sold the equivalent of 1,316,000 albums – 8,775,000 downloads with a 10 to 1,5 weighting.

    • As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/11750 for Video stream)

This is it! We started this article mentioning Madonna has no album among the very best selling female studio albums of all-time, wondering how high would True Blue feature in terms of real popularity. In the end, the dark horse Like A Virgin appears to be the singer’s biggest album. Surprising? Well, not that much.

True Blue was clearly the fastest seller out of both, up to 15,5 million by the end of 1987 while Like A Virgin, with two more years of sales, was on 13 million by the same time. By mid-1988 though Like A Virgin was already the one selling the most and started to slowly catch album sales of True Blue. Considering The Immaculate Collection shot down catalog sales of those two albums soon after, Like A Virgin never completed its come back in terms of original album sales, but did generate more sales to all subsequent compilations and is still her most appealing record as shown by both catalog digital sales and streaming results.

Apart from the ranking, the volume of sales is very interesting. Like A Virgin is now close to 40 million equivalent album sales in total. This puts it ahead of many other female albums that sold more copies in original album format, including debuts of Britney SpearsNorah Jones and Tracy Chapman, Carole King‘s Tapestry, Whitney Houston‘s first two albums and Mariah Carey‘s Music Box / Daydream. This makes Like A Virgin the #6 most successful female album ever while True Blue scraps into the Top 10.

In the same way, Like A Prayer tops Ray Of Light album. Considering the 1,4 million lead of the latter record in original album format, this isn’t that surprising as without the cannibalization from The Immaculate Collection, the former would have filled this gap easily.

In the other end of the jigsaw, we can notice how little added value MDNA or Rebel Heart brought to the artist’s catalog. Albums like I’m Breathless and Bedtime Stories ain’t bad at all everything considered, while American Life still has a very long and difficult way to do before saving itself from the flop rating.

Everything considered, Madonna totals 241,1 million equivalent albums sales, more than Britney Spears, Adele and Rihanna combined. While the pop star is well known as the most successful female artist ever, this comparison is still worth it to best illustrate the magnitude of her success.

The following page lists her most successful songs.

Do not forget to check our amazing lists posted inside the CSPC: Data Collector which includes the full listing of all CSPC results compiled so far to better gauge her position in the history of the music industry.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, YouTube, Warner, Chartmasters.org.

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Hace cuanto no se actualiza todo


Mdna no sell more than hard candy in brasil.
Certificade coul be double because 2cd deluxe

Same rebel heart
Edition 1cd 31k
Edition 2cd 10k (x2: 20k)

Madame x
Universal refused release in cd, after complaint. Was release one mounth latrer, one edition 2cd with 3k copies. The price was 3x higher than the any other cd


Sales in brazil at 1993
Source magazine veja


In brazil
Like a virgin and like a prayer sell more than 800k and true blue sell more than 900k at 1993.
Souce newspaper Jornal do Brasil.
But magazine veja brings other nunber, i send to messenger too.
I send this photo in your messenger.


“Into The Groove” was released in Canada in 2 formats: Cass-single and 12″. Sold 100k copies there as RPM clearly states on their 1986-07-26 issue (at the time had 40k from “Into The Groove” cassette singles made it the best selling cassette single in Canada so far). You can read the original issue PDF scaning that also have other interesting info about other artists here: https://web.archive.org/web/20210124041521/https://worldradiohistory.com/CANADA/RPM/80s/1986/RPM-1986-07-26.pdf I’m sure it must be hard to find info about sales on most countries previous to the 00’s decade as most was only printed on weekly magazines or internal industry reports and still aren’t… Read more »


Hello MJD, I have been following your page for a couple of years now and I have always wondered what were your exact estimations of Madonna’s album sales in Asia, outside of Japan, like how much did each of her albums sell in Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong etc.


At least known sales (obviously, she sold more): *In Singapore she sold in first 3 months, 60,000 units with Like a Prayer and 20,000 units with Erotica. *She went platinum in Thailand with Music *She outsell in certifications by IFPI Hong Kong all others international artists. *She went gold in Philippines with True Blue, thats about 20-25K units. *She sold about 30,000 units as of 1989 in India with Like a Prayer and True Blue. And went gold with MDNA in 2012. *She sold about 30,000 units i Malaysia with Like a Prayer or True Blue. *In South Korea, she… Read more »


Do you guys have a link to the claim of her Italian sales of “the first album” (1983)?


Please. Madame x?
Upgrade for albuns with streaming

Last edited 6 months ago by Marcelo

Bueno acaba de salir que es la primera vendida del mundo


Creo que esta desactualizada la informació

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