CSPC: Madonna Popularity Analysis

CSPC Madonna

The Queen of Pop. Madonna is widely recognized as the biggest female star of all-time. As you know if you have been following Chartmasters.org for long, we created the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to validate or not those assumptions.

Applying it to historical albums and young popular artists helped us to understand that album sales aren’t the only valid indicator of popularity both because of the impact of various compilations and of large singles sales. Some artists have been able to pull great numbers in all fronts.

One perfect example appears to be Madonna. Consequently, it is time to apply this concept on this case which involves both situations combined to see how much it impacts our perception of each album popularity.

In fact, the American superstar had strong singles sales all over her career as well as notorious compilations downgrading a lot catalog results of her original albums.

No one can seriously doubt Madonna‘s popularity, just like no one can seriously argue against the fact she is the best selling female artist of all-time. One ranking on which she is often overshadowed by several of her peers yet is the best selling studio album by a female artist.

Incredibly enough, Whitney Houston, Shania Twain, Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion, Adele, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Norah Jones and soon both Tracy Chapman and Carole King all have at least one studio album that outsold every Madonna‘s studio set. The latter biggest seller, True Blue, ends up being pushed out of the all-time Top 10 female studio albums.

While an unexperienced eye would conclude that Madonna never really had a true massive hit album, others will notice most of those female artists had one standout album that was well other the par inside their own discography. This situation is clearly favorable to the one-off record that keeps getting enduring catalog appeal – which is precisely why Tracy Chapman and Carole King blockbusters are now passing by True Blue – while the extensive career of Madonna makes compilations more relevant to the casual buyer.

Indeed, the singer outsold all other previously mentioned females minus Celine Dion by over 2 to 1 in terms of compilation sales. No need to say she also outsold all those females in terms of physical singles sales by a considerable margin.

Considering this context, merging results of all her records ends up being absolutely necessary to properly define how successful – or unsuccessful! – her albums have been. If there is little doubt that True Blue would appear into a Top 10 most successful, in opposition to best selling, female studio albums list it is interesting to know how high it would be and if additional Madonna‘s albums can climb into those high waters as well.

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 Madonna‘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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Madame F

how could the immaculate collection reach 12m in USA after getting certificated as diamond in 2001? has it nearly gained 2 millions sales from 2002 to 2017? according to billboard this album has only sold 220k from 2009(5.78m)to 2016(5.99m). how could it be possible to sale 1.7m from 2002 to 2009 if this album has really sold 12m in USA?? and bmg + ch club has be gone since 2002/2003, i really dont think it can get a massive sale from music clubs


Hello,mjd Could you post the u.s. physical single sales for Madonna. Somebody claimed that the figure on ukmix has been over estimated a lot.


hi MJD
I wonder how many units Madonna moved in physical singles in the USA? What about Mariah Carey?


How you get the u.s. Sales for IMC at Nearly 12m? It has been twenty years since last certified. Did the soundscan gain 2m?


yes, it gained about 1.7-1.8 million, plus a few club sales and a few supermarket sales, you get that nearly 12 million figure.


thank you


I decided to take some time to sum up and make stats on streaming and found out that Madonna EAS from streaming would add about 1.5 million today to her total on the 2017 analysis. Her new album already sold over 400k pure sales already (which is not that bad for the times being) and her GHs albums have been on iTunes global TOP 200 charts for many days on this past 2 years. Her singles/song sales must be quite small but all summed up will certainly account for over 100k EAS in this 2 year period. With her album… Read more »


Nuno, Queen are probably way ahead of Madonna at this point due to their popularity on youtube and spotify. But Madonna will retain her position as the only female in the top 10 selling artists of all time (and maybe stay in the top 5).


I’d imagine so Nick. It’s quite probable that Bohemian Rhapsody the track, has added more to its overall total and Queens, than Madonnas entire catalogue has to hers. To be be fair, it’s probably added more, than quite a few artists entire catalogues!

Since Queens analysis in 2017, it has added around 800,000 EAS from Spotify and Youtube streaming. Don’t Stop Me Now, around 300,000 from just Spotify.


Thanks! I still don’t understand pretty well your single estimations. I know it must be hard to do that without having access to any real data but as I’ve seen from the inside the numbers on Warner Music computers during the 90’s and as I said before your estimations for Madonna already seem pretty low.


I understand it’s too early fo MJD to update and it won’t change the big picture. But this article serves as a source for a chart in Russian Wikipedia Madonna article. I’m not sure traffic from here is big but generally it’s a significant SEO factor. Without update the link to this analysis is likely to disappear because wiki has a strong policy towards articles with “good” status. It’s just not relevant without 440k of Madame X results.


New sales receipts:
Like A Virgin sold only 10k legitimate copies in Taiwan by November 1985, with another estimated 300k pirate copies sold. However, the album was re-issued so many times through these 35 years(check Discogs and blogs of Taiwanese music record collecters) , it was very possible that most sales there were done in late 80s and 90s.


Hi MJD! Thank you for the analysis, since this was done 2 years ago, when could be get an update? She has got some new certifications and also released Madame X and RHT, also her streaming numbers have grown a lot, for example MG was 54k EAS and now is 126k EAS and LAP was 85k EAS and now is 152k EAS, those two already add 139k EAS, so many she could be around 246M EAS?

Thank you again for all the time and work you put into this.


But these “rises” are just so paltry, in the grand scheme of things, that she is way down the list of artists to be revised. Artists that have had significantly greater rises, will be prioritised.


I also think it’s too early for MJD to update her. After a couple of years, maybe.


Can I know what would her total sales be (so albums, compilations. physical and digital singles etc) if we also added the extra discs u talked about on elvis page?? cuz you said elvis had sold around 60M extra discs, mj 34M, the beatles +100M could you plz tell me madonna’s??? thanks a lot and if u can exlain to me what you mean with “extra discs” cuz i’m really confused lol




is it me you’re looking for?


Lmao no


I would like to see BONNIE TYLER cspc !

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