France best selling albums ever: L’Album by Star Academy 1 (2001)
Released following the 2001 Christmas week to benefit as much as possible from the TV show final episode, L’Album (also titled Les Reprises) by Star Academy 1 sales broke all expectations. Despite a first week truncated to three days only, it was still enough for it to sell about 130,000 copies, reaching in such a short period #85 of the year.
Its first seven full weeks were all passed at 1 on charts with unreal sales for January period. In 2002, Universal did an early audit of its catalog on 19/02, by that point the album was already over 900,000 copies shipped on its way to the million. While such unusual sales with no competition may bring complexity on the album estimates, the fact it outsold A New Day Has Come by Celine Dion implies it did at least 850,000 that year alone.
Considering it wasn’t certified Diamond on 27/08 audit despite that both Star Academy 1 alumnis Jenifer and Jean-Pascal albums being awarded, while L’album was already rather low on charts, the album can’t have sold more than 900,000 during 2002. Setting sales halfway between both figures, at 875,000, put the album over the million mark thanks to the very few catalog sales it got.
Net shipment as of the end of 2015 is estimated at 1,030,000 copies.
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Sources: SNEP, IFOP.