Artists who have yet to reach their peak?

Sunset through a cairn

Many of you enjoy advanced analytics. Others love to follow closely their favorite artists. In both cases, you will adore this piece of data! Do you know when an artist reaches his peak? After how many albums, or how many years? How he does it? Does he use the Christmas market, or build anticipation with a long hiatus? After peaking, who drops the most, females, males or bands? Nobody ever answered these questions. Well, nobody up to today as all these questions are addressed right here.

Setting up some rules…

Just like inside the article about the biggest flops we studied so far, we need to define rules in order to apply meaningful comparisons. Here too, various non-representative albums are excluded from our statistics. This refers to albums which are too recent to make conclusions, Christmas releases, side-projects Soundtracks, EPs and local language albums.

Ultimately, 97 careers that we have studied remain. As always, all numbers are expressed in equivalent album sales rather than pure sales since they are much more representative of the success of an era. That’s why we will be extensively using the acronym EAS which stands for Equivalent Album Sales. As many as 95 of the careers studied include a peak era which produced more than 5 million EAS.

History helps us understand the present as well as the future. Thanks to our extensive database, we will have a clear view of what it takes to peak. Thus, it will be much easier for all of you to set up valid expectations for the upcoming releases of your favorite artists.

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of

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

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Adele has already reached her peak.

Donald Miller

A look at the top of the Billboard 200 shows that at least on K-pop boy band has crossed over now.

Donald Miller

How much higher than number one can they get? And I didn’t say the movement, I said on[e] boy band.


A very great article, I loved it! Thank you MJD!


Great article MJD, as always!

I didn’t expect you to do an analyzation about Christina’s upcoming studio album, Liberation. I have some questions. How much do you think Liberation going to sold worldwide (in CSPC)? How is the possibility for the album to debut at #1 in US? Also, how many units do you think Liberation going to sold at the first week, in US and worldwide? Thankyou. I just need to know about these in expert’s eye like you, because we’ve been expecting this album for years.

Donald Miller

So they have their niche markets and nothing beyond?

Donald Miller

Almost forgot, you said that One Direction is lone boy band out there with any major success right now. What about the J-Pop and K-Pop groups? I don’t follow those nations as closely as I follow the US-UK-Canada-Australia… I mostly only look at who’s number one in Japan and Germany.

Donald Miller

“Truly fascinating.” I’ll agree with that. It will be interesting to revisit this after you’ve analyzed 500 acts and then again after a thousand to see if the same patterns still hold. Bands have fallen by the wayside because we’re in an era that’s dominated by solo acts. Seems that each pop generation lasts about 5 years and that each era yields its own crop of stars and superstars. I didn’t notice any mention of girl groups in there. Outside of the Supremes, are their sales so low as to not make much of an impact on the stats? And… Read more »


Anyways, this was a very good and interesting article, as usual, thank you MJD. Keep it up 🙂


“while groups are able to score hit albums for 20 years or more.”
You kept pointing out that boybands/groups fade away the quickest so I’m sure you meant “bands” instead of “groups” here (page 6)


As for divas who’s the most consistent, the form in the last page is unfair, some divas reach their peak in first album, some in 2-5 album, some in 5+ album


Ok, I see