Mariah Carey albums and songs sales

Ever since rising to fame way back in 1990, Mariah Carey is perhaps the prime personification of the divas of whom the pop culture is so fond. While navigating from vocal adult contemporary to pop to R&B, the common feature of her career has been her incredible success.

Responsible for one of the craziest charts achievement of all-time, scoring back-to-back song of the decade in the US, Mariah Carey has plenty more highlights on her résumé. We review her career in numbers.

CSPC Mariah Carey albums and songs sales

Looking at the big picture: Mariah Carey

From childhood difficulties to instant success

Born on March 27, 1969 in Huntington, New York, Mariah Carey was the daughter of an opera singer, before becoming herself a pop star by the age of 21. Presented this way, it looks like things were easy for her.

In truth, her background was complicated right from the start. Her father was of both African-American and Venezuelan descent, and her mother was disavowed by her own family for marrying a black man. The Careys faced heavy bullying due to the mixed racial family. After the divorce of her parents, Mariah Carey grew up without her father.

In the time with her mother, and thanks to her, she learned singing from a very young age, and showed interest for arts. After graduating, she moved into a shared apartement in New York City to give herself a chance to make a career as a singer. At the time, she was already writing lyrics and taping demos while being a backup singer to pay her dues.

In late 1988, she got the chance to hand a demo to Columbia Records’ head, Tommy Mottola. The executive litterally fell in love with her and her voice instantly. After signing her to the label, she started to record her eponymous debut while the two were dating, en route for their 1993 marriage.

Her debut single Vision of Love came out on May 15, 1990. The song climbed all the way to the top in the US, cracking the Hot 100 for 4 weeks. That was one hell of a start as at the time no song spent longer on top since Madonna‘s Like a Virgin in the fall of 1984.

The album Mariah Carey was released on June 12, 1990, and smashed immediately too. It reached #3 on the back of its debut hit, and re-peaked there as sophomore hit Love Takes Time had gone to #1 too. Mariah Carey ended reaching the top on its 36th week while Someday was becoming its 3rd chart topper. The next single, I Don’t Wanna Cry, replicated this feat. One year to the day after her debut, she was up to 4 #1 singles and 11 weeks at the top of the album ladder.

This stunning debut was followed up by Emotions in September 1991. The lead single, titled as per the album, had already topped the Hot 100. Mariah Carey became the first artist ever, and remains the last, to land her first 5 singles at the top. While it sold several millions and scored 3 top 5 hits, the album peaked at 4 and failed to do as well as her debut.

In 1992, various female singers had recently scored a big debut before collapsing, from Tiffany to Paula Abdul to Debbie Gibson, which raised concerns about the future of her career. Mariah Carey was also nowhere near as big outside of North America. In the UK for example, Vision of Love was still her only top 10 single, with a #9 peak.

Another shadow surrounding the singer was gaining ground. After two full eras, she had yet to go on tour. Some started to wonder how legit her recordings and vocals were. The public was still in a suspicious state of mind following the Milli Vanilli scandal, and the over use of lip sync due to the growing importance of dancing with artists like aforementioned Paula Abdul or New Kids on the Block.

Mariah Carey addressed these doubts in March 1992 by performing an MTV Unplugged show. The growing franchise saw her sing 7 songs, including her take on the Jackson 5‘s classic I’ll Be There. This cover became her 6th US #1 hit, leading to the release of MTV Unplugged EP. This concert cleared another concern, as the song stormed UK charts at #2, and became her biggest hit in Europe. The live set also got solid sales in the old continent, as well as in Oceania and Asia.

A music box and a global domination

While MTV Unplugged was a step in the right direction, the third effort Music Box would be pivotal for Mariah Carey. One album wonder or confirmed hit maker?

This era would not only show that the diva was here to stay, but that she was one of the biggest stars on Earth. Its first two singles Dreamlover and Hero combined for 12 weeks at #1 in the US. The 3rd extract, a cover of Badfinger‘s Without You that was a big hit for Harry Nilsson in 1971, went to #1 in the UK – her first -, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, etc.

The album destroyed charts all around the world, coming close to become the all-time top selling foreign albums in Japan, while confirming the singer’s strength at home, recording her first Diamond album. This put her on par with Whitney Houston as queens of power ballads. Celine Dion was soon going to join them.

While it was comfortable to enjoy the adult contemporary audience with perfectly crafted pop tunes, Mariah Carey was willing to take more risks. Perhaps because as a songwriter she was leaning towards a different genre herself. Her next album was going to be a holiday effort, while the follow up incorporated urban elements.

Merry Christmas was released in the fall of 1994. Usually, these records came from old glories, manufactured teen pop stars, or instrumental artists dedicated to this genre like Mannheim Steamroller. It had been more than 25 years since hyped popular music stars recorded this kind of material. Mariah Carey made it cool again. She did so in an incredible way, bringing a trio of new songs to the table, including the mastodont All I Want For Christmas Is You, now cemented as the biggest holiday song in the world year after year.

Some places used to completely ignore Christmas music, like France, where Merry Christmas failed to enter the top 50 while Music Box sold upwards a million and was still top 5 during the 1994 holiday season. But even in those markets, All I Want… is now a stone cold classic. Both the album and the single ended up as blockbusters.

Only a few months later, Daydream was out. It was Mariah Carey‘s first in the door of urban music. It started with the groovy Fantasy, an 8-weeks #1 smash. Then, she paired with R&B stars Boyz II Men on One Sweet Day. This became the longest running #1 of all-time in the US at 16 weeks. Always Be My Baby had enough steam still to make it to the top as well.

With this last song, the star was now up to 11 chart-toppers, piling them effortlessly. This tied her with both Madonna and Whitney Houston as the female solo artist with the most number-one singles. Just like Music Box, Daydream went on to eclipse 5 million global sales in no time, then 10 million, 15 million, and even 20 million.

The long catharsis of Mimi

The success of Daydream convinced the superstar to continue her transition into a more urban music. Tommy Mottola, her husband and chairman of Sony Music, parent of the Columbia label, didn’t like the idea as much. His excessive controlling nature led to tensions. The couple soon broke up.

Over the next years, Mariah Carey‘s image became increasingly sexier, and her sound more and more R&B. She abandoned progressively the power vocals, introducing softer singing.

The first release from the seeking for freedom Mariah was 1997’s Butterfly. It wasn’t as big as the previous two, but both Honey and My All provided her with a couple more chart-toppers. The compilation Ones milked her extraordinary decade during the 1998 Christmas season, filling the bridge to 1999’s Rainbow.

In a similar way to Butterfly, it brought the star two new chart-toppers, but again saw a decreasing trend in sales. Heavy tensions with Sony executives became public, and her image quickly deteriorated. She still finished the decade with an unbelievable run of 9 albums with 3 million US sales or more.

The specificy of Rainbow was that it concluded her contract with Sony. Free to sign wherever she wanted, she joined Virgin on a monster $80 million contract for 5 albums.

While Mariah Carey thought she could handle her career as she wanted at last, struggles with Sony continued. Tommy Mottola purposedly placed a sample of the song sampled by Carey‘s upcoming lead single on Jennifer LopezI’m Real. She had to completely rework the track Glitter‘s Loverboy. It was just one episode of the harrassment she was describing on her website.

Due to a nervous breakdown, the artist was hospitalized in 2001, her relationship with Mexican legend Luis Miguel came to an end, and the release of Glitter was delayed. While celebrities’ mental health is taken very seriously in 2024, in 2001, it was still taboo to complain about anything when you were rich and popular. The breakdown provoked a strong backlash against her when it was made public.

Making things worse, Glitter‘s new release date was September 11, 2001. Obviously, a disco tribute from a pop star had little interest for the media and the public once the attacks happened. Glitter was a sales disaster, and so was the movie. The rock bottom was hit with the termination of her contract by Virgin just months after it even started.

Mariah Carey had the good idea to quickly move on, releasing Charmbracelet for Island Records in 2002, creating her own division, the label MonarC. While the album wasn’t a smash, at least it stopped the bleeding, selling a bit better than Glitter. Her duet with Busta Rhymes, I Know What You Want, unexpectedly became her biggest organic hit in years. It had been added as a bonus to Charmbracelet‘s deluxe reissue. Another positive note was the 69-dates Charmbracelet World Tour, her largest by far, which saw her fill stadiums in Europe and Asia. Until that, she had performed a mere 44 concerts in her career. The long and winding road was almost over.

The Emancipation of Mimi

While most people in the industry and in the public though the heydays of the diva were over, she recorded one of the greatest comebacks of all-time. The Emancipation of Mimi came out in 2005, smashing right from the start. Several of its songs became hits, with We Belong Together reminding everyone of her unparalleled skills. At #1 of the Hot 100 for 14 weeks, it was the longest run at the top of the 00s. Just like One Sweet Day, it was named song of the decade by Billboard due to its outstanding performance.

Mimi was the best-selling album of 2005 in the US, and runner up to Coldplay‘s X&Y in the world. The album was a renaissance for the artist, who at last revealed her mature self, one decade after her first attempts for artistic liberty.

The following years would saw her multiply different projects. She appeared on various movies, with real acting roles, she directed a movie, joined the judges on American Idol, published several docu-series, wrote her super successful memoir The meaning of Mariah Carey, a children’s picture book, MasterClass courses, etc.

This busy schedule reflects only side projects, as Mariah Carey continued to issue plenty of music. E=MC² (2008), Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (2009), Merry Christmas II You (2010), Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse (2014), and Caution (2018) densified her discography.

While in general their success followed a downwards trend, several songs from these late albums ended up as hits, either immediate or thanks to late virality on social media. These include Touch My Body, Bye Bye, It’s a Wrap, Obsessed, or #Beautiful. The former made it to the top, her 18th Hot 100 #1, tying Elvis Presley‘s record for the most number one singles ever by a solo artist in the US. Technically though, she was the lone leader as only 7 of the King’s #1 hits came into the Hot 100 era (since 1958).

If this record means a lot, it doesn’t mean much in terms of sales. We will review her numbers in full, with many more fascinating facts to highlight still.

ChartMasters’ method: the CSPC

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC) in order to relevantly gauge the act’s results. It will not only bring you sales information for all albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming. In fact, it will really determine the act’s popularity.

If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, below is a nice and short video of explaining the concept. I recommend watching it before reading on and to the sales figures. You’ll get the idea in just two minutes.

And if you want to know the full method as well as formulas, you can read the full introduction article.

Now let’s get into the artist’s detailed sales figures!

Mariah Carey album sales

CSPC Mariah Carey album sales breakdowns

Updated studio album sales & comments

Mariah Carey instantly set very high standards for the singer. Selling 8 million units during its promotional campaign, strong catalog sales up to the 1998 release of Ones saw it climb all the way to 14 million.

For the entire decade, no studio album would sell less than 7.5 million despite the heavy pace of releases. Music Box did the best, now approaching 27 million. It has massive sales everywhere: certified Diamond by the RIAA in the US, it shifted 8 million units in Europe and 5 million in Asia.

Merry Christmas keeps climbing well, even if people moved to streaming. It’s now up to 14 million sales, on par with her debut. It sold a monumental 2.8 million units in Japan, outdoing both Music Box and Daydream. We will see in the compilation section that Ones did even better there with 3.8 million sales, the all-time record for a foreigner.

Back to studio albums, Daydream moved 20 million pure copies. It sold nearly as much as Music Box in North America and in Asia. The lower total worldwide is mostly due to lower sales in Europe, where Without You was really a one of a kind success.

From Butterfly onwards, almost all albums except The Emancipation of Mimi have been seen more or less as disappointments. It’s the issue with insanely high standards. In absolute numbers, most of these albums did wonders.

Butterfly itself is a 10-million seller. Relatively speaking, it did even better than its predecessors in Asia, in good part thanks to the huge success of My All there. Rainbow is also very solid at 7.5 million.

Of course, Glitter disappointed. In most countries, it failed to sell its initial shipments. On top of the difficult context for Mariah Carey detailed in the introduction, early 2000s were also raught for big 80s/90s stars as the explosion of artists like Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys or Eminem led many media to shift spotlights to the new generation a bit too fast. At least, Glitter hasn’t break her streak of multi-million sellers.

Charmbracelet moved 3 million copies, showing that even in bad moments she was still able to shift solid numbers. Then came The Emancipation of Mimi. With global sales, its flashy comeback is less obvious. This is mostly due to the collapse of many Asian markets in early 00s, and a success in continental Europe that wasn’t as big as in the US. Last but not least, downloads were starting to eat the album market very fast. We will see in the dedicated section how this album compares to its predecessors once singles formats are added.

Then, almost naturally, sales of subsequent albums went down and down. The 2 million sales of E=MC² still grant the artist with 18 years of uninterrupted multi-million sellers. Once in her 3rd decade, and with downloads and streaming replacing album sales, the much lower numbers in recent years are nothing but normal.

With her 15 studio albums to date, Mariah Carey has sold 122 million copies.

Want to compare the act’s albums with others?

Mariah Carey songs sales

Below, we list down results from the artist through physical sales, digital sales and streaming.

Please be aware that when the artist is regarded as the lead act, they are rewarded with 100% of these units. However, featured acts share a 50% piece of the total.

Physical singles

Her unreal string of #1 hits in the US may let us think she sold tons and tons of physical singles. In reality, she was big in markets not so favorable for this format. Relatively speaking, singles were much weaker in the US during the 90s than in Europe, and except in Japan, the format was almost non-existent in Asia.

The 16 weeks #1 One Sweet Day is the top seller at 3.5 million, with 70% of this tally coming from the US. Without You comes next, although with very different patterns as this one sold 70% of its units in Europe.

Good sellers everywhere, Fantasy, My All, Heartbreaker are all 2 million sellers, while Hero, Honey and Always Be My Baby aren’t too far away from this mark. These are really impressive numbers, as selling almost 2 million with the final single of a 20 million seller is something rare, since the pool of consumers is strongly reduced.

All I Want For Christmas Is You is also at 1.8 million. Its specificity is that almost all its sales come from Japan and the UK. It’s one of the only 3 foreign songs to ever sell a million in the former country.

Luther Vandross and Whitney Houston duets, respectively Endless Love and When You Believe, are both million sellers as well, along with Vision of Love, Dreamlover, I Still Believe, and Thank God I Found You. I’ll Be There is just below this level. More collaborations add to her single sales, like the cover of Phil Collins‘ classic Against All Odds with Westlife, or her feature on Babyface‘s Every Time I Close My Eyes.

Career-wise, Mariah Carey sold over 40 million physical singles. No less than 8 million of these come from Daydream singles, and 7 million from Music Box.

Digital songs

What can we say about All I Want For Christmas Is You? While we already knew it was a big christmas tune in the 90s, downloads revealed how truly big this song really was.

Climbing high on charts everywhere every year, and selling bucketloads of both downloads and ringtones, the track is now past 17 million digital sales. Amazingly, it cleared the 2.5 million mark in 4 areas, US downloads (by far), US ringtones, South Korean downloads and Japanese digital sales overall. These numbers account for all its versions, including the one with Justin Bieber.

Among her legacy discography – which refers to pre-2005 songs as far as downloads are concerned – Hero and Always Be My Baby come as shockers. Both top 3 million sales, besting songs which were bigger back in the day like Without You, Fantasy and One Sweet Day. Each of these songs, at 1.7-1.9 million apiece, are strong sellers on their own. My All is also a million seller, while Emotions, Christmas, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Heartbreaker are all close to this milestone.

It’s interesting to point out that in the mid-00s, her 90s studio albums were selling almost nothing. These digital numbers prove that her catalog was indeed way more valuable than one could have thought. It’s just that her sales had moved into compilation sales and cherry picking of digital tracks.

Of course, Mariah Carey also released fresh material during the digital period. From Mimi, We Belong Together is her 2nd biggest track overall at 5.7 million. It doesn’t look like that much, but iTunes was barely getting started. Some 353 million tracks were sold in the US in 2005, this compares to 1.34 billion in 2012. It was ever more dramatic elsewhere, with sales at 56 million in 2005 and 549 million in 2012 in the UK, Australia, Canada, France and Germany combined.

Maybe surprisingly, We Belong Together was also much stronger at supporting the album than selling by itself. Despite its 14 weeks run at the top of the Hot 100, it never topped the Hot Digital Songs Sales chart. Carey did top this chart during the two final weeks of 2005, but instead with All I Want For Christmas Is You and Don’t Forget About Us.

The latter is one of the 3 additional million sellers from this era, along with It’s Like That and Shake if Off. These 4 songs sold more than 75% of their digital units in the US, thanks to both the very early stage of remaining markets and their heavy ringtones locally.

Touch My Body was the big hit from E=MC². It broke the all-time record of first week download sales in the US when scoring 286,000 units. Incredible, especially considering how downloads were favored by a younger demographic than the artist audience. The hype slowed down, but the song still claims 4.5 million digital sales overall, include 1.73 million US downloads, 1.15 million US ringtones, and near 400,000 total units in Japan. Bye Bye also cracked the million worldwide.

The era Memoirs replicated a similar success, this time with Obsessed, at 3.5 million, and I Want to Know What Love Is, at over a million. Angels Cry looks like an anomaly at almost a million as well, more than half of its sales come from South Korea, where both Mariah Carey and featured singer Ne-Yo are super big.

Oh Santa! has been presented as a potential new All I Want…, but obviously, this kind of success is near impossible to replicate. It’s far from a Christmas classic so far, with less than 500,000 units. Her last good seller to date is #Beautiful at more than 2 million.

In total, Mariah Carey scores 81 million digital sales, including 45 million from the US (29 million downloads, 16 million ringtones), 12.7 million from South Korea, 4.5 million from Japan, 3.3 million in the UK, and over a million in countries like Canada, Australia, or Germany.

Streaming

Streaming is made up of both audio and video streams. Our CSPC methodology includes both formats to better reflect the real popularity of each track.

The main source of data for each avenue is Spotify and YouTube, respectively. To factor in the growing impact of multiple Asian countries where these platforms aren’t always the go-to site for music streaming, more sources have been added.

In order to account for their real popularity in each relevant country, the below sources have been used along with the mentioned ratios that reflect the market share of each area.

Audio Streams
– South Korea: Genie streams * 2.20 (consistent with Gaon streaming numbers)
– Japan: AWA streams * 100 / 4 (AWA has 4% of the Japanese streaming market)
– Arabic world: Anghami streams
– Sub-Saharan Africa: Boomplay + Audiomack streams
– Elsewhere: Spotify streams * Spotify market shares based on artists’ market distribution

Video Streams
– China* : QQ video streams * 50 if the song is available for audio stream, QQ video streams * 5 elseway (scale built based on known figures for several major artists)
– Elsewhere : Youtube views increased by 10% to account for various local platforms

*since Chinese streaming platforms are mostly video streaming platforms, their streams are weighted on par with YouTube streams.

Audio Stream value – 1,500 plays equal 1 album unit
Video Stream value – 6,750 views equal 1 album unit

Equivalent Albums Sales (EAS) = ( Spotify * ArtistRatio + Genie * 2.20 + AWA * 100 / 4 + Anghami + Boomplay + Audiomack ) / 1500 + ( QQ views* 50(or 5) + YouTube * 1.1 ) / 6750

Top hits

CSPC Mariah Carey top streaming hits

Inevitably, the leader on streams is no other than All I Want For Christmas Is You. The song breaks records for the most streams in a day every year at Christmas, streams which even granted a 19th #1 hit for the singer 25 years after its release, and 61 years after the first – and only to that time – holiday song to reach #1 (The Chipmunk Song, 1958).

Thanks to these annual reentries, the song is very likely to top the Song of the Decade list by Billboard for the 2020s. This would be the 3rd time in four decades that Mariah Carey claims this title, after One Sweet Day in the 90s and We Belong Together in the 00s.

The song is now nearing 2 billion streams on both Spotify and YouTube. Its equivalent album sales (EAS) stand at over 2.6 million. These are unbelievable numbers for any song, let alone for a 1994 release.

We Belong Together is runner up in this format as well, although this time it didn’t benefit from this market upon release. The song is over 800,000 EAS, with solid numbers in every platform.

Both Daydream songs Fantasy and Always Be My Baby are very close to each other, with over 500,000 EAS per song. Although All I Want For Christmas Is You make everything else look weak, these are very healthy numbers for 90s songs.

The amount of significant catalog tracks is impressive too. A couple of songs from Music Box are over 400,000 units too, as well as I Know What You Want and Obsessed. Without You is especially big in China and in YouTube, confirming its strong global appeal.

Another very positive point is the fact that songs from many distinct eras are among her strongest titles. While pure album sales make it look like she was mostly big in the 90s, with streams the story is very different. If we split her catalog in 5-years spans (1990-1994, 1995-1999, etc.), she has four consecutive periods with at least one song over 300 million streams on Spotify. She also owns a pair of 100+ million performers from the early 2010s, plus her 2022 remix of Big Energy by Latto. Older songs, like 2009’s It’s a Wrap, are viral now well into the 2020s.

About the latter, the whole Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel is stunning. Regarded as a flop upon release, the album now claims 4 (!) of her top 40 hits, same as E=MC². These albums have truly been reevaluated in the streaming era.

The only real miss is Caution. Her 2018 album has no song at all in this ranking.

Merry Christmas is the biggest album overall with 3.5 million sales, while her career total is well over 12 million.

Full catalog breakdown

If you are familiar with the artist’s catalog and want to check details of each and every song, you can access to all of them right here.

Keep yourself up to date

Our website provides you a fantastic tool which fetches updated Spotify streams as you request them, use it to watch these results grow day after day!

Mariah Carey compilations sales

It sounds fairly logical to add together weighted sales of one era – studio album, physical singles, downloads, streams – to get the full picture of an album’s popularity.

However, older releases generate sales over various live, music videos and compilation albums. And all those packaging-only records do not create value. They exploit the value originating from the parent studio album with each of its tracks instead. Inevitably, when such compilations are issued, they downgrade catalog sales of the original LP.

Thus, to accurately gauge the worth of these releases, we need to re-assign sales proportionally to its contribution of all the compilations which feature its songs. Here is how we do that.

Assigning compilation sales to original studio albums

CSPC Mariah Carey Ones sales distribution

How do you understand this table? For example, if we check the #1’s line, these figures mean it sold 16,525,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included in this package add for 2,972,918 equivalent album sales from streams across all formats.

The second part (on the right of the table) shows how many equivalent streams are coming from each original album, plus the share it represents in the overall package.

Therefore, the streaming figures convey that songs from Daydream equate to 45% of #1’s tracklist attractiveness. Meaning, it generated 7,360,000 of its 16,525,000 album sales and so on for the other records.

Raw compilations sales

Unsurprisingly, her earliest compilations are the strongest sellers.

Although it’s not on print anymore, #1’s is the clear leader with 16 million sales. This includes a monumental 3.8 millionfrom Japan, and near 6 million in Asia overall.

MTV Unplugged did wonders before that, moving close to 7 million units, while Greatest Hits is slowly closing in 5 million. This number is really good considering it came one just 3 years after #1’s, with no super big hit in-between.

Here is the most underestimated indicator of an album’s success: the amount of compilation sales across all versions that were generated. Due to the dependency of sales of the original studio albums on these releases, they are a key piece of the jigsaw.

To clarify that, we take the Raw compilation sales results and assign the numbers to the related original studio albums, as described in the first section Assigning compilation sales to original studio albums.

CSPC Mariah Carey compilation sales distribution

Daydream is the responsible for the most compilation sales at 10 million. The first 3 albums are close to each other, around 4 million each.

Mariah Carey and Emotions are both so high thanks to sales of MTV Unplugged, which effectively downgraded their catalog strength in the mid-90s.

Obviously, albums released after Ones are much lower on this ranking.

Bonus: Top selling compilations’ breakdowns

CSPC Mariah Carey top selling compilations breakdowns

Bonus: Total album (all types) sales per country

CSPC Mariah Carey album sales by market

Please note country-specific numbers may miss sales of a few minor releases, although totals are complete.

Mariah Carey: career results (CSPC)

So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!

CSPC Mariah Carey albums and songs sales

Albums results (CSPC)

In the following results table, all categories display figures in equivalent album sales. If different, pure sales are listed between parentheses.

'Av.' stands for Average, 'LD' for Last Day.

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/6750 for Video stream)

Artist career totals

See where the artist ranks among remaining singers


Pure sales of the 90s albums were already impressive. But combining all metrics provides an even more incredible view of Mariah Carey‘s success during this decade.

Daydream and Music Box are on a virtual tie, both closing in 36 million. While right now the former is increasing a bit more with streams, it only takes a viral track to see the latter accelerate as well. These two albums alone would make the songwriter a top act, but she has plenty more.

Merry Christmas is gaining about a million every season, now over 24 million. The debut album is also close to 20 million. As it wasn’t enough, both Butterfly and Emotions are around 15 million. That’s 149 million worth of sales released in 7 years only once we add stand-alone songs I’ll Be There and Endless Love!

Rainbow will soon extend the streak of 10-million sellers, while The Emancipation of Mimi is well past this mark. Once she hits 8 digits with 8 albums, she will become only the 7th artist to score this feat.

Charmbracelet is over 4 million, with E=MC² coming there too. Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel cracks 3 million, and Glitter is over 2 million.

Through the years, many, many of her albums have been regarded as so-so performers or even flops, including Emotions, and every album from Butterfly except Mimi. Final numbers tell a different story. No one can sell 30 million plus again and again. Her results are solid, with two decades of multi-million sellers.

With the exception of Glitter, all her albums are also great performers on streams, with 200,000 sales or more per album. Music Box, Merry Christmas, Daydream, and Mimi are all past a million with streaming, which suggest they will continue climbing at a fast pace.

Mariah Carey is now up to 193 million equivalent album sales, on her way to break the 200 million mark in the near future. Her total is made of 146 million albums, 7 million EPs, 3 million music videos, 40 million physical singles, 81 million downloads and ringtones, and 13 million equivalent album sales from streams.

Singles results (CSPC)

The list is compiled in album equivalent sales generated by each song. Therefore, these figures are not merged units of singles formats. Instead, the list includes weighted sales of the song’s physical single, download, ringtone and streaming as well as its share among sales of all albums on which it is featured.

Want to compare the act’s songs with other top hits?

Discography results (ASR)

Thanks to our new ASR (Artist Success Rating) concept, we know that sales represent 58.29 million times the purchase of entire discography. Coupled with total sales, it translates into an ASR score of 573.

The ranking of all artists studied so far is available too at this link.

Records & achievements

  • At 193,360,000 EAS, Mariah Carey is the most successful female artist to debut in the 90s.
  • At 24,179,000 EAS, Merry Christmas is the 2nd best-selling Christmas album of all-time.
  • At 35,523,000 EAS, Daydream is the 10th best-selling album from the 90s.
  • At 35,415,000 EAS, Music Box is the 11th best-selling album from the 90s.
  • At 19,527,000 EAS, Mariah Carey is the 4th best-selling album from 1990.
  • At 35,415,000 EAS, Music Box is the best-selling album from 1993.
  • At 24,179,000 EAS, Merry Christmas is the 2nd best-selling album from 1994.
  • At 35,523,000 EAS, Daydream is the 2nd best-selling album from 1995.
  • At 19, Mariah Carey has the most #1 US Hot 100 singles of all-time among solo artists.
  • Mariah Carey is the only artist to top the Hot 100 with each of her first 5 singles.
  • At 11 years (1990-2000), Mariah Carey has the longest streak of years with at least one #1 hit.
  • At 93 weeks, Mariah Carey has topped the most Hot 100 charts of all-time.
  • At 16 weeks, One Sweet Day remained the longest running #1 single of all-time in the US from 1996 to 2019.
  • At 14 weeks, We Belong Together was the longest running #1 single of the 00s in the US.
  • Mariah Carey is the only artist to top more than one main Billboard Decade end chart. She did it 3 times (Artist of the 90s, song of the 90s, song of the 00s).
  • At 75 million, Mariah Carey is the highest-certified female artist in the United States for albums.
  • Music Box is one of the rare million selling foreign album in South Korea.
  • At 18.5 million albums, Mariah Carey is the best-selling foreign solo artist of all-time in Japan.
  • At 3.8 million, #1’s is the best-selling foreign album ever in Japan.
  • #1’s is the only foreign album ever to sell a million in a week in Japan.
  • At 1.19 million, All I Want For Christmas For You is the 3rd best-selling foreign physical single of all-time in Japan.
  • At 17.1 million, All I Want For Christmas For You is the best-selling digital song from the 90s.
  • At 23,701,697 streams on 2023/12/24, All I Want For Christmas For You has the largest daily streams of all-time on Spotify.

Dynamic Spotify key performance indicators

Please note that numbers below are retrieved automatically. They will evolve day by day,
unlike previously listed data which is valid as of the publication date of the article.

Mariah Carey

Mariah

Current followers count: 10,033,173
10,000,000 followers have been reached on 06/07/24
>> Daily breakdown

Mariah Carey is #240 among the most followed artists of all-time
>> Visit our Top 5,000 most followed artists ranking

Current streams count: 8,839,643,551
8,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 12/13/23
7,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 06/13/23
6,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 05/30/23
7,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 05/13/23
6,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 10/28/22
5,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 12/05/21
4,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 12/18/20
>> Daily breakdown

Mariah Carey is #179 among the most streamed artists of all-time
Popularity Rating: /100

>> Visit our Top 1,000 most streamed artists ranking
>> Visit our Top 20 highest rated artists ranking

Current monthly listeners: 24,702,139 (Trend: 99,631)
Global chart position: #225
The artist top 50 cities come from 18 distinct countries
>> Global impact breakdown

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

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, YouTube, Discogs, Billboard.

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