NSYNC albums and songs sales

At the turn of the millennium, three teen acts were huge in the US, the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and NSYNC. The latter is the only one we haven’t study so far. It took 15 years and Adele to break their record of 2,4 million units sold of No Strings Attached in its first week alone.


It wasn’t a fluke, as the second fastest selling album of the Soundscan era prior 2015, was also theirs since Celebrity debuted with 1,88 million units sold. Was the teen group led by Justin Timberlake really that big? Was it only in the US where they found success? Or were they a global phenomenon?

ChartMasters’ method: the CSPC

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC) in order to relevantly gauge the act’s results. It will not only bring you sales information for all albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming. In fact, it will really determine the act’s popularity.

If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, below is a nice and short video of explaining the concept. I recommend watching it before reading on and to the sales figures. You’ll get the idea in just two minutes.

And if you 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 detailed sales figures!

NSYNC Original Albums Sales

NSYNC (1997)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "nsync first album"
  • America
    • US – 10,900,000
    • Canada – 600,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 285,000
    • Japan – 75,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – N/A
    • New Zealand – 5,000
  • Europe – 510,000
    • UK – 45,000
    • France – N/A
    • Germany – 300,000
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – 5,000
    • Netherland – 10,000
    • Switzerland – 25,000
    • Austria – 30,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 12,490,000

Home for Christmas (1998)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "nsync Home for Christmas (1998)"
  • America
    • US – 3,100,000
    • Canada – 150,000
  • World – 3,300,000

No Strings Attached (2000)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "nsync no strings attached"
  • America
    • US – 12,750,000
    • Canada – 800,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – 120,000
    • Mexico – 120,000
  • Asia – 490,000
    • Japan – 150,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 80,000
    • New Zealand – 15,000
  • Europe – 700,000
    • UK – 205,000
    • France – 30,000
    • Germany – 200,000
    • Italy – 30,000
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – 25,000
    • Netherland – 40,000
    • Switzerland – 20,000
    • Austria – 10,000
    • Finland – 10,000
  • World – 15,300,000

Celebrity (2001)

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "nsync celebrity"
  • America
    • US – 5,825,000
    • Canada – 240,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – 60,000
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 315,000
    • Japan – 125,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 20,000
    • New Zealand – 5,000
  • Europe – 260,000
    • UK – 115,000
    • France – 15,000
    • Germany – 50,000
    • Italy – 15,000
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – 5,000
    • Netherland – 5,000
    • Switzerland – 5,000
    • Austria – 5,000
    • Finland – N/A
  • World – 6,840,000

Original Album Sales – Comments

1997 NSYNC – 12,490,000
1998 Home for Christmas – 3,300,000
2000 No Strings Attached – 15,300,000
2001 Celebrity – 6,840,000

With only three proper studio albums plus one Christmas release, NSYNC sold an insane 37,93 million units. It is almost disappointing when we consider their extraordinary American sales of 32,58 million units with the same records.

Indeed, unlike the Backstreet Boys and Spears, NSYNC never managed to break the global market. They performed alright in countries hugely favorable to teen stars, including Latin America and some Asian areas, but overall their sales abroad have been fairly weak.

Physical Singles Sales

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

The late 90s were still good years for physical single sales, although majors had started to hold out various singles from that format in the US already. This is in part why NSYNC‘s sales are that irregular as their hits sold either about half a million units or zero in the US, depending on their availability.

The band was quite popular in Germany, Switzerland and Austria (GSA) which provides them with some decent sales there. The 6 singles from their debut album which weren’t issued in the US sold nearly 90% of their units in GSA.

In total, they sold 7 million physical singles during their career including the million selling hits I Want You Back and Bye Bye Bye.

NSYNC (1997) – 792,000 equivalent albums

I Want You Back – 1,270,000
Tearin’ Up My Heart – 610,000
For the Girl Who Has Everything – 160,000
Here We Go – 180,000
Together Again – 90,000
God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You – 290,000
Thinking of You (I Drive Myself Crazy) – 40,000

Home for Christmas (1998) – 3,000 equivalent albums

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – 10,000

No Strings Attached (2000) – 729,000 equivalent albums

Bye Bye Bye – 1,030,000
It’s Gonna Be Me – 780,000
This I Promise You – 480,000
I’ll Never Stop – 140,000

Celebrity (2001) – 363,000 equivalent albums

Pop – 280,000
Girlfriend – 720,000
Gone – 210,000

Orphan – 207,000 equivalent albums

Music of My Heart – 620,000
U Drive Me Crazy – 70,000

Digital Singles Sales

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

All things considered, the digital sales of NSYNC aren’t that bad. The band obviously existed before the creation of iTunes and their terrible image nowadays should negatively impact their catalog sales.

With that said, their hits are still popular. The leading song is Bye Bye Bye with 1,5 million downloads and ringtones. There are 6 more songs in the 300,000 to 800,000 range, led by Tearin’ Up My Heart which now has the edge on I Want You Back among their early singles.

NSYNC (1997) – 108,000 equivalent albums

Tearin’ Up My Heart – 770,000
I Want You Back – 420,000
God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You – 110,000
Thinking of You (I Drive Myself Crazy) – 90,000
Remaining tracks – 100,000

Home for Christmas (1998) – 74,000 equivalent albums

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – 320,000
Remaining tracks – 170,000

No Strings Attached (2000) – 414,000 equivalent albums

Bye Bye Bye – 1,510,000
It’s Gonna Be Me – 590,000
This I Promise You – 510,000
Remaining tracks – 150,000

Celebrity (2001) – 132,000 equivalent albums

Pop – 240,000
Girlfriend – 330,000
Gone – 210,000
Remaining tracks – 100,000

Orphan – 38,000 equivalent albums

All tracks – 255,000

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 (EAS) = 212/132 * Spotify streams / 1500 + YouTube views / 11750

Part 1

I would be lying if I told you that NSYNC‘s albums are streamed heavily, but their hits continue to have legs. If several of their past hits are forgotten like Here We Go, some perform nicely including I Want You Back with 27 million streams on Spotify, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays at 39 million and even higher is Tearin’ Up My Heart with 55 million streams on Spotify.

These results provide their debut album with 128,000 equivalent album sales from streams while their Christmas output is on 75,000 units.

Part 2

Massively hyped upon release, No Strings Attached remains strong. Bye Bye Bye registers an impressive 107 million streams on Spotify and 170 million on YouTube. On the former platform, both It’s Gonna Be Me and This I Promise You crack 40 million plays. These 3 hits fuel the album to 266,000 equivalent album sales from streams.

At 73,000 sales, the follow up Celebrity is nowhere near as strong. Pop, Girlfriend and Gone are all around 15 million on Spotify, failing to translate their initial success into catalog appeal.

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.

How to understand this table? If you check for example the Greatest Hits line, those figures mean it sold 680,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 415,000 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 the No Strings Attached album are responsible for  58% of the Greatest Hits track list attractiveness. This means it generated 396,000 of its 680,000 album sales and so forth for the other records.

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 group enjoyed sizable music video sales thanks to hits from NSYNC and No Strings Attached. Accounting also for sales of some compilations, both albums generated more than 1,2 million units.

BONUS: Total Album (all types) Sales per Country

  • America
    • US – 33,150,000
    • Canada – 1,820,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – N/A
    • Mexico – N/A
  • Asia – 1,150,000
    • Japan – 375,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 130,000
    • New Zealand – 25,000
  • Europe – 1,575,000
    • UK – 380,000
    • France – N/A
    • Germany – 595,000
    • Italy – N/A
    • Spain – N/A
    • Sweden – 35,000
    • Netherland – 55,000
    • Switzerland – 50,000
    • Austria – 45,000
    • Finland – 15,000
  • World – 38,690,000

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.


So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album by NSYNC 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

The career of NSYNC may have been short lived and massively axed around the US, but their sales are outstanding. They recorded back to back monster albums with their eponymous debut amassing 14,8 million equivalent album sales and its follow up No Strings Attached reaching even higher figures at 17,9 million.

Celebrity started strong but failed to hold as well as its predecessors with a final tally of 7,6 million, which is still solid. Along the way they also released the Holiday album Home For Christmas which sold a cumulative 3,5 million.

This brings the combined total of the group to more than 44 million equivalent album sales over the course of just 4 years. Will Justin Timberlake‘s personal total be higher? The answer will be published during the next few hours!

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

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

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



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. 2000 – Bye Bye Bye [No Strings Attached]8,760,000
2. 1997 – Tearin’ Up My Heart [NSYNC]7,180,000
3. 1996 – I Want You Back [NSYNC]4,070,000
4. 2000 – This I Promise You [No Strings Attached]3,770,000
5. 2000 – It’s Gonna Be Me [No Strings Attached]3,680,000
6. 2001 – Pop [Celebrity]2,390,000
7. 1998 – Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays [Home for Christmas]2,010,000
8. 2001 – Girlfriend [Celebrity]1,950,000
9. 2001 – Gone [Celebrity]1,690,000
10. 1997 – God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You [NSYNC]1,120,000

If you feel inspired by this list, we just created this CSPC NSYNC playlist on Spotify!

Records & Achievements

  • At 2,416,000 units sold on its first week in the US as per Soundscan, No Strings Attached remained the fastest selling album ever in this country until the release of Adele‘s 25 in November 2015.
  • At 9,936,000 units sold in 2000 in the US as per Soundscan, No Strings Attached remains the highest selling album ever over a calendar year.
  • At 17,909,000 equivalent album sales Worldwide, No Strings Attached is the 5th most successful album from 2000.

We have more for you…

Justin Timberlake‘s full CSPC analysis

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