CSPC: Usher Popularity Analysis

04 Scale and Balance Eric Johnson

The Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC)

There are two ways to understand this revolutionary concept. The first is the Scribe video posted below. If you are unaware of the CSPC method, you will get the full idea within just a few minutes.

If you are a mathematical person, and want to know the full method as well as formulas, you can read the full introduction article.

Now let’s get into the artist’s sales figures in detail in order to apply this concept and define the act’s true popularity!

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jeremy

According to chart data, 8701 has sold over 13 million copies worldwide. They tweeted it a while back but deleted it. I can’t find the tweet or any screenshots of it though.

Chika

What is the point of spamming this image as if you’re gonna wish it into existence simply by typing it. Frankly, there is literally ZERO way Usher has sold 274 million anything in Australia, be it albums, downloads or physical singles. It’s simply nonsense. What do you expect, they’re just gonna update Ushers album sales to 274 million in Australia alone? Obviously they have used some contrived or pointless methodology to reach this ridiculous number, so why do you continue to troll and spam as if random pictures you found online are the gospel on music sales?

Charles J Cook

I’m sorry if I’ve been such an inconvenience. I would actually like to ask you to delete my comments, not spam since I may have a real question in another artist’s catalog sales, but delete since they have caused such an issue in this post. I wouldn’t like to come off as rude and disrespectful or turn this into a negative thing when it is really a celebration of not only Usher’s amazingly successful career, but other artists on this site as well. I do commend you for working as hard as you could to put this together so I… Read more »

Casimir

How good are Usher’s catalogue sales of Confessions? Considering that it shipped 12m in 2004, is 3.5m in the next 14 years decent or poor? It would be very interesting to have an article about catalogue sales, although I imagine it would be more difficult to find the data than it is to find total sales.

Geraldine Emaleu

those numbers are not even correct. Confessions pure sales are over 20 M , My way and 8701 over 8M, Here i stand over 6M worldwide. For a long time now. All pure sales. I dont know but that person just made those up.

Geraldine Emaleu

Hi MJD .That applies to every single artist that logic of yours then. Not only Usher.And those are real numbers. Am talkin updates. Here I stand sold 6 Millions after 2012. Honey, ppl keep selling. Here I stand sold 2 M the year of release and kept selling afterwards. U making it sound like they stopped selling after the year of release lool

Geraldine

Hi MJD, am not assuming. I checked Soundscan for all artists

Geraldine

MJD , one more thing, check this, Did u know Usher sold 274 M units in Australia alone??? He received a plaque last year in October during his stadium tour in Australia. If u did not know about that it means that u really dont know much about his sales abroad.

Charles J Cook

He actually has sold over 274 million units in Australia alone. There’s a picture of him receiving the plaque. If you don’t believe me, here it is:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqa_NJthvrH/

Al

Maybe 274 million streams there haha

César

AHHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAH 274 million records in AUSTRALIA HAHAHHHAHHAHAHAHHAHA

Nathan

aria.com.au (essentially the riaa of australia)
This was Ushers certifications in Australia for 2018.
Confessions went 5x platinum
My way went gold

If you look at criteria for certification in Australia, you’ll see that gold is
35,000 units and platinum is 70,000 units

Usher Confessions 5x PLATINUM
Usher My Way / 8701 GOLD

That’s 385,000

LOL

beast44

I’m sorry if you don’t believe Geraldine but he (or she lol) is right. There’s a whole picture to prove it. He received a plaque for it. And your count is wrong. My Way and 8701 have both sold over 8 million copies worldwide in pure sales. Confessions sold over 10 million copies in the US and over 20 million worldwide. Recently I read that it has sold 12 million in the US, so it might be at around 25 worldwide now. Here I Stand is also double platinum and has sold over 6 million copies worldwide, and that was… Read more »

Koudr

They should really update this !! Those numbers are from 2017. Usher is a living legend

beast44

Geraldine, you’re not wrong at all. Those numbers are straight from Billboard. They even said that Confessions sold over 20M worldwide at the end of 2009 in their artists of the decade list for the 2000s, and when you check RIAA.com, they list the album was certified diamond way back on November 7, 2008. The album has likely sold 11 or 12 M in the US at this point. (Link to Billboard article: https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/266420/artists-of-the-decade) And RvR has most likely sold way more than 1M in the US and 2M worldwide because those numbers are from June 17, 2010, just under… Read more »

César

Remember that this site is not about records, it is about CSPC.

beast44

true, but pure sales is part of the CSPC total. I was just saying what was on the Billboard and RIAA website, which (hopefully) isn’t wrong. I don’t think this site would be 100% accurate about everything either since MJD does admit to not having all the sources and sales from each country and doesn’t update every artists’s CSPC total on a regular basis

Michael

Billboard also wrote that Mariah Carey sold 1.6 billion units in Asia. Which we all know are delusional. Simply said, Billboard sales figure for global non US market has been terrible.

ABJ

Yeah you are right. Justin managed all the success by appropriating culture that wasn’t his. Still dont know hoe he managed 100 million digital downloads with four albums that span some 10 years.

Nomo

It’s insane what media marketing can do for an artist’s career. Justin Timberlake was able to craft a narrative as the biggest male “Pop” star in the world, even though his record sales aren’t nearly as impressive and the “R&B” star Usher. There are nonstop articles comparing Usher v. Justin Timberlake between 2002-2008. Both artist essentially make R&B music and yet Usher is branded as an overachieving “R&B” act and Timberlake who worked with Urban/R&B producers for the bulk of his career is considered a “global” “Pop” artist and yet in all reality he’s a underachieving “blue eyed soul” R&B… Read more »

Geraldine Emaleu

Jt is a pop artist. U might not know what pop is. Pop is a genre that gets influenced by other genres such as rnb or funk or soul or jazz etc thats how u get pop/rnb or pop/hip hop or pop whatever etc cause his sound is influenced by rnb style but he is not a rnb artist. at all…Ull never see him bein mentionned in a king of rnb debate. Only rkelly and usher. In fact, kelly said in 00s that JT does not know anythin about rnb music, thats y he does not work with him.And rnb… Read more »

KantClark

But he was… Timberlake is one of the biggest White Privilegie’s cases in the history of music.

sdfgh

huge facts. i like him, but he’s done a bit too much of riding on our exact styles of music. at least his music is good though. now taylor and that me! single…

beast44

JT did do RnB music. It’s actually sad that he continued that genre of music after the 2004 incident because he basically tarnished Janet’s legacy and then continued to reap the benefits from the very genre that her and her family had worked to advance. He continued to use RnB and black culture to build a career. What goes around comes around how’s he doing now? See

Michael

He is from Nsync and people always viewed him the way they viewed Beyonce. They are supposedly to be having great long consistencies bcoz their fans and the press always love to add up their totals and make it look bigger than anyone else, when actually their solo career wasnt really any different than most other top singers, and I wouldnt even say they were among the very top sellers. They were top 10, but definitely not top 3 during their era. As for this silly black and white thing. Ill give u an example. The media love to highlight… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael
KantClark

Jesus… Are you serious? Reverse racism????????

Michael

Arent what I said are true. Whenever there is an artist who is black and did not get enough attention from the Media, the music industry its always racism. When it happens to white people nobody cried racism. Why isnt anybody talking about Michael Bubble, a massive seller but he was nothing in the media. Even worse than Usher. Why is Usher’s case considered racism and Michael Bubble isnt racism. And furthermore racism work both ways. When u say the word “White privilige” that is extremely offensive and incredibly racist. Arent u trying to say that White people had things… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael
obro

it might be people see justin timberlake as a solo artist, as a member of sync, in movies and on snl which put him in the minds of people more so they think he’s bigger, idk i don’t how this stuff works i just like to see the numbers. Side note- i have to say being a teenager now i can only name one usher song whilst i can name at least 5 jt songs not including nsync

Michael

For an R&B singer Usher was really huge, and he even managed to cross border to a certain extent, something which very few R&B singers manahed to do. Even Nsync & JT are at most a local phenomenon. His solo career managed to make him became more global than his career with Nsync. But I wouldnt say he did much better than Usher. As a teenager u would probably know JT more than Usher. JT solo debut was much later than Usher. Usher was huge from late 90s to mid 2000s, JT from early 00s to early 10s. So you… Read more »

KantClark

You are forced in so many levels. Your dishonesty is absurd. You choose a narrative completely delusional to convince yourself black people and white people has the same opportunities even the history show us the opposite. You choose convenently Michael Buble as example a artist without media attention but foget how low profile he is (and yet he sells as much or more than high profile popstars). Sorry but your attempt to convince yourself that there are racism with white artist in this indutry is shameful, absurd and completely out of reality. Because people with negationist thoughts like you Racism… Read more »

Michael

Black people doesnt have the same opportunities bcoz of their own fault. In whatever country you travel to they always have the highest school drop out rate, they have the highest crime rates, they have the highest divorce rate, etc. Its not white people’s fault if black people choose not to go to school, to do drugs, etc. Its black peoples fault. In America colleges lower the entry requirement to create more DIVERSITY (Actually Asian Americans are the biggest race that face injustice, they work hard but they got rejected for somebody who are less smarter and less hard working).… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael
KantClark

You are an idiot racista nd I hope some day you pay for being such a digusting human being. Bye!!!

Michael

You’re a stupid human being who knows what Im speaking is FACTS but ur just so stupid and dont have FACTS that work on ur favor. So u go for personal attack. Shame.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael
obro

well that got heated

Michael

Truth hurt for some people

Freek

Truth is a subjective thing, that’s why we like to discuss numbers instead of theories.

Michael

Yeah, its not ny fault. I never politicize music. But when someone started fr a racial war, im not gonna back down.

Freek

Well, white privilege in the music industry was mentioned about 2 years ago, while you denied racism as a social phenomenon 5 days ago. I think the problem is that, although discrimination based on race is a scientifically proven fact in society, it’s very hard to prove racism or discrimination in an individual case. I mean, no-one except a proud racist will say they don’t like Ushers music because he’s black, it’s mostly a matter of taste. On the other hand, at least in the record-buying age, the public who could afford to buy records were mostly white, because of… Read more »

Michael

And without white people with big purchasing power buying MJ, Whitney, Beyonce, Rihanna records they wont be anywhere they are today. White privilige is mentioned in the music industry bcoz black people always brought up when they failed to become big or they failed to win a grammy. When White people failed to win a grammy despite the fact that they should have won nobody say a thing. And what difference does it makes if I said it 20 years ago or 2 days ago. Its a pointless argument. Plus, if what u said was really true. Black people doesnt… Read more »

Freek

No need to be rude now, because for the most part, we agree. I don’t think your views are stupid. I don’t think it’s white peoples’ fault that their taste is more white while black people mostly prefer black music. And I do think that people should buy the music they like. I’m also not saying you are a racist, I hardly know you. However, as the mainstream of popmusic has largely been dominated by white people, just as society as a whole, it’s been harder for black people to be part of that mainstream. The system is not very… Read more »

Michael

You are talking non sense again. Back in the 60s, 70s early 80s. Yes ur argument are correct. But today its not the case anymore. You cant tell me the music industry are so against black people but over the past 30-40 years the majority of the top sellers are black. MJ, Whitney, Mariah, Beyonce, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, etc. Bare in mind that Black people only represents less than 20% of the US populations. Proportionately speaking, Black people have achieved more than they could have already considering their population. You cant expect equal number of Black & White singers to… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael
Freek

Thanks! You’re making some good points. The last decennia have seen some very succesful black musicians, not only from the US, but also Barbados, Canada and elsewhere. Recently, latin/hispanic acts have been increasingly succesful too.
Conclusively, we may differ a little in our views of when the discrimination ended, I’m not aware of much complaining by black people, but I’m not saying the industry is against blacks. It might be getting a way too much off topic, so let’s just leave it at that.

Soky

racism exists in the music industry it’s pretty clear no need to deny it. however the reason why beyonce is always praised by the media is because she’s huge in the US, she has a huge fanbase while worldwide..well..kind of. plus her fanbase is very loyal, you never go against them…taylor swift’s fanbase is mostly white teenage girls if we have to be honest dragging a black woman is not like dragging a white woman with blonde hair and blue eyes, you would never get the same backlash cuz racism towards white people has never been a real thing (even… Read more »

Michael

“You will never get the same backlash cuz racism towards white” Pardon me. But didnt u remember back in 2006/2007 Britney Spears was the biggest joke in the music industry history. No singer ever received such amount of backlash as she did. They literally make her the joke of the century. Britney Spears was treated even worse than Michael Jackson. White men doesnt get as much backlash as MJ did because their life wasnt controversial like he does, and also like Britney. Thats the thing witb the industry, if u do stupid thing, u will be the joke of the… Read more »

Soky

What I said was “dragging a black woman is not like dragging a white woman with blonde hair and blue eyes cuz you’d never get the same backlash” not that white people dont receive any kind of backlash. So the whole britney thing has nothing to do with this. Michael’s private life was a mess but the fact that he was a black man competing with huge white legends like the beatles and elvis presley played an important role you cant deny it. Since the 80s, after thriller which was huge, many fake rumors were made up about him to… Read more »

Michael

The Britney things make sense. Bcoz shes blonde. And the media dragged her way2 more than Beyonce. As far as Beyonce is concerned. She chose to be an R&B singer. R&B was never as big as pop was. Black singers that do goes into Pop like MJ, like Rihanna like Whitney and Mariah(early part of her career) did became massive. White people dont like R&B music as much as they like pop and that is not racism. You cant forced people to like a genre they dont like. In fact R&B wasnt even a thing im Asia, Latin America. Its… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Michael
soky

Well even when idk taylor swift was making country music which is not as huge as pop she was still selling more especially in the US, they dont like R&B because it’s a predominantly black genre? maybe. I mean she tried.. singing full pop, she succeeded but not as much as artists like taylor, adele, madonna etc Plus it feels like black people just cant be versatile, I mean ariana grande released an obv rap/ hip pop/ trap song, 7 rings, still they said it was pop meanwhile songs like truth hurts or even hotline bling and more are considered… Read more »

Michael

When u say black people cant be versatile thats another one lousy comment. Rihanna has a couple of pop/R&B/recently soul music and shes still killing it. Mariah went from Pop to R&B, struggled a little bit during the transition but sold huge amount of albums for Mimi. Whitney Houston My Love Is Your Love is a big drop from the bodyguard, but it was still selling huge amount of albums. People dont like R&B because we just dont like it. It has nothing with do being predominantly black. JT is white and he sings R&B, he is not selling any… Read more »

Chika

This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. People combine Beyonce and Destiny’s Child’s sales because a VERY large part of their success is entirely due to Beyonce, be it her writing and singing 99% of their biggest singles or her massive solo career causing DCs amazing catalogue sales. Not because of “black privilege“, what a ridiculous thing to say. People compliment Beyoncé’s longevity because for nearly 25 years she’s been one of the biggest artists on the face of the earth. She dominates MANY different fields, including being a massive touring act, winning the 2nd most awards… Read more »

Michael

But people never combined totals of Phil Collins, MJ, Paul Mccartney, John Lennon, etc. But they never did. If u combined John Lennon & Paul Mcvartney total with the Beattles. They will be the biggest selling solo artist ever in history. They can make MJ, Elvis & Madonna look like good solo amateur. But nobody ever mentioned John Lennon as the best selling solo artist ever. Hey, John was the major reason why people love the Beattles, but his fans never and the media add up his totals and make him the biggest selling artists ever in history. Neither are… Read more »

Chika

People don’t combine Paul McCartney and the Beatles sales because the Beatles OBVIOUSLY did not sell many of records due to his solo career, as it wasn’t anywhere near as popular. In fact, it’s really the other way around, no one would have bought Paul’s solo music, or at least far less would have, if he wasn’t “that guy from the Beatles”. And forgive me, but your arguments about Beyonce are very weak. “Knows how the music industry works”? Mariah Carey and Lady Gaga worked as backup singers in the industry before their solo careers, are they unfairly advantaged? Kesha… Read more »

Michael

Destinys Child did not sold many records due to Beyonce’s career. Ur delusional. Their youtube views and spotify streamings are very low. Most of their sales came from the day they were Destinys Child. After Beyonce turn solo, their catalogue sales hardly sold a thing. Lady Gaga isnt as big Beyonce. Britney didnt star in a very big TV show. Nobody knew who she was. The Micley Mouse club got cancelled after just one season due to low ratings. So what the hell are u talking about? And its funny how u mentioned Paul Mccartney instead of John Lennon. People… Read more »

Chika

What on earth are you talking about? Destiny’s child have INCREDIBLE streaming figures. They have the most streamed female songs of 2000 and 2001, and completely crush their peers in total streams. Why are you straight up lying? I mentioned Paul Mcartney because he’s the better selling of the two, and my point still stands when applied to John Lennon. I would suggest that while quite a few of ‘Nsyncs sales are due to JT, it’s not really all that much because his solo career was about the same size as theirs, whereas Beyoncé’s career is probably twice as big… Read more »

Raffi

Hi MJD! Sorry for the late response😅 This analysis is one of my most anticipated ones, and again you did an amazing job! Some comments to make: -Regarding My Way’s sales in the US, is it true it moved around 2m sales in the US through club sales? Because I remember its last Soundscan sales was reported at 4,4m. -My Way’s singles did amazingly well in the US. You had U Make Me Wanna at 2,3m in the US alone, but 1997 Soundscan YEC stated its sales at 2m. Is it due to the Soundscan-Shipment gap we discussed before? -I… Read more »

Raffi

Another thing i wanna ask: how does Usher rank among the most successful R&B male artists of all time? Top 10 undoubtedly ! The only male R&B artist I can think of above him are Michael Jackson (if you don’t classify him as pop), Prince, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and perhaps (though unsure) Luther Vandross and Little Richard.

raffi

By the way MJD, I forgot one successful R&B legend, R.Kelly! Is he more successful than Usher? I also hope you do an analysis on him as well!

Tino

Hey MJD. I’m 2 yrs late but is it safe to say by combining Usher digital songs sales with his album sales he’s over 150 millions in total sales??

beast44

yes. he’s also off by quite a bit with the album sales (see riaa and billboard) so yes has sold over 150 million records worldwide, and he’s also sold over 75 million in the US, but he hasn’t certified anything since 2010 and even then, a lot of his 2000s wok is under certified and almost none of his 2010s work is certified either. He really does not care about his numbers lol

Raffi

Speaking of club sales, why are 8701 club sales so low? I thought it was around 4,8-4,9m on Soundscan sales alone. Its club sales are even lower than Confessions, but wasn’t 8701 released when Club Sales were much healthier. Is it because 8701 wasn’t a blockbuster like Confessions?

dhhd

britney’s third album reached 588k according to BMG list. BTW, The Eminem Show had scanned 10.87m Soundscan Sales. 10.87m*4%=435k. If you update Eminem, will the estimation be over 11.3m in US?

marcus andre

Whe we will have another “Next CSPC Artists ” to vote?! I think its time to Michael Jackson and Barbra Streisand fans fight to get that!

Nathan

Don’t leave us hanging………..who’s coming up?
Can’t wait for some huge acts from the 70’s like Elton,Rod,Phil Collins/Genesis, Eagles, ………….seeing some more with 100+ million in sales!

marcus andre

Wow! Can’t wait for that! Thank you!

Stephen

Great article! Usher has had a great career, even if the past few years haven’t been good at all for him. To be honest I was expecting Confessions to be a bit closer to 20 million, but 15.5 million is still an amazing number! His last album was a massive bomb. I can’t believe he went from 15.5 million to 160k. His streaming numbers are actually pretty good! Confessions having nearly half a billion streams on Spotify and nearly 600k album equivalents is pretty amazing. I’d suggest doing P!nk at some point, as she’s definitely one of the biggest acts… Read more »

Stephen

I’d also add Jennifer Lopez, apparently she’s releasing a new studio album this year (in Spanish)!

Innocent_Eyes

You included More into the Raymond V Raymond era for digital sales but not for streaming (it is mentionned in the orphan category).

Is it a mistake or done on purpose?

Interesting article.

Martin

A couple of points which seem wrong. “With 191 million streams on Spotify, Yeah! is among the Top 20 most streamed tracks released before the creation of the platform in 2006” Spotify started in October 2008 not 2006 and I can see at least around 30 tracks (there are probably more), that were released prior to Spotifys creation, that have more streams than Yeah!, the majority of them were actually released even prior to 2006. Bo Rhap, Californication, Wonderwall, Under The Bridge, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Mr Brightside, Sweet Child of Mine, All I Want For Xmas, Billie Jean, The… Read more »

babyshowers

His sales remind me of Janet’s: impressive in the USA in his heydays but extremely local to the USA. I can’t believe none of his 90s releases sold over 10 million copies. At least, unlike Janet, he managed to sell over 15 million with one album.

Iain Denholm

Hi MJD, what an amazing site.
I manage the official Mel & Kim website and I have been trying to track down official worldwide sales statistics on the girls’ releases for our website and an upcoming book we have planned. Could you advise on where I can seek this information or help in any way? I have included my email address. Thank you so much. Iain.

Raffi

Speaking of demographics, how about Asia? Do they embrace black culture and R&B music? From Usher and Janet, they performed quite well in Japan, as well as other R&B artists like Beyonce. Mariah and Michael, however, are huge stars there, though some would classify them as pop artists than R&B.

raffi

That’s interesting to know MJD! However, I saw that Alicia Keys was an exception to that rule. In fact, she sold relatively low amount of albums in Southeast Asia, with modest sales in Japan. Yet, her success was very impressive in Europe, with her album sales surpassing her R&B peers there. Is there any explanation to this? Also, does Alicia, Usher and Beyonce own the Top 5 biggest selling R&B albums of the 2000s? According to your estimations: 1. Songs In A Minor 3,390,000 2. Confessions 2,770,000 3. Dangerously in Love 2,730,000 4. I Am Sasha Fierce 2,710,000 5. Diary… Read more »

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