CSPC: Wham! & George Michael Popularity Analysis

george michael

UPDATE: Please note all figures have been updated as of May 6, 2017.

November 10 1984. US Billboard Hot 100. David Bowie hit Blue Jean was spending its last week inside the Top 10 at #8. It remains the very last time the British singer visited the top tier as a solo act. Higher on the charts at #3, Prince anthem song Purple Rain was going strong, while the album of the same name was on its 15th – out of 24 – week at #1. Still within’ that Hot 100 Top 10, George Michael in his teen group Wham! werefeaturing at #4 with Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (soon-to-be #1 smash) while the album Make It Big debuted. The year 2016 has really been a brutal end of an era for an entire generation.

An entire generation indeed… as it wasn’t only about 1984. From 1977 to 1989, only 4 solo artists had an album spend 10+ weeks at #1 in the US – Michael Jackson with Thriller, Whitney Houston with both Whitney Houston and WhitneyPrince with Purple Rain and George Michael with Faith. In the last several years all of them passed away with none of them coming even close to turning 60. While fans inevitably mourn the death of George Michael on December 25 – talk about a twisted fate for the singer of Last Christmas – we will make our own tribute as well by going through his classic catalog.

Releasing his first single at only 19, as part of the duet Wham! along with his friend Andrew Ridgeley, the Greek descendant George Michael’s rise to fame was absolutely unstoppable. A mere five years after his first record he had dropped cult hits such as Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Careless Whisper, Last Christmas and Faith. Let’s not only remember those songs but George’s full catalog.

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge his results. The concept will not only bring you sales information for all of George Michael‘s albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming, but it will also determine his 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!

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Johnny be Good

Is it possible to have a country breakdown for “The Final”?

Cameron Tracy

Oh umm I remember listen without prejudice being at 2,475,000 not 2,415,000 did MJD Update it?

Nathan Abramson

In Switzerland, the total should be 950,000 not 95,000, right?


hello! i have 2 questions:
1. is the total aes of “don’t let the sun go down on me” including sales generated from duets by elton john and other elton compilations or just sales generated exclusively by michael’s work? if so what is it’s total

2. are physical, digital and streaming sales from the elton john tracks “wrap her up” and “nikita” included into george michael’s total, because i THINK wrap her up officially credits michael, but i don’t think nikita does despite michaels major contribution to the song, like stings contribution to money for nothing ?


i’m suprised “i knew you were waiting (for me)” with aretha franklin didnt reach 1m aes i always thought it was one of his biggest hits


Faith sales was around 20-25 million and Song from the last century was around 4 million.


Yes I thought this too


Coming back to this analysis, I’m still very confused as to why George Michael and Wham’s numbers are combined. This isn’t done for any other artists that can be seen as the face of the group. Saying that “Wham is George Michael” doesn’t prove anything. They’re two separate artists whose sales and charting counts as two separate positions. Just look at their respective discography pages and chart histories on Billboard, OCC, etc…