Yearly Most Successful Female Album: The New Generation (1999-2017)

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2004 – Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway

The typical trajectory of winners of music TV shows is to debut strong and drop fast. Kelly Clarkson won the first season of American Idol and did well with her first album Thankful. The objective with her second album was to keep the bar high. She did much more than that, destroying charts in various markets.

Singles Breakaway, Since U Been Gone and Behind These Hazel Eyes were huge successes in the US, doing well abroad too. It is the fourth single Because Of You which truly broke the global audience though, accelerating album sales an awful lot just in time for 2005’s Christmas season.

The album reached 5xPlatinum in the UK and Canada, 6xPlatinum in the US and 7xPlatinum in Australia. It was a Top 5 record in different places like Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal and Greece. This led it to more than 10 million copies sold.

With nearly 400 million streams on Spotify the record remains very strong. Its songs also sold well over 10 million digital units. All numbers together mean that the era created the equivalent of 13 million album sales, good enough for the top spot!




Getting the most successful album of the year is already incredible, doing it against a smash album by Norah Jones should taste even better for Clarkson. During her 30-months of glory, Jones sold albums like no one else. Her second effort Feels Like Home led by its single Sunrise was massive. It sold over 1 million units in its first week in the US alone, an unreal figure considering she isn’t the kind of artists with a hard core fanbase. The record sold 11,5 million units to date in the World, the most by a female album from that year. It has been much weaker than Clarkson‘s Breakaway in other formats though, ending just under that one in comprehensive value created.

Under My Skin confirmed Avril Lavigne‘s popularity with over 8 million pure album sales including stunning results in Asia. Gwen Stefani was almost as strong with her solo debut Love. Angel. Music. Baby. Between 5 and 10 million equivalent album sales sit albums like Here For The Party by Gretchen Wilson, Anastacia by AnastaciaAutobiography  by Ashlee Simpson, Goodies by Ciara and Eye to the Telescope by KT Tunstall.

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Hello, why are there no female band listed?


The article is solely based on solo female albums, female bands are not included…not that many would feature, even if the scope was extended to female acts in general.


i hope you can update the article! doesn’t Blackpink have a chance in 2020?


Britney’s Greatest Hits, My Perogative sold 6 million albums in 2004, that puts her on this list since you include album sellers from 2004 that were only selling 5 M.
Britney had 5 albums in a row that made this list, plus Circus gives her 6, all in less than 1 decade!

Last edited 3 months ago by Tru

Greatest Hits are included in Studio albums as CSPC’s formula. You can check this in Britney’s article.


Can you do a update on Jennifer Lopezs? Since ya last did her she’s had many more certified sales and streams etc

Cameron Tracy

Can you please update this or re post this article (top female albums 2018-2020) please?


yes please. also would you count gaga’s a star is born


Shouldn’t Britney hold the position for 2003 or 04? In the zone had already sold 8 million copies by the end of 2004


Sorry to bump this old topic but isn’t there a chance that Colbie Caillat’s debut Coco has done 5 million CSPC?

It’s double Platinum in the US, Bubbly did well in 2007 and seems to remain relevant on streaming. Realize did decently if I remember well too.


If I Counted Right the Stream:

In 2017, Right now Both Reputation , Dua Lipa passed 5 Million EAS By Far, and sitting in the 7-8 million area.
. In 2018 Sweetener Is very close.
In 2019, When We ALL Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, and Thank U,Next Already Got There, While Lover is Pretty Close.

Could you Please Update this Amazing analysis of women?
By the way, I Love This Website It Is So Well Thought and interesting.


The Sweet Escape By Gwen Stefani may reach 5m CSPC 2006
The Album Sold at least 3.5m WW I Thought
Digital Song Sales should be around 4m in united states (The Sweet Escape 3m digital downloads in U.S.)
WW Digital song sales at least 6m
And some other formats
5M is enough for it

djdj Avex reported LOVEppears by Ayumi Hamasaki shipped 2.8 million copies by June 2000. Then, recently, since the 20th anniversary version of LOVEppears is going to release, Avex updated that LOVEppears shipped 3.2 million copies up to date. That is huge improvement at 400k! So, I doubt whether the 400k comes from catalog sales. Maybe the 3.2 million figure also include Southeast Asian sales? LOVEppears actually released in very few countires in Asia, for example, a google book said that all Ayumi Hamasaki’s CDs were only legitimately available since 2004 in Indonesia. I think 400k catalog sales in 19… Read more »

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