France best selling albums ever: No Angel by Dido (1999)
No Angel by Dido is the perfect example that music is not enough in order to sell well. Released in June 1999, the album remained completely unnoticed until early 2001. It took Eminem to release his smash hit Stan featuring the Londoner singer to get her into the public spotlight.
Although the aforementioned Stan wasn’t present on No Angel, this album benefited greatly from her improved popularity by climbing 29-17-15-11-5-3 in its first six weeks during January/February 2001. Dido own songs, most notably the hit Here With Me kept the album rolling. It spent four weeks at 1 in April and retained a Top 10 placing every week until September. After slowing down a bit during Q4 massive competition, the album received a last push up to #3 in February 2002 thanks to awards ceremonies. When ultimately stopping to sell like hot cakes, in mid-2002, the album was already three years old.
By mid-July (Billboard release date is two weeks away from its writing), 586,000 copies had been shipped in France. By mid-October 2001, the album was on 774,000 copies. The album went Diamond on 25/06/2002 audit. It reached the milestone close to this date as it failed to be there by 09/04 audit and hasn’t sold much between both. Same trend on IFOP sales, estimated on 850,000 during 2001 and 220,000 during 2002.
With Life For Rent proving to be very successful too, No Angel sold well as a catalog item during 2003, some 45,000 copies, and 2004, adding 65,000 more units. At 15,000 sales per year in 2005-2007 results weren’t bad but they strongly decelerated since.
Net shipment as of the end of 2015 is estimated at 1,250,000 copies.
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Sources: SNEP, IFOP, Billboard.