Cher albums and songs sales

We are used to being reminded how Britney Spears was still a child when Madonna was already topping the charts. In August 1965, when the Queen of Pop was going to turn 7 years old, Cher was leading the US Hot 100 ahead of Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones and until being topped by the BeatlesYesterday. I Got You Babe, her duet with former husband Sonny Bono was the third longest #1 of the year precisely behind those two monstrous hits.

Cher recogerá el Premio Honorífico a su Trayectoria en la gala de los Premios 40 Principales

Since that early breakthrough, Cher faced an extensive run of flops and successes. She was never the biggest pop star on Earth a la Madonna or Celine Dion, but she undoubtedly accumulated record sales all along a never ending road. Impressively, she managed various stunning come backs, most notably the 1998 smash Believe. With 6 studio albums with Sonny, 25 solo LPs, various Soundtracks, countless compilations and tons of singles, her catalog is much deeper than just Believe though.

How many records has the godmother of all divas sold? How is her catalog performing nowadays? How does she stand in comparison to the other household female singers names?

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 Cher‘s albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming, but it will also determine their true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, the next page explains it with a short video. I fully recommend watching the video before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the figures.

Let’s go!

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!

Original Albums Sales (Sonny & Cher)

NB: N/A means no specific number is available. Sales from the country are still accounted for in the Worldwide estimate by using figure patterns of both the artist and the country market. Countries not displayed in this fixed panel are also factored in.

Look At Us (1965)

  • America
    • US – 1,100,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 20,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 75,000
    • UK – 50,000
  • World – 1,300,000

The Wondrous World of Sonny & Cher (1966)

  • America
    • US – 175,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 40,000
    • UK – 25,000
  • World – 250,000

In Case You’re in Love (1967)

  • America
    • US – 200,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 250,000

Good Times (1967)

  • America
    • US – 100,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 125,000

All I Ever Need Is You (1972)

  • America
    • US – 550,000
    • Canada – 60,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 700,000

Mama Was a Rock and Roll Singer, Papa Used to Write All Her Songs (1973)

  • America
    • US – 50,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 75,000

Original Albums Sales (Cher)

All I Really Want to Do (1965)

  • America
    • US – 300,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 100,000
    • UK – 75,000
  • World – 450,000

The Sonny Side of Cher (1966)

  • America
    • US – 200,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 80,000
    • UK – 60,000
  • World – 325,000

Cher (1966)

  • America
    • US – 175,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 250,000

With Love, Cher (1967)

  • America
    • US – 200,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 250,000

Backstage (1968)

  • America
    • US – 50,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 25,000
    • UK – 15,000
  • World – 100,000

3614 Jackson Highway (1969)

  • America
    • US – 60,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 20,000
    • UK – 10,000
  • World – 100,000

Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves (1971)

  • America
    • US – 850,000
    • Canada – 75,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 5,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 40,000
    • UK – 20,000
  • World – 1,000,000

Foxy Lady (1972)

  • America
    • US – 300,000
    • Canada – 25,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 375,000

Bittersweet White Light (1973)

  • America
    • US – 75,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 100,000

Half-Breed (1973)

  • America
    • US – 450,000
    • Canada – 60,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 15,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 600,000

Dark Lady (1974)

  • America
    • US – 200,000
    • Canada – 30,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 5,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 300,000

Stars (1975)

  • America
    • US – 100,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 2,500
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 125,000

I’d Rather Believe in You (1976)

  • America
    • US – 50,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 75,000

Cherished (1977)

  • America
    • US – 30,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 50,000

Two The Hard Way (1977)

  • America
    • US – 30,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 50,000

Take Me Home (1979)

  • America
    • US – 450,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 550,000

Prisoner (1979)

  • America
    • US – 60,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 75,000

I Paralyze (1982)

  • America
    • US – 30,000
    • Canada – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – N/A
    • UK – N/A
  • World – 50,000

Cher (1987)

  • America
    • US – 1,300,000
    • Canada – 175,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 100,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 380,000
    • UK – 200,000
    • France – N/A
    • Germany – N/A
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – 20,000
    • Netherland – N/A
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 2,050,000

Heart of Stone (1989)

  • America
    • US – 3,400,000
    • Canada – 525,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 315,000
    • New Zealand – 25,000
  • Europe – 1,450,000
    • UK – 750,000
    • France – N/A
    • Germany – 250,000
    • Italy – 40,000
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – 70,000
    • Netherland – 15,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – 30,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 6,000,000

Love Hurts (1991)

  • America
    • US – 800,000
    • Canada – 120,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 85,000
    • New Zealand – 20,000
  • Europe – 2,230,000
    • UK – 975,000
    • France – N/A
    • Germany – 550,000
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – 60,000
    • Netherland – 30,000
    • Switzerland – 80,000
    • Austria – 75,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 3,500,000

It’s a Man’s World (1995)

  • America
    • US – 250,000
    • Canada – 40,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 480,000
    • UK – 225,000
    • France – N/A
    • Germany – 80,000
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – 15,000
    • Netherland – 5,000
    • Switzerland – N/A
    • Austria – 15,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 850,000

Believe (1998)

  • America
    • US – 4,700,000
    • Canada – 750,000
    • Argentina – 100,000
    • Brazil – 225,000
    • Mexico – 250,000
  • Asia – 465,000
    • Japan – 200,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 165,000
    • New Zealand – 40,000
  • Europe – 4,840,000
    • UK – 775,000
    • France – 375,000
    • Germany – 1,225,000
    • Italy – 375,000
    • Spain – 450,000
    • Sweden – 255,000
    • Netherland – 120,000
    • Switzerland – 140,000
    • Austria – 125,000
    • Finland – 35,000
  • World – 11,800,000

Living Proof (2001)

  • America
    • US – 600,000
    • Canada – 75,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 350,000
    • UK – 70,000
    • France – 25,000
    • Germany – 100,000
    • Italy – 15,000
    • Spain – 30,000
    • Sweden – 10,000
    • Netherland – 5,000
    • Switzerland – 15,000
    • Austria – 10,000
    • Finland – 2,000
  • World – 1,125,000

Burlesque (2010)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "christina aguilera burlesque cover"
  • America
    • US – 800,000
    • Canada – 80,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – 5,000
    • Mexico – 20,000
  • Asia – 180,000
    • Japan – 120,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 70,000
    • New Zealand – 10,000
  • Europe – 190,000
    • UK – 65,000
    • France – 5,000
    • Germany – 60,000
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – 3,000
    • Sweden – N/A
    • Netherlands – 2,000
    • Switzerland – 15,000
    • Austria – 10,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 1,375,000

Closer to the Truth (2013)

  • America
    • US – 380,000
    • Canada – 50,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – 10,000
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 15,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 110,000
    • UK – 60,000
    • France – 5,000
    • Germany – 25,000
    • Italy – 3,000
    • Spain – 1,000
    • Sweden – 1,000
    • Netherland – 1,000
    • Switzerland – 2,000
    • Austria – N/A
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 600,000

Original Album Sales – Comments

The debut album of Sonny & Cher, Look At Us, was strongly successful in the US. It peaked at #2 for 8 weeks, all of them behind Help! by the Beatles. The market was dreadful for LPs then though. The absence of catalog sales for this album limits its to date tally which is on 1,3 million only.

That’s the main issue of all the pre-1987 albums. Some had success upon release including All I Really Want to Do, Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves (titled Cher), Half-Breed and Take Me Home, but they were all deleted a few years later. They were released in a few countries only as most markets were dominated by singles instead. Bad market conditions coupled with no catalog sales mean that even her hit albums moved around half a million units only. In fact, her first 18 solo albums add for less than 5 million sales!

This situation changed with Cher, the 1987 album. It sold 2 million copies and opened the door to larger promotional campaigns. Heart of Stone sold 6 million copies, confirming the trend. Both albums saw most of their sales come from North America. Her Love Hurts smashed various countries but flopped in the US, although 3,5 million is still great. It’s A Man’s World bombed, only to see Believe smash ever harder. Then, Living Proof was a disastrous follow up. This sequence resumes perfectly the career of Cher, made up of huge and unexpected smashes followed by hard core flops. Her ups and downs are unmatched.

In total, she sold nearly 35 million studio albums, including 27,3 million from the last eight sets.

Sonny & Cher Albums

1965 Look At Us – 1,300,000
1966 The Wondrous World of Sonny & Cher – 250,000
1967 In Case You’re in Love – 250,000
1967 Good Times – 125,000
1972 All I Ever Need Is You – 700,000
1973 Mama Was a Rock and Roll Singer, Papa Used to Write All Her Songs – 75,000

Cher solo Albums

1965 All I Really Want to Do – 450,000
1966 The Sonny Side of Cher – 325,000
1966 Cher – 250,000
1967 With Love, Cher – 250,000
1968 Backstage – 100,000
1969 3614 Jackson Highway – 100,000
1971 Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves – 1,000,000
1972 Foxy Lady – 375,000
1973 Bittersweet White Light – 100,000
1973 Half-Breed – 600,000
1974 Dark Lady – 300,000
1975 Stars – 125,000
1976 I’d Rather Believe in You – 75,000
1977 Cherished – 50,000
1977 Two The Hard Way – 50,000
1979 Take Me Home – 550,000
1979 Prisoner – 75,000
1982 I Paralyze – 50,000
1987 Cher – 2,050,000
1989 Heart of Stone – 6,000,000
1991 Love Hurts – 3,500,000
1995 It’s a Man’s World – 850,000
1998 Believe – 11,800,000
2001 Living Proof – 1,125,000
2010 Burlesque – 1,375,000
2013 Closer to the Truth – 600,000

Physical Singles Sales

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single.

Sonny & Cher

A big transatlantic hit, I Got You Babe sold close to 3 million units, a total rarely seen in this format. This smash was never reproduced by the duet, but they still registered various hits including the million sellers Little Man and The Beat Goes On.

This adds for more than 9 million sales in less than 2 years and more is still to come.

In 1971, the hit Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves has Cher back out under the spotlight. This gave the opportunity to relaunch successfully the career of the duet with back to back million sellers All I Ever Need Is You and A Cowboys Work Is Never Done. 

After a few years only, the duet amassed 14,5 million singles sold. Obviously, Cher sold a lot of tunes too which we are going to list right now.

Look At Us (1965) – 1,071,000 equivalent albums

I Got You Babe – 2,870,000
Sing C’est La Vie – 40,000
Just You – 430,000
The Letter – 230,000

The Wondrous World of Sonny & Cher (1966) – 744,000 equivalent albums

(Sonny Solo) The Revolution Kind – 230,000
(Sonny Solo) Laugh At Me – 830,000
But You’re Mine – 550,000
What Now My Love – 570,000
Have I Stayed Too Long – 300,000

In Case You’re in Love (1967) – 927,000 equivalent albums

Little Man – 1,270,000
Living For You – 170,000
The Beat Goes On – 1,360,000
Good Combination – 290,000

Good Times (1967) – 105,000 equivalent albums

It’s The Little Things – 350,000

All I Ever Need Is You (1972) – 729,000 equivalent albums

All I Ever Need Is You – 1,290,000
A Cowboys Work Is Never Done – 1,140,000

Mama Was a Rock and Roll Singer, Papa Used to Write All Her Songs (1973) – 42,000 equivalent albums

Mama Was A Rock And Roll Singer, Papa Used To Write All Her Songs Part 1 – 140,000

Orphan Album – 735,000 equivalent albums

Baby Don’t Go – 1,300,000
Love Is Strange – 90,000
A Beautiful Story – 290,000
Plasting Man – 190,000
When You Say Love – 580,000

Cher – The 60s

The hit or miss logic of Cher‘s career was already obvious during the 60s. Among the first category was All I Really Want To Do, Bang Bang and You Better Sit Down Baby while the second is home of Mama, Hey Joe and more.

Nevertheless, she still sold 4,3 million physical singles as a solo singer during the 60s.

All I Really Want to Do (1965) – 198,000 equivalent albums

All I Really Want To Do – 660,000

The Sonny Side of Cher (1966) – 600,000 equivalent albums

Where Do You Go – 430,000
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) – 1,570,000

Cher (1966) – 153,000 equivalent albums

Alfie – 350,000
I Feel Something In The Air – 40,000
Sunny – 120,000

With Love, Cher (1967) – 318,000 equivalent albums

Behind The Door – 120,000
Mama – 30,000
Hey Joe – 100,000
You Better Sit Down Baby – 810,000

Backstage (1968) – 12,000 equivalent albums

All singles – 40,000

3614 Jackson Highway (1969) – 9,000 equivalent albums

All singles – 30,000

Cher – The early 70s

The early 70s were a very sweet period for CherGypsys, Tramps & Thieves sold well over 2 million, Half-Breed came close and Dark Lady sold 1,5 million. All those eras generated as many equivalent albums sales from singles than from the albums themselves.

Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves (1971) – 990,000 equivalent albums

Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves – 2,370,000
The Way of Love – 930,000

Foxy Lady (1972) – 276,000 equivalent albums

Living In A House Divided – 690,000
Don’t Hide Your Love – 230,000

Bittersweet White Light (1973) – 0 equivalent album

No single sold

Half-Breed (1973) – 555,000 equivalent albums

Half-Breed – 1,850,000

Dark Lady (1974) – 654,000 equivalent albums

Dark Lady – 1,510,000
Train Of Thought – 350,000
I Saw A Man And He Danced With His Wife – 290,000
Rescue Me – 30,000

Cher – The late 70s

This era is typical of Cher. As well known as she has always been, she has still met times during which she wasn’t selling a thing. Unlike most big pop stars, she never managed to build a fanbase and encountered dry spells.

Stars (1975) – 0 equivalent album

No single sold

I’d Rather Believe in You (1976) – 0 equivalent album

No single sold

Cherished (1977) – 51,000 equivalent albums

Pirate – 140,000
War Paint And Soft Feathers – 30,000

Two The Hard Way (1977) – 0 equivalent album

No single sold

Cher – The 80s

Take Me Home was a decent come back for Cher, after which she quickly disappeared again with disco becoming old fashioned some months later. I Found Someone provided her a fifth life – not her last one though.

Take Me Home (1979) – 315,000 equivalent albums

Take Me Home – 810,000
Wasn’t It Good – 230,000
It’s Too Late To Love Me Now – 10,000

Prisoner (1979) – 51,000 equivalent albums

Hell On Wheels – 170,000

I Paralyze (1982) – 6,000 equivalent albums

All singles – 20,000

Cher (1987) – 492,000 equivalent albums

I Found Someone – 980,000
We All Sleep Alone – 510,000
Skin Deep – 130,000

Cher – The early 90s

Almost 25 years into her career, Cher achived some consistency in the end of the 80s. If I Could Turn Back Time was a huge hit for her while following singles sold less but still respectable amounts.

Heart of Stone (1989) – 1,233,000 equivalent albums

After All – 930,000
If I Could Turn Back Time – 1,780,000
Just Like Jesse James – 1,010,000
Heart Of Stone – 380,000
You Wouldn’t Know Love – 10,000

Love Hurts (1991) – 306,000 equivalent albums

Love And Understanding – 580,000
Save Up All Your Tears – 390,000
Love Hurts – 20,000
Could’ve Been You – 10,000
When Lovers Become Strangers – 20,000

It’s A Man’s World (1995) – 201,000 equivalent albums

Walking In Memphis – 180,000
One By One– 440,000
Not Enough Love In The World – 30,000
Remaining Singles – 20,000

Cher – 1998 onwards and orphan songs

At 52, Cher registered one of the biggest selling single of all-time. So far, out of all artists studied, the rare cases of singles selling over 7 million were Soundtrack hits like I Will Always Love You, Stayin’ Alive and You Are The One That I Want or hits from the Beatles outside of an album era. It is the first proper single coming from an artist’s studio album selling that many units.

The Shoop Shoop Song and Strong Enough sold over one million copies a piece as well. Although it feels like Cher went through various chaotic periods, she sold over 32 million physical singles as a solo artist. Merging the discography with Sonny, the legendary diva sold 46 million singles.

Believe (1998) – 2,550,000 equivalent albums

Believe – 7,020,000
Strong Enough – 1,170,000
All Or Nothing – 170,000
Dov’e L’amore – 140,000

Living Proof (2001) – 111,000 equivalent albums

The Music’s No Good Without You – 200,000
Alive Again – 20,000
Song For The Lonely – 150,000

Burlesque (2010) – 0 equivalent album

No single sold

Closer To The Truth (2013) – 0 equivalent album

No single sold

Orphan Album – 780,000 equivalent album

Dead Ringer for Love – 410,000
The Shoop Shoop Song – 1,710,000
Oh No Not My Baby – 50,000
Whenever You’re Near – 10,000
Many Rivers To Cross – 20,000
Love Can Build A Bridge – 360,000
Piu Che Puoi – 40,000

Digital Singles Sales

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1,5 ratio between albums and digital singles.

Sonny & Cher

During their initial run Sonny & Cher recorded 5 Top 10 hits over a 7 year period. If they weren’t one-hit wonders in the first place, I Got You Babe truly is the only relevant tune remaining in their catalog. With 1 million downloads, it represents the immense majority of their total sales nowadays.

Look At Us (1965) – 150,000 equivalent albums

I Got You Babe – 1,000,000

The Wondrous World of Sonny & Cher (1966) – 6,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 40,000

In Case You’re in Love (1967) – 30,000 equivalent albums

The Beat Goes On – 100,000
All tracks – 100,000

Good Times (1967) – 6,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 40,000

All I Ever Need Is You (1972) – 9,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 60,000

Mama Was a Rock and Roll Singer, Papa Used to Write All Her Songs (1973) – 0 equivalent albums

All tracks – 0

Orphan Album – 6,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 40,000

Cher – The 60s

Cher‘s singles from the 60s are not stronger than her songs with her former husband. It seems the interest generated by big hits back in the day like Bang Bang is now completely gone.

All I Really Want to Do (1965) – 15,000 equivalent albums

All Tracks – 100,000

The Sonny Side of Cher (1966) – 22,500 equivalent albums

Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) – 125,000
All Tracks – 25,000

Cher (1966) – 6,000 equivalent albums

All Tracks – 40,000

With Love, Cher (1967) – 1,500 equivalent albums

All Tracks – 10,000

Backstage (1968) – 1,500 equivalent albums

All singles – 10,000

3614 Jackson Highway (1969) – 3,000 equivalent albums

All singles – 20,000

Cher – The early 70s

Among dreadful results, Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves sales of 700,000 units via downloads are refreshing.

Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves (1971) – 111,000 equivalent albums

Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves – 700,000
Remaining tracks – 40,000

Foxy Lady (1972) – 4,500 equivalent albums

All tracks – 30,000

Bittersweet White Light (1973) – 1,500 equivalent album

All tracks – 10,000

Half-Breed (1973) – 15,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 100,000

Dark Lady (1974) – 24,000 equivalent albums

Dark Lady – 150,000
Remaining tracks – 10,000

Cher – The late 70s

The hole between Dark Lady and Take Me Home was already a disaster in the first place, by now this discography can be described as non-existent. Those LPs are long deleted in physical format, but they also don’t exist on the Cher‘s list of albums at both iTunes and Spotify. It feels like nothing ever happened.

Stars (1975) – 4,500 equivalent album

All tracks – 30,000

I’d Rather Believe in You (1976) – 0 equivalent album

No single sold

Cherished (1977) – 0 equivalent album

No single sold

Two The Hard Way (1977) – 0 equivalent album

No single sold

Cher – The 80s

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. At 300,000 units sold in downloads, I Found Someone is a blockbuster among songs listed on this page. It is far from impressive for a single that is one of the largest hits of one of the biggest divas ever though.

Take Me Home (1979) – 7,500 equivalent albums

All tracks – 50,000

Prisoner (1979) – 1,500 equivalent albums

All tracks – 10,000

I Paralyze (1982) – 0 equivalent album

No single sold

Cher (1987) – 64,500 equivalent albums

I Found Someone – 300,000
We All Sleep Alone – 100,000
Skin Deep – 30,000

Cher – The 90s

Although Believe took all of the limelight, the era of Heart of Stone was a big return to form for Cher. It was a great seller upon release but its songs’ popularity remain fairly solid. If I Could Turn Back Time sold over a million, her second biggest hit in digital format.

Heart of Stone (1989) – 337,500 equivalent albums

After All – 550,000
If I Could Turn Back Time – 1,100,000
Just Like Jesse James – 400,000
Heart Of Stone – 150,000
Remaining tracks – 50,000

Love Hurts (1991) – 48,000 equivalent albums

Love And Understanding – 150,000
Save Up All Your Tears – 150,000
Remaining tracks – 20,000

It’s A Man’s World (1995) – 52,500 equivalent albums

Walking In Memphis – 250,000
Remaining tracks – 100,000

1998 onwards and orphan songs

Naturally, Believe is Cher‘s biggest hit in download sales. The gap isn’t that big over I Got You Babe and If I Could Turn Back Time though. In fact, all three songs sold similar amounts in the US. The 1998 powerhouse edges ahead thanks to a wider impact globally.

In total, Cher, including her catalog with Sonny, sold 12 million copies in downloads and ringtones, an awful result in line with her low presence from 2005 to 2013.

Believe (1998) – 292,500 equivalent albums

Believe – 1,500,000
Strong Enough – 300,000
Remaining tracks – 150,000

Living Proof (2001) – 15,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 100,000

Burlesque (2010) – 360,000 equivalent album

Express – 400,000
Show Me How You Burlesque – 800,000
Remaining tracks – 1,200,000

Closer To The Truth (2013) – 60,000 equivalent album

All tracks – 400,000

Orphan Album – 99,000 equivalent album

Dead Ringer for Love – 60,000
The Shoop Shoop Song – 500,000
All tracks – 100,000

Cher’s streaming sales

Streaming is made up of two families – audio and video. 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 132 million of the 212 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 = 212/132 * Spotify streams / 1500 + YouTube views / 11750

Sonny & Cher – Streaming Part 1

During the last year, we met various artists with not-so-good streaming figures. We rarely saw abysmal numbers like those of Cher though. I Got You Babe has an OK total of 20 million streams, not so good for a former US #1 smash, but still acceptable. The remaining songs aren’t even worth commenting on. The song 500 Miles falls under 10,000 streams at Spotify.

Obviously, the count of equivalent album sales doesn’t increase much. With artists like Drake, we start thinking that streams are easy, almost unfair, bringing tons of free sales. Nothing is free though. Big streams highlight a large popularity. You may be named Cher, if the public isn’t interested anymore in some part of your catalog, Spotify and YouTube won’t bring you anything.

Sonny & Cher – Streaming Part 2

A mere 2,000 equivalent album sales after combining those three records. I’ll pass on my turn for comments.

Sonny & Cher – Streaming Part 3

Here is the list of orphan songs of Sonny & Cher with more unnoticeable songs. Dead catalog.

Cher – Streaming Part 1

Once again, we can’t really say that Cher is performing better than in her duet days. All those songs have lackluster totals with only Bang Bang reaching a million streams on Spotify and YouTube.

Cher – Streaming Part 2

Is there anybody out there?

Cher – Streaming Part 3

Streams follow the same pattern met with downloads. Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves, although rather average, seems to be a big hit in comparison to the other tracks issued during the first part of the 70s by Cher.

Cher – Streaming Part 4

Half-Breed was a#1 hit in the US for 2 weeks until being dethroned by the Rolling Stones‘ classic Angie. Most #1 hits from 1973 have from 20 to 150 plus million streams on Spotify. Most, but not all, as Half-Breed is struggling at 1,6 million only. Dark Lady is just as chaotic.

Cher – Streaming Part 5

As mentioned in the download sales category, albums from the mid-70s are completely non-existent nowadays. The only way to listen to them is by searching for their songs on YouTube, but obviously nobody is seriously doing that.

Take Me Home was a Top 10 hit in 1979 but falls under 1 million Spotify streams.

Cher – Streaming Part 6

More of the same. The album Cher is slightly more consistent than the previous LPs although it remains at at very low figures.

Cher – Streaming Part 7

At last! The album Heart Of Stone is the first one with respectable streams. The song If I Could Turn Back Time is up to 32 million streams on Spotify and nearly as many on YouTube. Three more songs are over 1 million while the entire track list is over 100,000 streams. Nothing record breaking, but at least that’s quite decent. The album has a total of 57,000 equivalent album sales from streams.

Both Love Hurts and It’s a Man’s World have occasional moderate hits but no consistency.

Cher – Streaming Part 8

At 68 million streams on Spotify, the song Believe is bigger than all albums by Cher (including Sonny) from 1965 to 1987 combined. Strong Enough is a decent runner up at 14 million. In total, the album is up to 108,000 equivalent album sales.

Living Proof was an absolute bomb as shown by its less than 5,000 equivalent album sales.

Cher – Streaming Part 9

The soundtrack Burlesque is clearly a one of a kind among the discography of Cher. She sings only two tracks but shares the credits with Christina Aguilera. All its songs are as big as the biggest hits of Cher, which clearly highlights an issue on her personal streams.

Released when streams where already increasing strongly, Closer to the Truth hasn’t attracted the masses with under 15 million streams on both Spotify and YouTube.

Cher – Streaming Part 10

Among the orphan songs of Cher, the only one with decent streams is Dead Ringer for Love, the duet with Meat Loaf.

Cher’s full length related record 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.

Remaining Long Format – Part 1 – Compilations

How to understand this table? If you check for example the Greatest Hits of Cher compilation line (the last one) those figures mean it sold 700,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 14,000 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 Dark Lady are responsible for 26% of the Greatest Hits track list attractiveness. This means it generated 182,000 of its 700,000 album sales and so forth for the other records.

Released at random moments and quickly replaced, those compilations haven’t amassed many sales individually. Their overall total is decent though. The main provider of sales of Sonny & Cher compilations is clearly Look At Us, which is logical since its I Got You Babe is the only song remembered by the duet.

Early compilations of Cher have their sales spread more equally among her 1965-1974 studio albums.

Remaining Long Format – Part 2 – Compilations

Greatest Hits: 1965-1992 quickly became an essential of Cher. Her first career-spanning compilation which includes her late 80s hits, the best of sold fairly well in Europe and Oceania. This package wasn’t available in the US that continued to buy during the 90s its main attractiveness provider, Heart of Stone.

Remaining Long Format – Part 3 – Compilations

With no surprise, Believe is the main strength behind all sales of the most recent compilations. Heart of Stone remains strong too. Some best of albums continue to be themed around earlier material like Millennium Collection and Icon.

Remaining Long Format – Part 4 – Live Albums & Folders

As it is impossible to track sales of very minor and local compilations that came out over the years, two folders for Remaining Compilations are added. The most representative track lists of both acts Sonny & Cher and Cher were used.

Remaining Long Format – Part 5 – Music Videos

Ironically, while Cher has some tragic sales in various formats, she has music video sales much higher than most of the divas. The Farewell Tour sold a strong 800,000 units. Including songs from most of her albums, we notice how unbalanced her discography is with Believe and Heart of Stone accounting for 69% of its strength.

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.

The triptych I Got You Babe / If I Could Turn Back Time / Believe easily dominate the discography of Cher. Those three iconic songs generated some 4,5 million equivalent album sales for their respective parent albums. Apart from those records, Love Hurts is the only one that is responsible for more than a million sales of compilations of every kind.

BONUS: Compilation Albums Sales

Greatest Hits: 1965-1992 (1992)

  • America
    • US – Not Released (If I Could Turn Back Time: Cher’s Greatest Hits 1,200,000)
    • Canada – Not Released (If I Could Turn Back Time: Cher’s Greatest Hits 180,000)
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 100,000
    • New Zealand – 60,000
  • Europe – 2,490,000
    • UK – 1,325,000
    • France – N/A
    • Germany – 375,000
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – 125,000
    • Sweden – 100,000
    • Netherlands – 50,000
    • Switzerland – 40,000
    • Austria – 40,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 2,950,000
The Greatest Hits (1999)
  • America
    • US – Not Released
    • Canada – Not Released
    • Argentina – 40,000
    • Brazil – 75,000
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 195,000
    • New Zealand – 30,000
  • Europe – 2,780,000
    • UK – 700,000
    • France – 180,000
    • Germany – 550,000
    • Italy – 175,000
    • Spain – 160,000
    • Sweden – 185,000
    • Netherlands – 125,000
    • Switzerland – 80,000
    • Austria – 80,000
    • Finland – 40,000
  • World – 3,400,000

The Very Best of Cher (2003)

  • America
    • US – 3,100,000
    • Canada – 230,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – 40,000
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 150,000
    • New Zealand – 20,000
  • Europe – 680,000
    • UK – 300,000
    • France – 40,000
    • Germany – 75,000
    • Italy – 15,000
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – 85,000
    • Netherlands – 15,000
    • Switzerland – 20,000
    • Austria – 10,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 4,400,000

BONUS: Total Album (all types) Sales per Country

  • America
    • US – 26,485,000
    • Canada – 2,705,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – N/A
    • Japan – N/A
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 1,400,000
    • New Zealand – 220,000
  • Europe – 17,500,000
    • UK – 5,900,000
    • France – 900,000
    • Germany – 3,400,000
    • Italy – 900,000
    • Spain – 1,000,000
    • Sweden – 1,000,000
    • Netherlands – 400,000
    • Switzerland – 500,000
    • Austria – 450,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 53,550,000

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.

CHER CAREER CSPC RESULTS

So, after checking all of the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each Cher album achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!

In the following results table, all categories display figures in equivalent album sales. If different, pure sales are listed between parentheses.

'Av.' stands for Average, 'LD' for Last Day.

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 1/6750 for Video stream)

Artist career totals

See where the artist ranks among remaining singers


It is obvious that over a career spanning more than 50 years an artist has to go through some flops. In all fairness, Cher flopped way more often than she made it big. Does it matter that much? At the end of the day, selling 10 million records over 1 or 2 or 3 eras is still worth 10 million records.

She did have some great periods. Believe confirms it’s status of a super successful era. It wasn’t only a big hit single. At 19,2 million equivalent album sales, it is a LP strong enough to be envied by anyone. Heart of Stone was a huge record as well with a total passing 12 million units.

The dramatic downloads and streams are worrying for the future, but at 71 we can’t expect Cher to be looking for a fresh new ground breaking hit. Her career is now mostly behind her. A career that adds for 72,4 million equivalent album sales. Way under the likes Madonna or Celine Dion, this is still a very healthy total, out of reach by many popular divas.

The following sections list her most successful songs as well as her records and achievements.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, YouTube, Chartmasters.org.

BIGGEST TRACKS – Cher

The list of most successful songs is compiled in album equivalent sales generated by each of them. It includes the song’s own physical singles sales with a 0,3 weighting, its download and streaming sales, and with appropriate weighting too, plus its share among sales of all albums on which it is featured.

1 1998 CherBelieve [Believe] – 14,850,000
2 1989 CherIf I Could Turn Back Time [Heart of Stone] – 7,950,000
3 1965 Sonny & CherI Got You Babe [Look at Us] – 6,960,000
4 1991 CherThe Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss) [Love Hurts] – 4,730,000
5 1971 CherGypsys, Tramps & Thieves [Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves] – 3,390,000
6 1998 CherStrong Enough [Believe] – 3,010,000
7 1989 CherJust Like Jesse James [Heart of Stone] – 2,140,000
8 1987 CherI Found Someone [Cher] – 2,090,000
9 1989 CherAfter All [Heart of Stone] – 1,420,000
9 1974 CherDark Lady [Dark Lady] – 1,420,000
11 1973 CherHalf-Breed [Half-Breed] – 1,360,000
12 1966 CherBang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) [The Sonny Side of Chér] – 1,280,000
13 1995 CherWalking in Memphis [It’s a Man’s World] – 1,060,000
14 1972 Sonny & CherAll I Ever Need Is You [All I Ever Need Is You] – 1,010,000
14 1967 Sonny & CherThe Beat Goes On [In Case You’re in Love] – 1,010,000

Records & Achievements

  • With 33 years, 7 months and 3 weeks between I Got You Babe and Believe, Cher has topped the US Hot 100 chart over the longest span ever, 8 years ahead of Michael Jackson.
  • Cher is the oldest artist to ever top the Hot 100, she was 52 when Believe went to #1.
  • Believe is the most successful album ever released by an artist over 50.
  • Cher is one of the few artists that won all the main awards of the American culture industry – Oscar, Grammy, Emmy and Golden Globe.

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