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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dhhd

Wasn’t YCD and WTG Gold for 100k copies in Brazil?And ABPDZ started counting sales since 1989?

dhhd

You said that ABPD allowed sales since 1989…then YCD sold 100k from 1989 to 1994?

dhhd

then why True Blue certified Gold?

Johnny Gnecco

Can you update Madonna’s statistics please? Her Youtube accounts is fixed (90%). Almost all her videos uploaded there now. Some twice but they will probably get merged.

NIck

Her catalog as a whole is doing well on youtube. And La Isla Bonita is by far her biggest hit on it–it is getting about 380,000 views a day and a total of more than 265 million (between its two videos).

NIck

Madonna has more gold singles than any other artist in America.

NIck

Ah! I read on wikipedia she has more gold physical singles than any other solo artist. Another reason to take wiki with a grain of salt.

ANNA

It’s not about Gold or more. It’s about Gold. A lot of artists have more Platinum or Multi-Platinum singles but Madonna is about Gold. Madonna has 19 now. This fact tells more about her little-by-little success in US than about her past superiority.

Nuno

She is the female artist with more physical gold/platinum certifications (Elvis and Beatles are ahead). During the 80’s Gold was 1 million copies (though maxi-singles counted double for certifications). That means lot’s of her 80’s records could be re-certified to platinum. The changed occurred on late 1989 that means (yet some of her 80’s singles with no certification were certified during the 90’s): – Like a Virgin (Gold in 1985) – 1 million + if subject for certification would be platinum – Crazy For You (Gold in 1985) – 1 million + if subject for certification would be platinum –… Read more »

Nuno

Thanks for correction! Thought it was on December 1989 (like are most Billboard changes too).

Nuno

Madonna still is the artist with most gold physical single sales certifications. Various times Billboard published about it numerous times. They don’t mix the new digital certifications with the physical ones otherwise all artists with most certification would be from this century as 95% of multi-certificated singles in US are from the past 15 years alone as it became much more easy to get a certification. When singles were just physical only really big hits got certifications. All Elvis singles got hist last certifications in the 90’s or later. Madonna singles were certified the year of release and never again.… Read more »

Johnny Gnecco

What is “comprehensive audio streaming” and why you don’t count it too? 🙂

Nick

MJD, Do you think her streaming numbers and youtube views will ever pickup? No idea why they are so low compared to other artists she competed with. She is played frequently on oldies radio, far more than Whitney, Mariah or Celine.

Nick

It’s just surprising to me because I feel like a lot of people DO listen to Madonna and that The Immaculate Collection has stood the test of time as well as Thriller. Hence, why it has continued to sell since 1990.

Nick

I wasn’t saying TIC was as POPULAR as Thriller, that would be crazy. I said the songs have stood the test of the time as well as Thriller if not more. Almost all the songs on TIC, like Thriller, still get played widely on the radio, a lot. More than the songs from Whitney or Mariah’s peak eras. And Madonna DID NOT tour a lot AT ALL during the 90s. She only toured twice, and that was in 1990 and 1992. She didn’t tour again until The Drowned World Tour. TIC continued to sell very well even when her career… Read more »

Nuno

MJD, Billboard had a rule that all albums on BB200 older than 2 years were removed and would only chart on TOP POP CATALOG Chart. Not sure when the rule was created but probably in late 1991 introducing soundscan system for tracking sales and that’s why the album still charted in 1993 (otherwise would already be 2 years older sooner). So BB200 rules for albums just like the CURRENT ALBUM SALES is now (for a comparation). That’s why the last time TIC was when it was getting close from those 2 years from release. The next week it got into… Read more »

Nuno

MJD, during the 90’s Madonna did less than 100 concerts worldwide and all of them on 1990 (57 concerts – the last one was 3 months before TIC was released) and 1993 (39 concerts that grossed $70 million). During the 90’s she only did 5 concerts in US after the release of TIC – during the entire decade. She played 29 US dates on May and June 1990 promoting “I’m Breathless” and “Like a Prayer” albums months before TIC was released. Those 34 concerts were all she played in US for the 90’s (and were 35% of all the concerts… Read more »

Johnny Gnecco

Disagree. Many 80’s songs are getting big streaming numbers (La Isla Bonita is doing extremely good on Youtube too). It’s all about promotion by the apps/sites. Spotify sadly promotes only selected artists, the popular 80’s playlists aren’t getting updated normally, they just mix the songs from the last week, nothing else… Madonna -considering she’s not added in many popular playlists- has a decent 8-9m monthly listeners.

Tony

Hi MJD, do you think when Queen are updated, that they will overtake Madonna on overall sales. Particularly because of Bohemian Rhapsody movie?

Johnny Gnecco

That’s what I’m saying. Then don’t add her in many popular playlists so we can see if she will do well. I’ve seen her in only 2 popular playlists and she still there. That’s all. I just can’t believe some of her songs aren’t doing that well yet on Spotify, considering they were popular when they got released. She has many classics. La Isla Bonita as I said, got unblocked recently on Youtube and the views went from 5.000.000 to 105.000.000 in 5,5 months (u should do and update to her discography 🙂 ), but on Spotify it has 58m.… Read more »

Michael

Spotify promotes artist that are big on their sites. Its ridiculous to think that they purposely dont want to promote certain artists. When there is demand there will be heavy promotions. Big corporations like spotify dont care about personal preferences. They only care about money and demands.

Johnny Gnecco

Some other impressive achievements of Madonna you can add. 🙂 -Best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century. -She has 16 consecutive top five singles and 17 consecutive top ten singles in US. No other artist managed to do this, male of female. -Best selling female album of the 80’s, with True Blue. -For a certain amount of time she had the best selling studio female album, the best selling remix female album, and the the best selling compilation female album. -True Blue spent 34 consecutive weeks at the top of the European charts, most for any other album. -She’s… Read more »

Michael

Shes not a rock artist. Shes pop.

Johnny Gnecco

She’s not pop, she has release multiple albums with different music genres each one.

KantClark

She is pop. Please. Relase a bunch of different genres doesn’t change her main sound.

Johnny Gnecco

But Madonna doesn’t have a MAIN sound. She’s an artist that was changing genres with each album, from pop, to pop/rock, electronica, RnB, jazz, EDM etc. She’s not just pop for sure.

ANNA

People just imply that she’s a girl. That’s why she’s pop artist no matter what her sound is. Rock is “macho music” and jazz is for intellectuals. Madonna is “80s music” only, etc. These stereotypes are still alive. It’s easier to despise her like that. Finally she’s managed to get rid of her “glores” and most of her admirers are really happy about her last two albums. No need to argue.

Michael

She has released multiple albums with a mix of different genre. But her main genre is still pop regardless. Same like Pink and Avril Lavigne. They both are ROCK singers. With some influence of pop. But they are still basically rock just like Madonna is still basically a pop singer.

NIck

Pink and Avril Lavigne are definitely not considered rock, at least in America. They are as pop as Madonna.

Michael

Pink and Avril is Pop Rock. Just look at their image. They dont look like a pop singer. They are rock singers. Sure there are some pop influence in their songs. But as a whole they are rock acts

KantClark

Avril was more rock act in early years. P!nk never was. She started as R&B, changed for Pop and found herself as Pop/Rock. Now both of them are more Pop.

ANNA

I’m pretty sure in non-classical music the image is always more important than genre. The majority of Avril Lavigne fans in Russia think they’re listening to alternative music because she dressed like a teenage boy back and her glance was angry many years ago. Yandex Music streaming service even lists her as “alternative”. It sells because she’s not as popular as she was in the 2000s. Non-classical music business in general is all about that. Even some classical musicians are using this method to achieve more success. Playing cello while being naked (really good musician, not just “slut”)… Anyway, I… Read more »

Rene

Im América latina shes huge as Canadá

In all the tvs and radios she sounds increíble

Izack

Wanted to know do you think she will maintain the best selling female artist for awhile ? Hope so , amn thanks for such detail summary of pops biggest diva

Rene Sanchez

Madonna the only and real Queen of pop

Jake

The Immaculate Collection is the best selling compilation by a SOLO artist not just among female artists.

Androdita

Dear Santa is missing from singles sales. It has sold lots of downloads. She needs to be updated.

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