France Album Sales: Shakira

Laundry Service (2001) Era

Obviously, Laundry Service isn’t the first album Shakira released, but it was the first to be officially issued in France in March 2002, some months after its initial American continent release. At that point her discography included Magia (1991), Peligro (1993), Pies Descalzos (1995), Dónde Están los Ladrones? (1998) Spanish studio albums plus The Remixes (1997) and live set MTV Unplugged (2000). They did sell some copies in later years thanks to the popularity gained by Shakira.

This popularity came from Laundry Service album. The lead single Whenever, Wherever was an instant smash by debuting at #1, an outstanding success for a debuting act that wasn’t coming from a popular TV show contest. The 4 weeks #1 and 19 weeks Top 10 single served the album quite well as Laundry Service debuted at #9, peaked at #5 the following week and stayed 10 weeks inside the Top 10. By its week 25, the album still hadn’t left the Top 30 despite no subsequent single was released.

As for many artists, it could have all ended there, instead, it was just the beginning. In September, over five months after the lead single, follow up Underneath Your Clothes was sent to both radio FM stations and retailers. It was a big hit both sides, on airplay front as well as on Singles chart where it peaked at #2. It had the bad luck of debuting the same week as gigantic 11-weeks #1 The Ketchup Song (Aserejé) by Las Ketchup. The album kept selling very decently, climbing up to #11 in September and continued its trip inside the Top 30 for several more months.

In December, Objection (Tango) was released, peaking at #10 in January. The lower peak was mostly due to the album having already sold a very solid 450,000 units. In fact, it was the 16th top selling album of 2002. If that doesn’t look *that* impressive, one need to consider monster TV contest Star Academy debuting in 2001 fall. Between season 1 albums still going strong in early 2002 plus 2002 fall season 2 releases as well as first season winner Jenifer debut album, nothing less than four of those records were part of 2002 Top 10 best selling albums. Not only that, a lot of huge local stars got heavy promotion thanks to the show explaining why there was a massive 13 local albums among the Top 15 of the year. Celine Dion album A New Day Has Come and Eminem smash The Eminem Show were the only foreign releases topping Laundry Service for the year.

The album wasn’t over yet as Objection (Tango) success shot it to #5 in January 2003. By March and her Bercy shows the album had shipped already 700,000 units. It took until May and its 63rd week to see Laundry Service drop out of the Top 30.

The album still remained Top 100 until September but from that month of May the focus was put on her catalog. The 1998 song Ojos Asi, a big hit in Latin world when released as part of Dónde Están los Ladrones? album, was released in May 2003. A #15 hit, it promoted Grandes Exitos, a compilation of her Spanish songs up to that point. This record debuted and peaked at #2 in the Compilation Chart, selling an estimated 70,000 units for the year. From her catalog, MTV Unplugged was the strongest with an estimated 15,000 copies sold in 2002-2003, slightly more than Dónde Están los Ladrones? and ahead of Pies Descalzos.

Shakira major seller for the year was still obviously Laundry Service. The record was the 30th album of the year bringing its cumulative tally to an impressive 710,000 copies.

Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
  1. Whenever, Wherever – 50,998,000
  2. Underneath Your Clothes – 26,240,000
  3. Objection (Tango) – 11,511,000

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