2001 – Shakira – Laundry Service
Among all artists who recorded the most successful female album of the year from 1960 to 2017, only one doesn’t come from an English-speaking country: Shakira. Of course, Laundry Service is sang in English, but it still requires an incredible success to climb the ladder from a Colombian city to the top of the World.
She stepped up to a global audience thanks to the smash hit Whenever, Wherever. Laundry Service sold strongly everywhere. Of course, her sales in Latin America were especially big, but she also did wonders in markets as diverse as India and Finland. The album climbed up to 12,7 million units sold plus over 6,5 million singles. With all formats, it produced 16,6 million worth of album sales, the lowest tally for an annual #1 album since 1982 and also just enough to edge out its competitors…
P!nk‘s M!ssundaztood, Alicia Keys‘ Songs In A Minor and Britney Spears‘ Britney all sold from 13 to 16 million equivalent album sales. This creates a quartet of very young talents from fully different music genres.
From 5 to 10 million overall units there is a very dense roster which includes Jennifer Lopez‘ J.Lo, Kylie Minogue‘s Fever, Mary J Blige‘s No More Drama, Aaliyah‘s Aaliyah, Janet Jackson‘s All For You, Hikaru Utada‘s Distance, Misia‘s Marvelous and Anastacia‘s Freak of Nature.