She’s back! After yet another image overhaul, the ever-so-controversial Miley Cyrus returns with a new album, Plastic Hearts.
The former teen idol has been making rounds on social media this year, in part because of her high profile covers. What about her own music, though?
She’s released plenty of her own material since we first analyzed her career in 2017, including an EP, two studio albums and a bunch of stand alone singles. We’ll find out about their performance below!
In 2006, Miley Cyrus rose to fame playing fictional pop star Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel. The show quickly became huge and the soundtracks were no exception. The very first one debuted straight at #1 on the US Billboard 200.
Shortly after, at the age of 14, she released her first studio album, Meet Miley Cyrus. The album was paired with the second Hannah Montana Soundtrack and also debuted at #1, spawning her first Top 10 hit, See You Again.
By the late 2000s, the teen superstar was already a force to be reckoned with. On top of being the face of a billion dollar franchise, she was scoring huge hits of her own, such as 7 Things, The Climb and Party in the U.S.A.
After Hannah Montana came to an end, the singer took a break from the music scene before returning with a fully revamped sound and image. Her transition from teen to pop music was huge.
This transition gave Cyrus her biggest hits to date with Wrecking Ball and We Can’t Stop. The star proved to be more than just a teen pop fad.
In 2015, two years after reaching new career highs with Bangerz, she released a free album on Soundcloud, titled Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Pets.
In 2017, the pop icon went back to her roots with her 6th studio album, Younger Now. The lead single Malibu was a Top 10 hit while the album received lukewarm reception both commercially and critically.
A year later, she released Nothing Breaks Like a Heart alongside Mark Ronson, which was a global hit, peaking at #2 in the UK.
The singer fully returned this year with her new album, Plastic Hearts. Thus far, it has spawned the global hit Midnight Sky, which made the Top 10 in the UK and several other countries, as well as Prisoner, a collaboration with Dua Lipa.
We will also see how she performs with her first full album to really embrace streaming.
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 Miley Cyrus‘s 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. The first is the Scribe video posted below. If you are unaware of the CSPC method, you will get the full idea within just a few 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!
Miley Cyrus Album Sales
Original Album Sales – Comments
Dropping albums at an incredible pace, whilst still a teen, Miley Cyrus had already released a whopping 8 albums by her 18th birthday.
Those LPs sold nearly 21 million units, more than 2,5 million per release but also more than 4 million per season.
Up until Can’t Be Tamed, her album sales were incredibly consistent, with the first two albums selling more than 4 million each and the next two around 3 million.
Hannah Montana 3 was released only four months after The Movie. As a result its sales are considerably lower than its predecessors.
At nearly 2.5 million sales, The Time of Our Lives performs nearly as well as Breakout despite being only an EP.
It took the star 7 efforts to miss the 1 million mark. Can’t Be Tamed comes quite close at 970,000.
If one was to bet, not many would have put money on Cyrus returning like she did with Bangerz. The album became a strong – in this day and age – 2.1 million seller.
At only 180,000 sales, Younger Now fails incredibly short from Bangerz, selling only about 8.5% of its sales. Although streaming had pretty much taken over the industry by 2017.
All in all, Miley Cyrus has sold over 23 million albums with her main releases only. She’s the best-selling female artist born in the 1990s.
Miley Cyrus songs sales
As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between albums and digital singles.
When Cyrus first arrived in 2006, taking aside the specific Japanese market, the only countries with decent physical singles sales were the UK, France, Germany, and at a lower scale, Australia and the Netherlands.
The issue is that the Hannah Montana show wasn’t popular in these markets. It was only in 2008, when the worldwide market was down to 28 million singles sold outside Japan, that she started having some moderate hits in Europe, resulting in very low sales within’ this format.
International stars sold virtually no physical singles in Japan so it is all down to Germany which remained somewhat relevant there with 4,3 million CDs sold in 2010.
To give you a rough idea, that’s a market good enough to hit 100,000 with one of the biggest hits of the year, 50,000 units with a #1 single, 20,000 units for a solid Top 5 smash and 10,000 units for most tracks that made the Top 10 various weeks.
Cyrus has sold a total of 254,000 physical singles to date.
As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1.5 ratio between albums and digital singles.
With very little airplay of her music, except a few big hits, many of Miley Cyrus’ songs charted inside the Hot 100 almost exclusively thanks to their download sales.
Interestingly, the exact same pattern that happened with Justin Bieber occurred.
Similarities to Bieber continue with the fact both sold bucketloads of their album tracks, showing a strong dedication, not to just a hit alone, but to the singer as a whole.
Just like Bieber, Miley still has some sizable hits that crossed over to a mainstream audience. The biggest seller of her career is 2009’s Party in the U.S.A at a massive 8.9 million units.
Also released in 2009, The Climb is another strong seller at 6.6 million sales.
Hannah Montana: The Movie includes two big sellers that aren’t sung by Miley. Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts and Crazier by Taylor Swift at 4.13 million and 1.34 million respectively.
The Can’t Be Tamed era was a sizeable decline from The Time of Our Lives, but the title track still manages to pull a respectable 2 million sales.
Bangerz was a massive comeback for the former teen idol. We Can’t Stop and Wrecking Ball sold 5.5 million and 6.3 million units, respectively. Other tracks from 2013, such as 23 and Adore You also manage solid numbers.
By the time Cyrus returned to the pop scene in 2017, streaming had pretty much taken over. Still, Malibu got fairly close to the million mark.
Mostly a hit in Europe and Australia, Nothing Breaks Like a Heart is a solid seller for 2019 standards at 500,000 units.
Songs from Plastic Hearts obviously suffer from the market collapse but they are no big smash hits either. The largest seller thus far, Midnight Sky, moved 250,000 copies.
In total, that’s a tremendous 70.5 million units sold in downloads and ringtones combined for Miley Cyrus.
Streaming is made up of audio and video streams. Our CSPC methodology includes both to better reflect the real popularity of each track. The main source of data for each avenue is respectively Spotify and YouTube. To factor in the growing impact of multiple Asian countries where these platforms aren’t always the go-to site for music streaming, more sources have been added.
In order to account for their real popularity in each relevant country, the below sources have been used along with the mentioned ratios that reflect the market share of each area.
– South Korea : Genie streams * 3.05 (consistent with Gaon streaming numbers)
– Japan : AWA streams * 100/5.5 (AWA has 5.5% of the Japanese streaming market)
– Elsewhere : Spotify streams * (370 – 8.5 – 9.5 – 33 – 9) / 207 (370 million global subscribers minus 8.5 million from South Korea minus 9.5 million from Japan minus 33 million from China divided by the number of Spotify only users minus 9 million more Asian users) + Genie streams * 3.05 (uses Genie rather than Spotify to extrapolate markets like Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam)
– China* : Xiami streams * 125/6.5 (Xiami has just over 5% of the Chinese streaming market)
– Elsewhere : Youtube views
*since 96.4% of Chinese streaming platforms are free users, that paid-for users pay less than $2 a month and that they are also used as video streaming platforms, their streams are weighted in par with YouTube streams.
Audio Stream – 1500 plays equal 1 album unit
Video Stream – 11,750 views equal 1 album unit
Equivalent Albums Sales (EAS) = ( Spotify * 310/207 + Genie * 3.05*2 + AWA * 100/5.5 ) / 1500 + ( Xiami * 125/6.5 + YouTube ) / 11750
Party In The U.S.A, which became a national anthem due to its title, is Miley‘s most streamed song to date on Spotify at 646 million. These are clearly massive numbers for a song released in the late 2000s.
Bangerz smash hits We Can’t Stop and Wrecking Ball perform similarly with 551 and 481 million Spotify streams respectively and more than 1 billion YouTube views each.
Combined, they’re responsible for a whopping 1.35 million EAS.
Malibu is her second most streamed song on Spotify with nearly 600 million streams and 645K EAS.
The Climb registers impressive streams for a 2009 track at over 300 million on Spotify alone and a massive 807 million on YouTube.
Nothing Breaks Like a Heart with Mark Ronson is nearing half a billion streams and over half a million EAS.
Orphan songs from 2019 Mother’s Daughter, Slide Away and Don’t Call Me Angel all perform well with 200 million Spotify streams each.
Four months after its release, Midnight Sky is responsible for 205k EAS for Plastic Hearts thanks to 193 million Spotify streams and 135 million YouTube views.
Full catalog breakdown
If you are familiar with the artist’s catalog and want to check details of each and every song, you can access to all of them right here.
Keep yourself up to date
Our website provides you a fantastic tool which fetchs updated Spotify streams as you request them, use it to watch these results grow day after day!
Miley Cyrus 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.
The distribution process
How to understand this table? If you check this example of the Best of Both Worlds Concert line, those figures mean it sold 1,005,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 268,923 equivalent album sales from streams of all types.
The second part on the right of the table shows how many equivalent streams are coming from each original album, plus the share it represents on the overall package.
Thus, streaming figures tell us songs from Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus are responsible for 69% of Best of Both Worlds Concert tracklist attractiveness, which means it generated 186,558 of its 697,000 album sales and so on for the other records.
Compilations sales figures listing
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.
These numbers are obtained by applying the method from the section The distribution process to all packages listed under Compilation sales figures listing category.
Total Album (all types) Sales per Country
Please note country-specific numbers may miss sales of a few minor releases, although totals are complete.
Miley Cyrus Career CSPC Results
So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each Miley Cyrus album 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 Bangerz released in digital format sold the equivalent of 2,339,000 albums – 15,590,000 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)
Never mentioned among A-League artists, Miley Cyrus has been doing well since her debut more than 14 years ago.
Her consistency is incredible with 6 of her albums, in a 1 to 2 ratio in comparison to her top seller, Hannah Montana 2 / Meet Miley Cyrus at 7.1 million.
All of her albums have crossed 1 million EAS thus far, with the exception of Plastic Hearts which came out only last week. The album is already up to 458k EAS.
She has outdone herself in multiple occasions, with the most notable example being the 284% increase from Can’t Be Tamed to Bangerz.
Bangerz is poised to end as the star’s #1 seller in some time with over 2 million units coming from streaming alone.
This could very much change down the line as The Time of Our Lives has seen the biggest increase out of her albums since we first analyzed Miley‘s career in 2017.
Despite only selling 180,000 copies in original album format, Younger Now is saved by solid streaming numbers from being a total failure.
At 44.6 million equivalent albums, Miley Cyrus is one of the youngest artists ever to reach such numbers. How long until she hits 50 million, though? Only time will tell!
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. 2009 – Miley Cyrus – Party in the U.S.A. [The Time of Our Lives] – 3,880,000
2. 2009 – Miley Cyrus – The Climb [Hannah Montana: The Movie] – 3,240,000
3. 2006 – Miley Cyrus – The Best of Both Worlds [Hannah Montana] – 2,510,000
4. 2013 – Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball [Bangerz] – 2,300,000
5. 2013 – Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop [Bangerz] – 2,280,000
6. 2008 – Miley Cyrus – 7 Things [Breakout] – 1,930,000
7. 2007 – Miley Cyrus – See You Again [Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus] – 1,810,000
8. 2007 – Miley Cyrus – Nobody’s Perfect [Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus] – 1,560,000
9. 2009 – Miley Cyrus – When I Look at You [The Time of Our Lives] – 1,240,000
10. 2006 – Miley Cyrus – If We Were a Movie [Hannah Montana] – 1,100,000
If you feel inspired by this list, we just created this CSPC Miley Cyrus playlist on Spotify!
Thanks to our new ASR (Artist Success Rating) concept, we know that her sales represent 8,01 million times the purchase of their discography. Coupled with her total sales, it translates into an ASR score of 107. The ranking of all artists studied so far is available too at this link.
Records & Achievements
- At 44.6 million EAS, Miley Cyrus is the greatest selling female artist born in 1990 or later.
- At 10, Miley Cyrus is the first female artist with as many albums over 1 million EAS since Mariah Carey.
- At 646,649,000 streams, Party in the USA is the 3rd most streamed 00s female song on Spotify.
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!