CSPC: Johnny Hallyday Popularity Analysis

Hommage populaire a Johnny Hallyday

Johnny Hallyday Career CSPC Results

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

In the following results table, all categories display figures in equivalent album sales. If different, pure sales are listed between parentheses.

*Pure sales figures updated on 01/01/18.
'Av.' stands for Average, 'LD' for Last Day.

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 1/6750 for Video stream)

See where the artist ranks among remaining singers

Absolutely terrific. It’s hard to know where to start. From the 49 of 50 proper studio albums on 408,000 equivalent album sales or more to the multiple albums over 3 million units, the figures are unbelievable.

The ultimate winner is Gang. The album was key in transitioning Johnny from an old glory to an evergreen success story. It sold like hot cakes. Its singles were big, it drove tons of sales of compilations and live sets and its tracks are still downloaded and streamed like crazy. The final total of 5,56 million put it among the most successful French albums of all-time. Le Pénitencier, initially a low selling 10-inch LP, is a stunning runner up at 4,63 million. After all the CSPC articles that have been completed so far, it may be the most striking evidence of the relevance of our concept as its original format sales are truly nonsense when it comes to displaying the real popularity of this record. Derrière L’Amour cracks 4 million units too. The 3 aforementioned albums alone generated more than 14 million equivalent album sales, most of which in a country where the Beatles sold less than 9 million albums since their debut to date.

Salut Les Copains!, La Génération Perdue, Rock’n’roll Attitude, Sang Pour Sang and A La Vie, A La Mort are all not too far from / over 3 million. To those 8 gigantic albums we still need to add 13 more with more than 1 million sales overall to make it 21. Yes, 21 albums with more than 1 million equivalent album sales. Some 24 more range from 500,000 units to 1 million. Each of these 45 albums would be an outstanding success for anyone else. A complete, dense, extensive discography of groundbreaking smashes.

In total, we are talking about a French singer who sold 26,85 million studio albums, 19,54 million compilations, 8,92 million live albums, 4,45 million music videos, 10,53 million EPs, 27,25 million 2-tracks physical singles and 1,43 million downloads before his passing. This brings Johnny Hallyday to 75,4 million equivalent album sales overall.

Thus, he tops the worldwide total of artists such as Cher, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. He destroys Renaud, one of the biggest artists ever in France, by almost 4 to 1. Last but not least, he beats the Beatles’ UK total by almost 2 to 1, a market twice as big as France.

Time will now tell how much he will continue to grow with his passing. In the 3 weeks following the sad event more than 700,000 albums have been sold, including plenty of long box sets.

The following pages list his most successful songs. Do not forget to check our amazing cross-artists lists posted inside the CSPC: Data Collector which includes the full listing of all CSPC results compiled so far to better gauge his position in the history of the music industry.

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

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

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Nathan Abramson

I counted 10 million less. Are you counting EP’s as singles?


I’ve read that Mon pays c’est l’amour has already sold 890,000 (!!!) copies in France in the weeks since its release. Of course, given the circumstances and Johnny Hallyday’s stature that doesn’t actually feel too surprising, but comprehensively speaking, how do you see it performing in the long-run compared to the rest of his discography? Also, do you have a ballpark figure of how much his CSPC results may have increased in the year since his passing?


Thank you! I wasn’t aware of all the TV promotion, that does sound a bit ridiculous haha.
If he sold that much in 2 weeks, he must have totally crushed his own record of highest first-week sales in France, which is fantastic but it seems like it would be impossible for that to happen if he were still alive.


I’ve just gone through it, too quickly, but I’m going to look at it more carefully. That’s already the best level of Johnny sales research I’ve ever seen. This is a titanic job and must be difficult, as there is so much missing data. I am fairly familiar with Johnny’s career and have read quite a few books, some of which contain first-hand accounts. His artistic directors, record company heads. Everyone agrees that some times were more difficult. 66/67,74/75,81/84. Concerts were not always full and the hits were rarer. Outside, from what I’ve seen, it’s not always reflected in your… Read more »


France Gall has died. I believe she’s among those who had the most successful french songs abroad in the 60’s, isn’t she ?


Je vous suis très reconnaissant pour la qualité de votre travail. Fan de Johnny depuis toujours, je savais qu’il cumulait des chiffres de ventes impressionnants. Pouvoir précisément connaître les chiffres de tous ses opus est incroyable……… Grâce à vous, certains peuvent mesurer l’impact de cette immense star qui restera gravé à jamais dans notre cœur…..