Diana Ross albums and songs sales

Diana Ross sold tons of records with the Supremes during the 60s, and then again as a solo artist from the 70s onwards, hitting top 10 hits in the US or the UK every decade up to the 00s.

The clarity of her voice that took her to superstardom contrasts with the mysteries surrounding her real records sales. We’ve scrutinized her catalog extensively to shed light on her achievements.

CSPC Diana Ross albums and songs sales
Background image: Hulton Archive | Jack Kay

Looking at the big picture: Diana Ross

A superstar at 20

Born in Detroit on March 26, 1944, Diana Ross joined her first group, the Primettes at only 15 in 1959, while following and completing fashion design classes.

One of her neighbors was Smokey Robinson, the leader of The Miracles who penned the very first hits of the Motown label, and likely the one who made it all possible for the Detroit record company. In part thanks to this connection, and after much insistence to convince Berry Gordy due to their young age, the Primettes ultimately joined the upcoming industry force in 1961, changing their name to The Supremes.

They broke over the main audience in the summer of 1964, when Diana Ross had just turned 20. They started to pill #1s effortlessly, en route for a superb career that saw them sell over 76 million equivalent album sales. By the end of 1967, the group was rebranded as Diana Ross & The Supremes, a first step to her inevitable solo career.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough for Ross

Easily the biggest name among the impressive roster of the Motown, Diana Ross kicked her solo career with an eponymous debut album in 1970. Due to Motown’s habit of artists covering each others’ hits, that start was a bit awkward.

In fact, her first single, Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand), that went to #20 in the US, was covered by the Ross-less Supremes a few month later. Her following single, a rendition of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, was a song she already released as part of the group a couple of years earlier.

It was also her first solo #1 in the US, far outpeaking the #19 best by the original version from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. History restored this situation, with the latter becoming way more popular through the years. That #1 smash still made Diana Ross a real star on her own, confirming the potential of her solo career.

The roll was on. I’m Still Waiting went to #1 in the UK the next year. Then, the following one, the soundtrack Lady Sings the Blues topped the US album chart. One more year, one more #1 with Touch Me in the Morning hitting #1 in the Hot 100 in 1973. Soon, she added two more chart toppers with Theme from Mahogany and Love Hangover.

By that point, in the US pop charts alone she was up to 16 #1s, 12 with the Supremes and 4 solo. Since the Hot 100 was introduced in 1958, only the Beatles had recorded more with 20 for the group plus solo songs. The next highest score was way down at 7, held by both Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones. Her 4 solo chart toppers were already enough to make her the all-time record holder among solo female artists.

A new peak for the original diva

After being arguably the biggest female hit maker of the 60s and the 70s, Diana Ross went on to reach a new peak in the 80s! Upside Down, written by Chic‘s mastermind Nile Rodgers, topped charts for 4 weeks in September 1980. It became one of her biggest global successes, going to the top all around the world from Australia to Canada to Italy to Sweden.

While she was already highly popular among the gay community – the LGBT term had yet to be used back then-, the release of I’m Coming Out at the peak of her career made the singer an absolute icon. The woman every teenager wanted to look like, an unstoppable hit machine, a night clubs’ favorite, praised by the gay community: Diana Ross can be seen as the very first Diva, the original Queen as defined in pop culture nowadays. She had it all.

By mid-1981, the Motown imprints (excluding Tamla’s imprints which got various #1s in good part thanks to Stevie Wonder) had 7 #1 hits over the last 8 years: 5 by Diana Ross and 2 by Lionel Richie-led group Commodores. Surely, joining them would do well? Their duet Endless Love was a gigantic hit, topping charts for 9 weeks. It was the 2nd longest #1 since the start of the Hot 100 in 1958, behind Debby Boone‘s 10 weeks with You Light Up My Life.

Lionel Richie wasn’t the only singer keen on sharing the mic with the Detroit star. She also recorded or performed with artists like Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Julio Iglesias, Rod Stewart, and Luciano Pavarotti‘s Three Tenors.

In 1981, Diana Ross signed one of the biggest contracts ever, moving from Motown to RCA Records. Her sound also translated, from her typical R&B / Soul infused music to a pure pop approach. This period gave her more top 10 hits in the US (Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Mirror Mirror, Muscles, Missing You), but no chart opper, while Work That Body (#4) or Chain Reaction (#1) were big in the UK.

By that time, in 1986, her popularity faded away suddenly in the US, after more than two decades of success. She remained a huge selling force in the UK though, continuing to score hits until the 00s.

Now almost 80, Diana Ross is the last surviving member of the earlier versions of the Supremes, as Florence Ballard (1976), Betty McGlown (2008), Barbara Martin (2020) and Mary Wilson (2021) passed away.

She is still active, up to 25 studio albums with the release of Thank You in late 2021. Actor and singer Rhonda Ross, Diana Ross‘ oldest daughter and her only child with Berry Gordy, wrote two songs on the album. She has 4 more childs, including Golden Globe Award winner Tracee Ellis Ross, and also popular actor Evan Ross.

The year 2023 has been busy for her. She recently completed The Music Legacy Tour, while becoming the first woman to win two times Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She also appears on Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé, performing a duet on her hit Love Hangover. This sealed their artistic lineage after Beyoncé played Diana Ross‘ role on 2006’s Dreamgirls movie.

It’s difficult to describe the immense career of Diana Ross with words. That’s why we love using numbers, to highlight ups and downs of artists, and how relevant they stand among all-time best sellers. Results from our in-depth study are presented below, format by format, record by record.

The Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC)

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 Diana Ross 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 explaining the concept. I recommend watching it before going on the view the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and go straight to the numbers!

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 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 detailed sales figures in order to apply this concept and define the act’s true popularity!

Diana Ross Album Sales

CSPC Diana Ross album sales breakdowns

Updated Studio Album Sales & Comments

Just like The Supremes, albums from Diana Ross were often quickly replaced by compilations, strongly reduced their recurrent sales in the long run. The market was more and more favorable to albums yet, and we can see that she has been able to break the million mark way more often than her former band, 13 times instead of 3.

Her first big one was Lady Sings the Blues, which topped US charts for two weeks. where it sold nearly 70% of its units. Her success overseas quickly increased after this soundtrack, with Touch Me in the Morning selling half of its copies in the US, and Diana & Marvin, a collaboration album with Marvin Gaye, moving 63% of its units overseas. The latter was extensively reissued on budget labels in Europe, most notably in the UK where it became a huge seller.

Albums which failed to produce hits sold about half a million each during the 70s and the 80s, while the ones with at least one significant song topped the million comfortably. Mahogany, the 1976 Diana Ross album, or Baby It’s Me are good examples.

We can notice that several pre-1978 albums, which were unable to get RIAA Gold or Platinum awards due to the Motown not being affiliated to the organization, did sell more than 500,000 or 1 million units in the US. Lady Sing the Blues is eligible for Platinum, while 6 more albums have sales worth of a Gold disc.

She raised the bar with 1980’s Diana, which sold almost 5 million pure copies. She kept routinely selling a million more often than not up to Eaten Alive. The collapse of her sales in the US, from platinum-eligible Swept Away to below 200,000 units sellers by Red Hot Rhythm & Blues days, severely impact her global total.

Diana Ross still cleared the million mark one last time with The Force Behind the Power, in good part thanks to its 585,000 UK sales. Naturally, numbers went down album after album in recent decades. The total of her 25 studio albums is a noteworthy 30.7 million.

Want to compare Diana Ross’ albums with others?

Diana Ross songs sales

Below, we list down results from the artist through physical sales, digital sales and streaming.

Please be aware that when the artist is regarded as the lead act, they are rewarded with 100% of these units. However, featured acts share a 50% piece of the total.

CSPC - Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept - Physical singles

Physical Singles

As a reminder, the weighting is a 10 to 3 ratio between albums and physical singles.

The early career of Diana Ross also suffers from the absence of RIAA certifications for Motown records. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough topped a million straight away in the US, same as Touch Me in the Morning and Love Hangover, while Theme from Mahogany came close. Globally, they sold from 1.65 million to almost 2 million a piece.

The diva did break over the 2 million mark, in great fashion. Upside Down, just like its parent album, claims almost 5 million sales, while Endless Love is at 4 million. While the latter leads in the US with 2.5 million sales, the former was super huge all over Europe, with over half a million units in both the UK and Germany and around 360,000 sales in both France and Italy.

Nile Rodgers‘ penned I’m Coming Out, 50s classic cover Why Do Fools Fall In Love, Michael Jackson‘s written Muscles, Julio Iglesias‘ duet All of You, and Bee GeesChain Reaction also cleared the million milestone. This brings her tally of million selling singles to 28, after having scored 17 with the Supremes.

A number sums up very well how outstanding Diana Ross hit making has been through her two careers: over 48 million US physical singles sales. That’s more than the Beatles. From her 1960 debut to date, that’s also more than Elvis Presley. In fact, that’s more than anyone else. We need to add the Beatles to their solo singles to top the Supremes & Diana Ross total. By the way, this 48 million sales do not include the 5 million plus units sold by the Supremes after the departure of her main lead singer.

Overall, her solo singles add for 39 million physical singles in the World. This makes her the 4th highest selling solo female singer in this format, only topped by Madonna (64 million), Barbra Streisand (50 million) and Celine Dion (40 million).

CSPC - Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept - Download music iTunes Amazon Google Melon

Digital Songs

As a reminder, the weighting is calculated using a 10 to 1.5 ratio between albums and digital singles.

Both Endless Love and I’m Coming Out sold about a million digital sales through downloads and ringtones. While the former was expected due to its original success, the latter much less. As previously mentioned, I’m Coming Out instantly became an anthem for the LGBT community. It got an extra push in 1997 when it was sampled on Notorious B.I.G. hip hop classic Mo Money Mo Problems. The song is also the opener of her shows ever since it was first released.

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough is close, but already listed as part of the Supremes total since their release came out first. Upside Down comes next at 700,000 units, a decent total but maybe not as huge as one could expect considering its initial success. Former chart toppers are around half a million, including Love Hangover, Mahogany, and Touch Me in the Morning.

Missing You, a Lionel Richie-written tribute to Marvin Gaye following his tragic passing, also remains a favorite, getting pushed, somewhat sadly, at every bad news. Many more songs register sales in the 150,000-350,000 range. Among disappointments, Why Do Fools Fall in Love is the most obvious case, with a mere 75,000 units.

Her solo catalog amasses a total of 10 million downloads and ringtones sales.

CSPC - Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept - Streaming platforms numbers

Streaming

Streaming is made up of both audio and video streams. Our CSPC methodology includes both formats to better reflect the real popularity of each track.

The main source of data for each avenue is Spotify and YouTube, respectively. 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.

Audio Streams
– South Korea: Genie streams * 2.20 (consistent with Gaon streaming numbers)
– Japan: AWA streams * 100 / 4 (AWA has 4% of the Japanese streaming market)
– Arabic world: Anghami streams
– Sub-Saharan Africa: Boomplay + Audiomack streams
– Elsewhere: Spotify streams * Spotify market shares based on artists’ market distribution

Video Streams
– China* : QQ video streams * 50 if the song is available for audio stream, QQ video streams * 5 elseway (scale built based on known figures for several major artists)
– Elsewhere : Youtube views increased by 10% to account for various local platforms

*since Chinese streaming platforms are mostly video streaming platforms, their streams are weighted on par with YouTube streams.

Audio Stream value – 1,500 plays equal 1 album unit
Video Stream value – 6,750 views equal 1 album unit

Equivalent Albums Sales (EAS) = ( Spotify * ArtistRatio + Genie * 2.20 + AWA * 100 / 4 + Anghami + Boomplay + Audiomack ) / 1500 + ( QQ views* 50(or 5) + YouTube * 1.1 ) / 6750

Top Hits

CSPC Diana Ross most streamed songs top results

Although the gap isn’t too big either, Endless Love still leads over I’m Coming Out and Upside Down on every metric, being a natural leader with over 400,000 equivalent album sales from streams.

The remaining two complete her top 3, with over 300,000 and over 200,000 units, respectively. These songs are solid performers, on their way to be each over 200 million streams on Spotify.

The gap is large compared to the next song, When You Tell Me that You Love Me, which stands at 80,000 units. That is still a great news for the 90s song, which surprisinly outperforms her top 70s hits. A UK #2 hit in 1991, the song has been covered a lot, including by Westlife which made it a #2 hit again in the UK in 2005. It was a mere 170 copies away from topping the ranking on Christmas week.

After Chain Reaction at 67,000 copies, many former hits fill the list with numbers from 20,000 to 50,000, which are mostly disappointing. Interestingly, two songs from her 2021 album Thank You manage to rank inside her personal top 20.

The combined total of their discography stands at 1.7 million equivalent album sales from streams.

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 fetches updated Spotify streams as you request them, use it to watch these results grow day after day!

Want to compare Diana Ross’ songs with other top hits?

Diana Ross 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 generate sales over 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 with each of its tracks instead. Inevitably, this downgrades catalog sales of the original LP when such compilations are issued.

Thus, to accurately 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

CSPC Diana Ross One Woman The Ultimate Collection sales dispatch

How do you understand this table? For example, if we check the One Woman – The Ultimate Collection line, these figures mean it sold 3,680,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included in this package add for 1,993,113 equivalent album sales from streams across all formats.

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 in the overall package.

Therefore, the streaming figures convey that songs from Diana equate to 11% of One Woman – The Ultimate Collection‘ tracklist attractiveness. Meaning, it generated 417,000 of its 3,680,000 album sales and so on for the other records.

Compilations sales figures listing

Diana Ross sold plenty of compilations during her career, including 3.7 million for One Woman, 3 million for All The Great Hits and 1.9 million for 1976’s Greatest Hits.

As we can see on previous table yet, many of these packages merge together hits from the Supremes with solo songs. It means that the band is responsible for a significant amount off these sales, as we saw on their article. This effect is accentuated by the absence of I’m Coming Out from some of the top compilations.

Many of these were especially strong in the UK, where she sold an immense 9.6 million albums, including over 6 million from compilations and live albums. This doesn’t account for the 5.5 million sales from her former band.

More highlights include special releases from the 90s, like 1.4 million seller Christmas in Vienna, and the 800,000 seller Making Spirits Bright. The latter is virtually unknown, and never charted. That was due to the former Billboard rule which excluded exclusive albums from their rankings. Making Spirits Bright was a huge release for Hallmark in 1994.

CSPC Diana Ross compilation sales distribution

Here is the most underestimated indicator of an album’s success – the amount of compilation sales across all versions that were 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.

As expected, the two biggest forces from her solo catalog her Why Do Fools Fall in Love at 4.8 million and Diana at 3.8 million. Over 1.4 million are 3 albums almost tied, Touch Me in the Morning, Mahogany, and The Force Behind the Power. Combined, these records generate 17.5 million sales.

Bonus: Top selling compilations’ breakdowns

CSPC Diana Ross top selling compilations

Total Album (all types) Sales per Country

CSPC Diana Ross total album sales by market

Please note country-specific numbers may miss sales of a few minor releases, although totals are complete.

Diana Ross Career CSPC Results

CSPC Diana Ross albums and songs sales

So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each Diana Ross 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 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


After her stacked run as part of the Supremes, Diana Ross managed to embark into an immense career on her own, issuing 26 studio albums over a 51 years span.

Diana, her 1980 LP, leads, with a total of 11.6 million equivalent album sales. This album was the first super selling female album of the 80s, months before Barbra Streisand‘s Guilty, kicking a decade that was going to see female singers arrive in full force. Thanks to the title track and Endless Love, Why Do Fools Fall In Love is a close runner up at 9.7 million.

While no album comes close to these numbers, there are many solid sellers. At over 3 million stand 5 albums, Touch Me in the Morning, Diana & Marvin, Mahogany, 1976’s Diana Ross and The Force Behind the Power. The latter implies that the singer managed multi-million sellers in 4 consecutive decades. Swept Away and Lady Sings the Blues are also close to 3 million.

Out of her first 18 studio albums, 16 crossed the million mark. Ironically, the only two which missed it are her two albums titled Ross, from 1978 and 1983. She last topped a million with A Very Special Season in 1994.

As a solo artist, Diana Ross registers 63 million equivalent album sales. She joins legends like Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Phil Collins and Michael Jackson among acts who fronted 2 acts with over 60 million sales. As a vocalist, her grand total stands at 134 million.

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.

Discography results

Thanks to our new ASR (Artist Success Rating) concept, we know that sales represent 14.80 million times the purchase of entire discography. Coupled with total sales, it translates into an ASR score of 166.

The ranking of all artists studied so far is available too at this link.

Records & Achievements

NB: EAS means Equivalent Album Sales.


Dynamic Spotify Key Performance Indicators

Please note that numbers below are retrieved automatically, so they will evolve day by day unlike previously listed data which is valid as of the publication date of the article.

Diana Ross

Diana

Current followers count: 1,833,578
>> Daily breakdown

Diana Ross is #1831 among the most followed artists of all-time
>> Visit our Top 5,000 most followed artists ranking

Current streams count: 1,532,443,742
1,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 04/15/22
>> Daily breakdown

Diana Ross is #1472 among the most streamed artists of all-time
Popularity Rating: /100

>> Visit our Top 1,000 most streamed artists ranking
>> Visit our Top 20 highest rated artists ranking

Current monthly listeners: 0 (Trend: 0)
Global chart position: N/A
The artist top 50 cities come from 0 distinct countries
>> Global impact breakdown

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

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, YouTube, Discogs, Billboard.

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To put Diana Ross‘ figures into perspective, click to reach career breakdowns of more R&B icons:

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