France Album Sales: Mylène Farmer
Almost exactly 30 years ago way back in November 1986, a new artist was enjoying her first big hit by reaching the Top 10 Singles Chart. What seems to be a random happening was in reality the signature of a singer that would end up being one of France biggest success stories of all-time.
By then, Canadian-born Mylène Farmer was 25 and struggling to reach fame with several acting and singing attempts. One song later, she was the most iconic music act of the country. The huge hype she was able to create around her remained insanely hot for over 15 years.
As atypical as mythical, the superstar legends also surrounded her charts and sales achievements all along her career. Nowadays, in popular press it is hard to identify valid statements on this subject. Well, at least until now!
During the next pages we will be studying carefully all information with detailed results of her entire discography. Please be aware all Spotify figures refer to worldwide streaming as they only aim to display which albums still have strong catalog hits as of now. Let’s go!
What a very consistent result. Especially given the fact that she takes a long time to release each studio albums. I was just wondering about her sales in Canada. Was she huge there?
Surprisingly no, in spite of being Canadian-born she never did well there. Her albums don’t chart even on their debut week, and while pre-Soundscan Quebec sales were ignored from Canadian charts, they were accounted for by CRIA and she never made it to Gold on this country while the likes Bruel and Cabrel got 2xPlat albums!
Oh wow. Very surprising. I thought she would’ve been massive in at least Quebec.
It’s because contrarily to Cabrel and Bruel, Farmer never really tried to promote herself in Quebec
OMG big fan of Mylene here.. I’ve always wondered how she marketed herself and stayed relevant all these years especially 2006 onward as not much controversy has been issued from her-probably her loyal fans. But I was wondering if you could do an analysis on her former protege Alizee. Her debut single/ album was monster and her sophomore album did pretty fine but when she left the Farmer/ boutonnat machine- it was pretty much over.
scratch that with Alizee-actually please do an analysis of Laurent Boutonnat- it seems as every French artist he in a sense creates turned to gold – Mylene, Nathalie Cardone, Alizee…
Okay, thank you for all these explanations.
Mylene Farmer has sold 2.5-3 million albums for export? I would have thought 1.5-2 million.
Hello Djouahra! I mentioned from 2 to 3 million, which isn’t exactly the same thing 😀 She sold routinely 8-10% of her French sales in Belgium, some 3-5% is Switzerland and about the same in Germany / Netherlands / Scandinavia. Using the average for each area, this brings 17% of 12 million additional sales, which equals to slightly more than 2 million. Then, one need to consider her sales in Russia – some recent albums sold as much as 10% of their French sales there – and the few units she sold in the likes Canada or Japan. All in… Read more »
it is safe to say that she is the 2nd best selling female in france after celine dion right?
btw off the top of your head how many male singers sold more than celine in france? i assume johnny hallyday, jean jacques goldman for sure, anyone else?
I assume you refer to album sales. Hallyday is safely ahead, Michel Sardou too. Then both Goldman and Cabrel are close enough to require additional study in order to rank them. If you include singles, the later has no chance though.
Indeed, among female singers, Celine and Mylène are at 1/2 in terms of album sales!
yes i was referring to albums and i thought of cabrel and sardou but didn’t think they would be close or in sardou’s case way ahead. i need to look at sardou’s discography closer. i can’t wait for their sales in france posts.
man your work is fantastic, for anyone who loves numbers and putting numbers in perspective, this is heaven!!
i wonder where artists like piaf, mathieu and dalida figure there.
These articles are great. Thank you so much. Concerning the quantity of albums sold worldwide, I heard like 30 mio. Correct, possible ?
Hello Florence! Thanks for your nice words! There is many legends about Mylène Farmer album sales in various countries like Japan but most of them are false. For example, in that specific country where she is supposed to be a superstar as per various French Medias, she never entered the Top 300 Album Chart. She did break into Russian market, but ironically that’s a small one, very few legal copies are sold there. Of course, there is French-speaking countries outsold France where she did sell some records. Innamoramento got certified for 200,000 units sold abroad in late 2001, when it… Read more »
Amazing work ! Thank you very much !
Just curious : how much time do you spend on an article like this one ?
It took about 8-10 hours, knowing it was relatively ‘fast’ as I knew/had already a lot of data about her stored!
Hi dear MJD !!!
Congratulations again for the website and also for the analysis carried for France Album Sales of Mylène Farmer.
Then I would like to know if this week you analyze some singer or group, maybe you will analyze the CSPC of the Rolling Stones !!!
I won’t kill the fun by saying who it concerns, but yes a CSPC analysis is ongoing! Not sure it will be of most interest for you as it is about a recent solo act 😉
The Rolling Stones CSPC article will come out at the same time as their new album!
Of course dear MJD, I believe will be analized one of Drake, Sia, Alicia Keys and Robbie Williams. Then I’m interested in all the artists that you analyze, it is true, I have my preferences for the groups and for the music of the 60 ‘, 70’, 80 ‘ but I am a lover of records sold for each artist as their own you !!!