France best selling albums ever:
Seul by Garou (2000)

When Seul album by Garou was released in November 2000, three of the Top 6 sellers of the year existed thanks to Notre-Dame De ParisLes Dix Commandements and Roméo Et Juliette musicals and her former partner Hélène Ségara Au Nom D’Une Femme album. All those albums sold well over a million, putting high pressure on Garou solo debut.

Weirdly enough, the album was released almost two month before lead single, itself titled Seul. It hasn’t prevented the album from opening at #3 despite strong competition and remain inside the Top 10 until the single started to skyrocket. The later debuted at #98 in Christmas week, was up to #65 one week later and #2 after a fortnight. This boom completed at #1 during an extensive 11-weeks run during almost all 2001 first quarter. The album offered Garou a #1-double in five different weeks.

The lead supported the album until August when it started dropping 13-24-31. New single Sous Le Vent, a duet with Canadian superstar Celine Dion, was then sent to radios, a few weeks before being #1 on its own. It pushed the album back up to #2.

All in all, the LP remained 57 of its 60 first weeks inside the Top 15 and never dropped under #34 during its first 81 weeks. That absolutely stellar trajectory enabled Seul to be the bestselling album of the year ahead of Jean-Jacques Goldman utterly hyped return Chansons Pour Les Pieds.

Those mind-blowing performances haven’t only help the album to be certified Platinum by the IFPI for 1 million European sales in 2001 but also 2xPlatinum for 2 million European sales in 2002.

Obviously, this includes sales from other countries. Seul was certified for 100,000 sales in Poland in 18/12/2002, sold 130,000 units in Belgium and 80,000 in Switzerland. This lets a minimum of 1,69 million copies shipped in France.

In the latter, it was on 800,000 by April 2001, 900,000 by May and 1 million by October. There have been no Columbia certifications between 15/05 and 30/10 yet, in fact the album most likely passed the million as early as in late June.

By late 2003, when follow up Reviens was released, the debut was over 2,5 million copies worldwide. This latter figure implies almost 1,9 million copies shipped in France deducing the 300,000 copies sold in Canada and remaining European sales we already saw. A decent catalog seller until 2007, the singer popularity fairly decreased in later years. Estimates up to date climb to 1,97 million.

Net shipment as of the end of 2015 is estimated at 1,970,000 copies.

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

Sources: SNEP, IFOP, IFPI, Billboard, RFI Musique, Le Parisien.

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