Official Global Top Sellers of 2004 – with Sales

#1 Usher Confessions 12,000,000

If you think about 2004, you think about Usher. The R&B star topped the Billboard Hot 100 more often than not with 28 leading frames inside the calendar year, a total which broke a record that had stood for 64 years. The album also led the chart for an extensive period of 9 weeks over 3 spells.

Confessions was certified 8xPlatinum in December of 2004. The most amazing part is that, just like Norah Jones, it wasn’t an album heavily fueled by Christmas shipments. In fact, it closed the year on 7,978,594 sales to consumers in the US, perfectly in line with the number of shipments certified.

While this insane US number made it look like a local success, its 4 million sales abroad would have put it at #13 for the year worldwide if we discount the US sales. The album sold nearly 1,1 million units in the UK for the year while also hitting 3xPlatinum in Australia. It remained the highest selling album in the US from its release onwards until Adele‘s 21 which was issued 7 years later.

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Ryan

Please do Anastacia’s article!

Cameron

Hi MJD I’ve been fascinated by all the work you’ve done with Popularity/Chart analyses, especially this one, I just have a few Questions, I am very interested in the number #17 album by Ashlee Simpson and was pretty shocked to read she didn’t break into the European market and I’ve always wondered why, if she did so great in America why not there as well? Also will you be doing a Popularity analysis on her and maybe Jessica in the future if possible (Hilary duff is also an interesting case considering her sales almost mirror Miley’s and Justin Bieber’s except… Read more »

Dan

Too quiet in here. Let’s start the bets for AC/DC. 185m from me.

Raffi

Hi Dan!

Don’t worry, it won’t be too quiet for too long! AC/DC’s figures for albums and single sales are complete! Only a few edits and a few word typing from the team and it’ll be for all of your viewing pleasure in a matter of a few days!
We also have a new addition to the data collector Anthony’s doing that might interest some of you!

Dan

Hey Raffi, thanks for the update. (im)Patiently waiting 🙂

Michael

Im loving this. I hope you can publish yearly album sales rankings. Tq.

Raffi

Hi MJD! Nice work on this article. I just have one question regarding the top seller of the year, Usher’s Confessions. You said that the album wasn’t heavily fueled by Xmas shipments, and that it shipped 8m in the US and 4m abroad. However, the album was reissued in late 04 and the single with Alicia Keys, My Boo was a big hit in late 04/early 05. The reissue helped Confessions jump from the bottom Top 20 to #2 in the US and was Top 10 for most of Nov/Dec 04, so I was wondering perhaps there would be additional… Read more »

Stephen

Thank you for posting, MJD! This was a very interesting read. I’m quite shocked Utada’s “Single Collection” sold that much. According to Oricon, it sold 2,586,347 physical copies in 2004. Was she really that global?

jessejames

I am surprised to see that Beyoncé’s Dangerously In Love did not make the list given that it still carried success into 2004.

Michael

Dangerously in Love by 2004 was already doing poorly on the charts all over the world. I wasn’t surprised in didn’t make it inside the top 50.

Raffi

On the contrary, if the IFPI recorded sales sold to consumers rather than shipments during the year, DIL would be comfortably in the Top 50, as the album sold 1,4m in the US (based on Soundscan) and had a decent chart run in both the UK and Australia to allow it to reach 2m copies sold to consumers for the year. After all, singles Naughty Girl and Me, Myself and I were Top 5 smashes in the States and did decently abroad. However, as MJD pointed out, this list is based on the IFPI’s ranking, which counts shipments (copies sold… Read more »

Trumru

What about In The Zone? Her worldwide smash Toxic would have continued to fuel heavy sales, in addition to her Onyx Hotel Tour promoting the album. Follow-up single Everytime would perform well enough and while her eventual GHits album did make this list, I just don’t see why ITZ wouldn’t have made it. Didn’t it have stronger sales than DiL?

Oliver

And about Beyoncé’s Dangerously In Love? I expected it appears in 2004’s YTD due the release in the mid of 2003. How much it scan in these two calendar years?

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