Yearly Most Successful Female Album: The Divas (1983-1998)

Madonna, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion. Our celebration of women wouldn’t be the same without these Divas. Thanks to them, female singers moved from the seat of honor to the iron throne with Madonna playing the role of Cersei. Their incredible results led labels to bet bigger on women. Soon, the likes Janet Jackson, Tina Turner, Enya and Shania Twain seize the opportunity.

As a reminder, guidelines of this articles can be found on the first chapter here.

This second part starts with 1983, the debut year of Madonna. It goes until 1998, just before the arrival of a new generation of divas. The Big Four superstars mentioned in the introduction dominate many years from this period, but there is as many as 4 other females who took over the crown for a year, feel free to guess them all! Enough talks, let’s start!

5 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I really want a Celine/Mariah duet to happen asap, before it’s too late, before their voice keep on deteriorating day by day. MJD, can we make a petition for it? their duet is equivalent to seeing Federer and Nadal play tennis in the finals, seeing Mayweather and Pacquiao fight finally (and hopefully there’s a second one). It was a missed opportunity that we were not able to see a duet between MJ and Madonna before. Britney is so lucky she was able to have a duet with Madonna and perform live with Michael Jackson. I really want a Celine Dion… Read more »


Very interesting lists and stats as always!

Really amazing how Patsy Cline’s Greatest Hits went Diamond in 2005 without ever making the Billboard chart. Just shows how powerful catalogue sales are. Got 2 questions in regards to this record:

Has it manager to enter the Billboard Top 200 since 2005?

How many units has it sold to date?

Also, in regards to Madonna’s Crazy For You, it was never included in the Like A Virgin LP. Not That it will change the 1984 result though lol


“Crazy for You” was never included but “Into The Groove” was included on the re-release of Like a Virgin LP in summer 1985 when the song peaked #01 in UK. Also there is still a CD version selling with “Into The Groove” on the stores (and also a remaster of the original album that does not have “Into The Groove” but have a remix for “Like a Virgin” and another remix for “Material Girl”.


For me, 1996 was the best year! 🙂


Wonderful as always! Thank you so much for doing these! 1997 was a MASSIVE year for females (and the industry in general) with two albums generating 45 million CSPC! Just incredible.


well technically it was the year 1997-98 as both albums dropped November 1997 i believe.


My predictions for the remaining years:
1999: BOMT
2000: Oops…
2001: Laundry Service
2002: Let Go
2003: DIL
2004: ?
2005: COADF
2006: Back To Black
2007: GGGB
2008: IASF
2009: TFM
2010: Teenage Dream
2011: 21
2012: Red
2013: Prism
2014: 1989
2015: 25
2016: Lemonade
2017: Reputation


The Fame Monster was released in 2008. It wins that year. 2009 belongs to Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed a Dream”. And why would 2016 be Lemonade when we already know that ANTi has moved 1M+ more album equivalents?

2002 is Norah Jones’ Come Away with Me, not Let Go. 2004 is also hers.


You are wrong with 2016, lol. Anti album by Rihanna is the best selling album by a female artist.

But I acknowledge that Beyonce’s “lemonade” album is my most unforgettable Beyonce album because it’s the most forgettable album of hers. No worldwide hit. The only Beyonce album that didnt get a lot of airplays, prolly not only in my country but other parts of the world except the USA.

I hope Beyonce’s next album will be different from Lemonade. More similar to her previous albums please cos I like her previous songs a lot.


Barbra should be 4 times top, including 1974


Five Time,ten time with pure album sales


I love how every time Whitney released an album it reached top five that year. She was amazingly consistent.


She have highest average per album among the female top 5


why is 1997 an upset? celine had the biggest female song ever in terms of albums it has sold so it really is not an upset.


If the MHWGO isn’t limit release in us, it could have been 10+weeks no.1 and best selling for female, if without the soundtarck, the album will sold 40 million at least


I believe the upset was referring to Shania’s “come on over” album that despite of its very huge success, it still was beaten by Celine Dion’s “Let’s Talk About Love” album


Don’t you think 26 million for “Music box” is too low? It’s 23 million counting Europe, Asia and USA.


It seems logical. Carey wasn’t really that big in Latin America. Well she is a big superstar there, but she didnt enjoy the super impressive run that she had in Europe and Asia. Plus, Latin American market is also not nearly as big as the Asian and European markets. The other remaining markets left is Oceania, Africa and the Middle East. All of them is an extremely small market. An additional 3 million albums seems logical to me.


Music Box was a global hit everywhere. And Mariah has sold more than 1M in Brazil alone. 28M for Music Box seems likely, but doesn’t matter. It is a blockbuster anyway. The only people that call Mariah local are trolls from certain fanbases. The numbers prove she has enjoyed comercial success all around the world.


Some of her 90s albums in Brazil are undercertified. Anyway. The point i made was that Mariah is a super global singer. And she has the stats to prove it. It was my respond to that comment. “we tend to call carey local”. The woman outsold every woman globally expect 3 women, and she is local?. Not with sellers like Daydream, Merry Christmast, #1, Music Box proving otherwise.


Madonna with 4! Very good! Maybe 2005 with COADF!

The article is very creative! Thank you so much!


I guess it’s The Emancipation Of Mimi for 2005

1 2 3