Understanding: Billboard BB200 vs US Album Sales

Teddy Pendergrass 1950 - 2010

II) Examples of application

D) Teddy Pendergrass and Kool & the Gang

The interest behind Teddy Pendergrass and Kool & the Gang is to study acts that were strong performers on the R&B charts. We are tempted to believe that R&B retailers were already included into the Top Album chart, which is why the data was also available to build the themed-ranking.

In reality, while some black-music retailers were a part of the Billboard panel, they were less covered than the main retailers which sold pop and rock music. More on this later.

This fact is visible with those two artists. One album over-shipped happens, the case of Teddy Pendergrass is intriguing. All of his albums were way below the mark when certified. He isn’t a big name and he never had a big hit single. His biggest peaked at #25. That single went Gold for 1 million copies shipped though. What was going on there? Quite simply, we are seeing the example of a pure black-music artist, who never crossed over to the main pop scene. As a result, his proportion of sales is distorted, concluding on Billboard rankings deflating his real popularity. At least 20% should be added to all of his figures.

This situation seems less obvious with Kool & the Gang. As their albums largely outsold their certifications, it seems rather normal. If we focus on awards dates though, we notice the same issue. Their first album topped half a million sales after more than a year, while it was certified after 7 months during a slow time for shipments. The platinum albums charted for 10-16 months to clear 1 million with ease, but they were all way under the mark when the awards arrived. It was too early to explain it only with optimistic shipments, especially given it happened with 8 albums in a row. As they did cross over a bit more in the 70s – and even more from 1980 – the gap is lower than that of Teddy Pendergrass.

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Please reply back soon MJD, I’m trying to do an analysis on Zara Larsson and I need 2017 album sales, audio streams and downloads for all markets please 🙏🏻

Donald Miller

I found the part about Teddy Pendergrass interesting because of his comparable lack of crossover success. Would have been nice if you had included a non-crossover country act or two for contrast.


Hi MJD, You are really good at getting the more accurate figures. It is your unstinting skill, why don’t you and your team start a worldwide top 100 songs in a weekly basis. What i dont like in us billboard hot 100 charts is that there is a limit now on the number of weeks for a song staying on the charts and if it reaches that limit, the song will not appear on the following week even if its sales are still enough to be in the hot 100. For the uk charts, i dont like their new rule… Read more »


And 2013 Album sales for Europe, Australia, new Zealand, Canada and the United States


Actually I changed my mind, can I instead get CD, Vinyl and digital Album Sales and the total number of streams and singles sales for all markets in 2017, if you can can you list them on here please?