Let’s get loud! It has been 20 years since Jennifer Lopez recorded her debut hit single If You Had My Love. During that time frame, she went through various ups and downs. While no new album came out for 4 years, the Latin star remains busy releasing singles, movies and side projects.
We have already met several artists with sales kind of disappointing in comparison to the popularity of their name, like Cher. In that case, it was due to her all-around presence, from TV Shows to movies to music. Lopez falls in the same category. She issued more than 60 singles, but also 32 movies on theaters, participated on various popular TV series and of course, she was a judge on American Idol during 5 seasons. We are left wondering if she could have sold less records than expected because of this cross-industries visibility. It’s time to look for answers!
As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge her results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all Lopez‘ albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming. In fact, it will also determine their true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, below is a nice and short video of explanations. I fully recommend watching it before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the numbers directly.
The Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC)
There are two ways to understand this revolutionary concept. In the first place, there is this Scribe video posted below. If you are unaware of the CSPC method, you will get the full idea within just a pair of minutes.
If you are a mathematical person, and want to know the full method as well as formulas, you can read the full introduction article.
Now let’s get into the artist’s sales figures in detail in order to apply this concept and define the act’s true popularity!
Jennifer Lopez’s Album Sales
Original Album Sales – Comments
1999 On the 6 – 7,290,000
2001 J.Lo – 8,320,000
2002 This Is Me… Then – 6,000,000
2005 Rebirth – 1,940,000
2007 Como Ama una Mujer – 730,000
2007 Brave – 490,000
2011 Love? – 1,180,000
2014 A.K.A. – 170,000
With more than 26 million album sales after 8 LPs, Lopez is definitely a strong selling music artist. She was actually fairly big with her first 3 efforts, each of which sold 6-8 million units. 2001’s J.Lo remains her peak record pure sales wise with over 8,3 million copies sold. Rebirth completely broke that momentum. It sold much less than its predecessors. It also failed to sell the copies that were shipped upon release, concluding on large returns.
Then came Como Ama una Mujer, her first Spanish LP. We tend to put Lopez among the likes Shakira, Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin, the huge Latin superstars. Her case is different though. These artists were all born in Spanish-speaking countries and they got huge Spanish albums during the 90s before being given a chance in English in 1999-2001. Lopez‘ parents were from Puerto Rico, but in the 60s they had already moved to the US where the artist was born. It’s important because it means she wasn’t recognized as a proper Latin singer. In fact, her first albums haven’t sold all that much in Latin America, at least not more than standard US pop artists. When her Spanish record came in, she didn’t had a strong fanbase there to secure her sizable sales. The single Qué Hiciste managed to support it quite well, but its results were still disappointing at 730,000 units only.
The negative trend continued with Brave which bombed hard, selling barely half a million units. Love? was a strong rebound relatively speaking, more than doubling her previous result and in more different context. It still sold nowhere near as well as her early albums though. Then A.K.A. was an asbolute non-event. Its sales explain why labels and Lopez haven’t take the risk of recording a full album, instead dropping plenty of stand-alone singles for streaming in recent years.
Jennifer Lopez’s songs sales
As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single.
Lopez started her music career in great fashion. If You Had My Love sold well over 1 million units in both the US and Europe to secure a huge 2,64 million sales worldwide. The American market was already special by then, with most non-lead singles being airplay-only hits in order to best support album sales.
Feelin’ So Good and Love Don’t Cost A Thing sold in 6 digits still there, but then remaining songs were released in the US only through specific formats or not issued at all.
The lack of sales from the largest market haven’t stopped in full her subsequent singles to sell well. In fact, in the UK she made the Top 10 an impressive 14 times with her first 16 singles, the remaining two hits peaking at #11 (I’m Glad) and #15 (Feelin’ So Good). Lopez‘ songs were also strongly popular in Australasia and across continental Europe. That’s how she topped the 400,000 sales mark with each of her first 11 releases.
Her hey-days ended in 2003. Both her own popularity and the CD singles market collapsed at the time time, resulting on irrelevant sales afterwards. Get Right did well but that’s it. From that point, selling 100,000 units with one single only was out of reach.
Obviously, On the Floor was a huge hit. That happened well after the end of physical singles though so its success is much better represented on the next section which covers downloads and ringtones!
As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1,5 ratio between one album and one digital single.
The first 3 albums of Lopez were already catalog items when digital sales started to pop up. Their songs were and are still popular yet. If You Had My Love, Love Don’t Cost A Thing, I’m Real and Jenny from the Block are all around a million sales combining both downloads and ringtones, which is fairly solid for catalog songs. Let’s Get Loud and All I Have are close behind too.
Actually, almost all singles from the first 3 eras sold 300,000 units or more. The only ones missing are Feelin’ So Good and I’m Glad, unlisted here because of irrelevant sales, precisely the ones which missed the UK Top 10 back in the day.
Get Right used a growing downloads market and a buzzing ringtones period to shift nearly 2 million units. It sold over half a million units in both formats in the US.
Lopez‘ first 3 albums contained multiple hits, but Rebirth era produced next to nothing after Get Right. Digital sales of Hold You Down plus every subsequent song fail to add for half a million copies.
While Qué Hiciste and Brave managed to sell close to 1 million digital units thanks to strong sales in Spain and South Korea, respectively, the first steps into downloads era weren’t good for Lopez. Do It Well sold poorly for a lead single globally released and Hold It, Don’t Drop it did even worst.
When nobody was expecting much from her anymore, the diva came back strongly. On The Floor became a massive global hit in 2011. It stands on more than 9 million sales to date, easily crushing everything else she released on this format. The song is the only one issued after 2005 that belongs to her Top 10 biggest hits to date on Billboard. Globally, the track was just as massive.
I’m Into You and Papi were nowhere near as big but still add for 2,5 million units combined. That’s the sales number of Dance Again, a single issued in 2012 to promote the compilation of the same name.
During the last 5 years, she released about two dozens of singles. None of them sold well, but together they add for several millions. They certainly help pushing the career to date total of the singer to nearly 37 million downloads and ringtones.
Streaming is made up of audio and video streams. Our CSPC methodology now includes both to better reflect the real popularity of each track. The main source of data for each avenue is respectively Spotify and YouTube. As detailed in the Fixing Log article, Spotify represents 157 million of the 272 million users of streaming platforms, while YouTube is pretty much the only video platform generating some revenue for the industry. Below is the equivalence set on the aforementioned article:
Audio Stream – 1500 plays equal 1 album unit
Video Stream – 11,750 views equal 1 album unit
Equivalent Albums Sales (EAS) = 272/157 * Spotify streams / 1500 + YouTube views / 11750
Streaming Part 1
Lopez is a hit maker. Her albums aren’t critically acclaimed, so it’s no surprise to see that album cus have dysmal streaming numbers. Plenty of her former hits remain decent performers though. Both On the 6 and J.Lo own 3 songs in the 25-50 million range on Spotify. They contribute greatly into building EAS totals of 207,000 and 180,000 units, respectively.
Streaming Part 2
This Is Me… Then relies mostly on a couple of songs only to accumulate 169,000 EAS units. One of them is the biggest streaming catalog hit of Lopez though. Jenny from the Block has 83 million streams on Spotify and 136 million on YouTube.
Get Right doesn’t perform badly at all with 66,000 EAS units on its own. That’s more than every song from On the 6 and J.Lo. It shows the underperformance of Rebirth wasn’t that much due to it, but instead to the lackluster results of following singles, namely Hold You Down, which discouraged her label to continue promoting this album.
Como Ama una Mujer doesn’t benefit from large streaming markets from Latin America. It stands at a modest 23,000 EAS to date.
Streaming Part 3
There is nothing to save Brave. Poor selling album, poor selling singles in both physical and digital formats, it also registers dreadful streaming numbers at 24,000.
The story is completely different with Love?. On the Floor is up to 163 million streams on Spotify. On YouTube, a platform which was already big by 2011, its views are over 1,35 billion. This is a tremendous showing for a video of an artist who’s past 40. In total, the album has 456,000 EAS from streams.
This success wasn’t repeated with A.K.A. which enjoys 225,000 EAS. Its strongest song is Booty, fueled by the contribution of Iggy Azalea who shares her voice – and body – to the song and its video. The latter has near 300 million views to date.
Streaming Part 4
As an evidence of the new release strategy adopted by Lopez, she records more EAS from streams with her orphan songs than with her 8 studio albums combined!
Ain’t Your Mama is the leading hit of this list with 329,000 EAS. This song alone sold more units from streams than the album A.K.A. in pure sales. Dance Again, Adrelina, We Are One (Ole Ola) and Try Me are all well over 100,000 EAS too. In total, we are looking at a whopping 1,74 million EAS.
Jennifer Lopez’s compilations sales
It sounds fairly logical to add together weighted sales of one era – studio album, physical singles, downloads, streams – to get the full picture of an album’s popularity. For older releases though, they also generate sales of various live, music videos and compilation albums.
All those packaging-only records do not create value, they exploit the value originating from the parent studio album of each of its tracks instead. Inevitably, when such compilations are issued, this downgrades catalog sales of the original LP. Thus, to perfectly gauge the worth of these releases, we need to re-assign sales proportionally to its contribution of all the compilations which feature its songs. The following table explains this method.
How to understand this table? If you check this example, these figures mean J to tha L-O! The Remixes sold 3,120,000 units worldwide. Then, the second statistics column means streams of all the songs included on this package add for 339,373 EAS.
The second part at the right of the table shows how many streams are coming from each original album as well as the share they represent. Thus, streaming figures tell us On the 6 songs are responsible for 49% of the J to tha L-O! The Remixes tracklist attractiveness. In other words, it generated 1,540,000 of its 3,120,000 album sales. Eventually, we apply this methodology to all compilations.
We notice that Lopez sold more than 4 million units worth of compilations through remixes and music videos in 2002/2003. These packages were massively boosted by songs from On the 6 and J.Lo. Naturally, the best of Dance Again is much more balanced towards all successful eras.
As a bonus, please find below the sales breakdown of the remix album.
Full Length related records Sales – Summary
Here is the most underestimated indicator of an album’s success – the amount of compilation sales of all kinds it generated. Due to the dependency of sales of the original studio albums on these releases, they are a key piece of the jigsaw. Both On the 6 and J.Lo contributed in more than 2 million sales of compilations.
Total Album (all types) Sales per Country
Please note that some of the countries totals may be slightly incomplete when the figure is N/A for minor releases. Countries with too much missing information to be precise enough are listed as N/A.
Jennifer Lopez Career CSPC Results
So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album by Jennifer Lopez achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!
Albums CSPC results
In the following table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales. For example, singles from Love? released in digital format sold the equivalent of 1,848,000 album albums – 12,320,000 downloads with a 10 to 1,5 weighting.
As a reminder:
- Studio Album: sales of the original album
- Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
- Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
- Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
- Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/11750 for Video stream)
It was a close race between On the 6 and J.Lo to claim the top spot among Lopez‘ discography. The slight lead in pure album sales ultimately gives the edge to the latter. It moved 12,21 million equivalent album sales across all formats, enough to put it among the most successful albums from 2001. On the 6 comes just behind at 11,36 million.
This Is Me… Then retained a lot of this success with a solid 7,27 million EAS total. Rebirth flopped with 2,63 million to date, which isn’t that bad all things considered. The decent numbers of Get Right help in clearing a bit the flop tag of this era.
An interesting highlight is that the arrival of downloads destroyed the diva’s pure album sales. She never had that much credit, so when the general public was able to download only the singles they liked, they fully ignored her albums. Even Love? sold less than a third of its units from pure sales, which is fairly low for 2011 standards.
A successful artist isn’t successful because he has all the skills though. Just like in sports, the key is to know how to use the skills you have. Lopez perfectly understood that. If she can’t sell large quantities of albums anymore, she for sure can amass relevant streams. A.K.A.‘s era was weak at less than 600,000 units, but it’s also true that her orphan songs from each 2014, 2015 and 2016 add for half a million per year. With only one top 50 hit in the US and the UK during the period, the artist is clearly optimizing her performances at the moment.
The career total of Jennifer Lopez is up to 42,78 million equivalent album sales to date. While that’ one level below the likes Britney Spears, Beyoncé and Rihanna, this is a great showing, proving that she was just as successful in music than in the movie industry.
Singles CSPC results
The list is compiled in album equivalent sales generated by each song. Therefore, these figures are not merged units of singles formats. Instead, it includes weighted sales of the song’s physical single, download, ringtone and streaming as well as its share among sales of all albums on which it is featured.
1. 2002 – Jennifer Lopez ft. Jadakiss & Styles P – Jenny from the Block [This Is Me… Then] – 4,580,000
2. 2001 – Jennifer Lopez – I’m Real [J.Lo] – 4,080,000
3. 1999 – Jennifer Lopez – If You Had My Love [On the 6] – 3,730,000
4. 1999 – Jennifer Lopez – Let’s Get Loud [On the 6] – 3,290,000
5. 2000 – Jennifer Lopez – Love Don’t Cost a Thing [J.Lo] – 3,130,000
6. 2001 – Jennifer Lopez – Ain’t It Funny [J.Lo] – 2,760,000
7. 2011 – Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull – On the Floor [Love?] – 2,630,000
8. 1999 – Jennifer Lopez – Waiting for Tonight [On the 6] – 2,310,000
9. 2005 – Jennifer Lopez – Get Right [Rebirth] – 2,260,000
10. 2002 – Jennifer Lopez ft. LL Cool J – All I Have [This Is Me… Then] – 1,730,000
If you feel inspired by this list, we just created this CSPC Jennifer Lopez playlist on Spotify!
Thanks to our new ASR (Artist Success Rating) concept, we know that her sales represent 10,9 million times the purchase of her full catalog. Coupled with her total sales, it translates into an ASR score of 123. She just ahead of Enrique Iglesias and Kelly Clarkson among the all-time ranking.
Records & Achievements
- At 12,207,000 EAS, J.Lo is one of the 10 most successful albums from 2001.
- At 9,090,000 sales, On the Floor is the biggest selling digital single by an artist aged 40 or more.
- Jennifer Lopez led both the Billboard top album chart and the US box office simultaneously in 2001, the was the first female artist to do so.
- From 2001 to 2003, Jennifer Lopez recorded 8 consecutive Top 5 hits in the UK.
- Jennifer Lopez has 10 or more Top 10 hits in both the US, the UK and Australia.
NB: EAS means Equivalent Album Sales.
You may be interested in…
… best-selling artists, albums, and singles
To improve your navigation we created several amazing cross-artists lists posted inside the CSPC: Data Collector article. Click on it to see the full listing of all CSPC results compiled so far!
… similar artists
To put figures from this article into perspective, click on the images below to reach career breakdowns of similar artists:
As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!