CSPC: Kelly Clarkson Popularity Analysis


Digital Singles Sales – Part 1

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1,5 ratio between one album and one digital single.

Thankful (2003) – 573,000 equivalent albums

The Trouble with Love Is – 360,000
Miss Independent – 1,560,000
Low – 140,000
A Moment Like This – 1,180,000
Before Your Love – 420,000
Remaining tracks – 160,000

Breakaway (2004) – 3,143,000 equivalent albums

Breakaway – 3,180,000
Since U Been Gone – 4,840,000
Behind These Hazel Eyes – 2,380,000
Because of You – 7,740,000
Because of You (with Reba McEntire) – 780,000
Walk Away – 1,820,000
Remaining tracks – 210,000

My December (2007) – 312,000 equivalent albums

Never Again – 1,710,000
Remaining tracks – 370,000

All I Ever Wanted (2009) – 1,446,000 equivalent albums

My Life Would Suck Without You – 5,360,000
I Do Not Hook Up – 1,240,000
Already Gone – 2,550,000
Remaining tracks – 490,000

Do you know that Clarkson‘s debut album Thankful was released 13 days before the arrival of iTunes Store? Obviously, digital sales were near-inexistent by then. By 2006, they were starting to be significant, although still only a third of their later peak of 2012. Under those circumstances, exactly 30 months passed until the first million selling download in the US way back in October 2005. Two months later, a second song made it past a milli: Clarkson‘s Since U Been Gone. By late 2008, she was the second artist with the most million sellers, topped only by Rihanna.

If her singles, most notably those of Breakaway, were massive successes in the US, they weren’t always as big elsewhere. If we exclude Because of You, they sold more than 75% of their units there. That hit was a global blockbuster though, selling 7,7 million units globally. It did so thanks to huge initial impact and lasting appeal as it was impossible to sell that much back then. In total, Breakaway‘s songs sold close to 21 million downloads and ringtones making it one of the first monster-digital seller.

My December bombed hard. With a market growing fast, it failed miserably to produce hits. Combined, its songs sold 10 times less than titles from its predecessors in spite of a market that almost tripled. My Life Would Suck Without You was a nice comeback for the artist, opening the way to a decently successful era. That one originated 3 million sellers.

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One of the things that wasn’t discussed is that by the time this article was written, she was the only American Idol to cross 100 #1s worldwide. And even right now, she is STILL the only American Idol to do it. She is far and away the most successful person to come from AI or the shows that followed. Kelly is the back from which all of those artists stand on and that is not a small feat. I get that there is a lot of emphasis put on album sales, but I think there is a lot of additional… Read more »


You forgot the she is the most successful singer to come from an idol contest of all times.

You say she is unknown in relevant markets, but everyone knows who she is.

She is much more well known than Carrie Underwood who has sold nothing outside of North America.


I’m not even from the Western Hemisphere and I’ve known Kelly Clarkson since I was born


I’m not sure she took risks too soon. I mean, take a look at Pink when she released “Try This”. It was also a major drop in sales compared to “Missundaztood”. But when she released “I’m Not Dead” back in 2006, she was able to increase her sales by a great margin compared to “Try This”, and from then on she was able to stabilize her sales and even up her game with “Funhouse”. Of course there wasn’t a smash like her sophomore, but the market was already dropping in sales, so it was a general problem. Anyway, she kept… Read more »


Would you mind breaking down the WW sales of Stronger (WDKY) & Because of You further? Not that I’m complaining but your estimations are millions higher than mine!


Thank you for this!!

Kelly is a legend!!

And I’m very surprised with South Korean numbers… do you have more details?