Nicki Minaj albums and songs sales
A female rapper, born in Trinidad and Tobago, unknown at 25, Nicki Minaj was against all odds up to 15 years ago. She worked her way hard to become one of the most popular artist on the planet.
Hits like Super Bass and Starships brought her to airwaves, that she never leaved ever since. Often described as the best selling female rapper, which doesn’t mean that much due to the lack of competition, we digged into sales figures of her entire catalog to establish her real popularity compared to her peers.
Looking at the big picture: Nicki Minaj
Born in Trinidad and Tobago on December 8, 1982, Nicki Minaj (real name Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty) moved to the Queens in New York, US, when she was 5. She studied music and arts in high school, tried acting unsuccessfully, and then focused on music from mid-2000s, uploading music on MySpace early on.
Underground, she started making herself a name from 2007, signing with Dirty Money Entertainment. She took her chance, getting more and more noticed with the release of mixtapes Playtime Is Over (2007), Sucka Free (2008), and Beam Me Up Scotty (2009). If she looked like a wannabe Lil Kim on surface, these records showed bribes of the bigger than life persona, rich rapping styles and strong flow that would make her a superstar.
Lil Wayne discovered her, which accelerated her career strongly. In 2009/10, she collaborated in so many hits (BedRock, 5 Star Bitch, Knockout, Up Out My Face, etc.) that the buzz surrounding her own debut started to grow. After a false start with Massive Attack, her own Your Love was a #14 hit. The song topped the Rap chart, which gave her a real credit from the very beginning in the hip hop music scene.
She stole the show on Kanye West‘s Monster, despite the presence of verses from Jay-Z and Rick Ross plus Bon Iver, making herself one of the most on-demand gust performer in the industry.
Her 2010’s debut album Pink Friday opened with a phenomenal 375,000 units in the US alone, and the rest is history. Sophomore LP Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012), The Pinkprint (2014), Queen (2018) and ultimately Pink Friday 2 (2023) confirmed her status as a rap star, on top of countless successful features.
She continued to develop her universe, with various alter egos, recurrent themes, carefully worked aesthetics, claiming a strong and active following with the Barbz. While the title of most successful female rapper was somewhat forced at first due to the absence of competition, she contributed in opening the way to new stars like Cardi B, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion and Ice Spice.
Maybe more importantly, she has done enough on her own to call her one of the biggest rappers globally, without the need to specify female in this sentence. We review her numbers in detail to see where she stands among the top selling hip hop artists of all-time.
The Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC)
As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge her results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all Nicki Minaj‘ albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming. In fact, it will also determine their true 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 going on the view the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and go straight to the numbers!
There are two ways to understand this revolutionary concept. The first is the Scribe video posted below. If you are unaware of the CSPC method, you will get the full idea within a few minutes.
If you are a mathematical person, and 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 in order to apply this concept and define the act’s true popularity!
Nicki Minaj Album Sales
Updated Studio Album Sales & Comments
Pink Friday more than matched its hype. After its strong debut, it held on charts for many months, ultimately cracking the 2 million sales in the US alone. It’s worth noting that after being blocked at #2 on debut by Kanye West classic album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Pink Friday managed to claim the top position on its 11th week. Nicki Minaj was still not as big elsewhere, but the record moved a decent part of her total overseas for a rapper, with a global total of 2.9 million.
Roman Reloaded did a million stateside, which is great by itself even if down from its predecessor. The market was strongly moving to downloads at this point, we will see on the next sections how these impact the overall totals of these albums. Abroad, Starships became her biggest hit by far, which enabled the follow up record to sell nearly as much as the debut. Overall, Roman Reloaded is closing in 1.9 million copies.
By 2014, pure sales were down a lot again, The Pinkprint was capable of moving relevant numbers still, at just over a million in the world. With Queen, streaming was already inevitable, concluding on the album selling less than 300,000 copies. The last effort Pink Friday 2 opened with 115,000 global sales in its first week.
Want to compare Nicki Minaj’s albums with others?
Nicki Minaj 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.
As a reminder, the weighting is a 10 to 3 ratio between albums and physical singles.
Surprisingly, Nicki Minaj has been part of as many as 19 singles which got a physical release. This is a very rare situation for a rapper, in part because she has been a guest performer for many different type of artists, from Justin Bieber to David Guetta to Madonna to Karol G.
Of course, as these singles are mostly collectors items, their numbers are very low. Give Me All Your Luvin’ is the top seller at 35,000 units out of grand total of 124,250.
As a reminder, the weighting is calculated using a 10 to 1.5 ratio between albums and digital singles.
Exploding during the golden age of downloads – although ringtones were mostly gone already – Nicki Minaj sold tons of units in this format. To make it simple, she claims 35 million sellers (19 leads, 16 features), and her total digital sales impress at 133 million, including 76 million from her own material.
These outstanding totals were achieved through hard work, with an infinite number of releases. Large catalogs are often used to discredit big cumulative numbers. In truth, it’s extremely difficult to remain focused and consistent through the years, it requires an admirable dedication. It’s even harder to continue to create hype with every release when you are up to nearly 450 tracks in about 15 years.
Nicki Minaj perfectly handles it though. Super Bass, originally Pink Friday‘s 5th single, became a classic, registering 7.6 million sales to date. Each of the 4 previous singles plus the one which closed the era, Fly, moved from 1.5 million to 3 million. The album also included the hit single BedRock which stands at over 6 million. Overall, the album is a massive digital seller with over 27 million singles sold.
Follow up Roman Reloaded went on to reproduce the exact same score. Its top smash was Starships at 8.3 million, including near 1.2 million from the UK, and from 300,000 to 420,000 in each Australia, Canada and Japan, reflecting her global success.
Turn Me On (4.9 million), Pound the Alarm (2.6 million), Va Va Voom, Make Me Proud (near 2 million each), and Beez in the Trap (1.3 million) were more highlights for this era. The extensive album, which got up to 28 tracks on its heavier reissue, also sold 6 million copies from the remaining songs.
The growth of Spotify saw people start to move away from iTunes from 2013/14, which is in part why numbers for The Pinkprint are already down. The album also lacks a super big hit in the vain of its predecessors. Its top 2 tracks are Anaconda and Only, both around 2 million. Truffle Butter, Pills n Potions and Feeling Myself bring the tally of million sellers from this era to 5.
Queen clearly lacked crossover hits besides her collaboration with 6ix9ine on Fefe. This is also when her fanbase became more and more visible, with her songs managing impressive peaks inside the Billboard Digital Song Sales chart no matter how successful they were on TV and on radio. This brought 1.4 million sales to the era.
This effect increased even more from Pink Friday 2, with Super Freaky Girl, an early single issued in 2022, becoming one of the biggest sellers from the year with 200,000 US sales.
Then, of course, there are external songs to album’s tracklists. A lot of big ones there, bigger or weaker sellers depending on the period. From the start of the 2010s, Beauty and a Beat with Justin Bieber and Trey Songz‘ Bottoms Up both cleared the 4 million mark, My Chick Bad by Ludacris stands at 2.65 million, Dance (A$$) by Big Sean is at 2.1 million while many more hits top 1 million.
In 2014, Bang Bang with Jessie J and Ariana Grande went through the roof, selling over 7 million copies. David Guetta‘s Hey Mama was a solid success as well, topping 3 million. Her collabs with Ariana Grande couldn’t go better as Side to Side was a huge seller by 2016 standards at near 2.6 million. Jason Derulo‘s Swalla topped a million.
As previously mentioned, streaming was all over the place by 2018 making it nearly impossible to reach these numbers again. Instead, hits were selling over 100,000 units. The monster Latin smash Tusa with Karol G was one of them, despite downloads being largely ignored by Latin markets.
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.
– 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
– 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
Overall, Nicki Minaj has 4 tracks with Spotify streams over a billion, and 9 (inc. the same 4) on YouTube. Then, time to write these lines and Starships too is over a billion on Spotify.
These are superb numbers, concluding on outstanding numbers even if features are weighted down. Both Bang Bang and Tusa are over 2 million equivalent album sales from streams, with phenomenal numbers on both platforms. For now, Bang Bang holds the lead thanks to its larger streams in Asian platforms, but Tusa is a real contender in the long run.
Top hits from each of the first two eras follow, with Starships and Super Bass charting at 3 and 4. They are both comfortably over 1 million EAS, just like Side to Side despite the 0.5 weight.
As we go down, the most impressive fact is how stacked this list is. There are 12 songs over half a million EAS, and the entire top 40 clears 200,000 sales. They also come from various moments. Her top 10 includes songs from 4 distinct albums, plus orphan songs plus features, while no album has more than 2 songs on it.
Only songs from Queen are missing, but Chun-Li ranks 12 and Bed is at 20. How incredibly balanced her discography is ends up being visible on totals too. The Pinkprint registers 4.4 million sales from streams, Roman Reloaded is over 4 million, Pink Friday 3 million, and Queen will get there in the mid-run as well.
The only album which lies behind so far is Pink Friday 2 for obvious reasons, as it barely came out. It will be no surprise if it gets into the multi-million territory as well.
Discography totals are super huge, with 32 billion streams from Spotify, 41 billion from YouTube and 33 million sales from streams.
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!
Want to compare Nicki Minaj songs with other top hits?
Nicki Minaj 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. For older releases though, they generate sales over various live, music videos and compilation albums.
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, this downgrades catalog sales of the original LP when such compilations are issued.
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. The following table explains this method:
The distribution process
How do you understand this table? For example, if we check the Queen Radio: Volume 1 line, these figures mean it sold 30,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included in this package add for 8,191,158 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 Pink Friday equate to 28% of Queen Radio: Volume 1‘s tracklist attractiveness. Meaning, it generated 8,000 of its 30,000 album sales and so on for the other records.
Compilations sales figures listing
Full Length related records Sales – Summary
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.
These numbers are obtained by applying the method from the section The distribution process to all packages listed under Compilation sales figures listing category.
Apart from Queen Radio, most albums listed in the compilation section are mixtape, owning no material from the studio album. The prime exception is the selling of Queen album on Chinese platforms. These sales are listed apart as these market wasn’t regulated for long, which is why we apply a ratio based on the album price there.
Total Album (all types) Sales per Country
Please note country-specific numbers may miss sales of a few minor releases, although totals are complete.
Nicki Minaj Career CSPC Results
So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each Nicki Minaj album achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!
Albums CSPC results
In the following results table, all categories display figures in equivalent album sales. If different, pure sales are listed between parentheses.
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
Almost 28 when she released her first album, Nicki Minaj somehow achieved to build herself a sizable career. Nearly 15 years after her first Hot 100 entries, she continues to easily put her albums in the million area.
It started incredibly well, with Pink Friday now on 10 million equivalent album sales. It is a very strong all-around performer, with strong pure sales, strong downloads and strong streams.
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is almost tied, itself poised to hit 10 million relatively soon. No need to say no other female rapper got so high twice. In fact, that’s another fact showing we should stop caring about female or not, as not so many rappers overall can claim a pair of 10-million sellers.
The Pinkprint is incredible on its own, still climbing well on streaming and now up to 7 million sales. While lower, Queen stands at 3 million, which is more than respectable, and illustrates how relevant Nicki Minaj is when your worst performers can still move so many units.
Pink Friday 2 is very young, but already over a million. With her upcoming tour, it has every chance to join its predecessors in higher grounds.
With the rap icon, studio albums are only the visible part of the iceberg. Her countless hits outside of her albums combine for nearly 11 million sales, while her features on others’ hits are worth nearly 12 million.
Singles CSPC results
The list is compiled in album equivalent sales generated by each song. Therefore, these figures are not merged units of singles formats. Instead, it 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.
Discography resultsThanks to our new ASR (Artist Success Rating) concept, we know that sales represent 12.79 million times the purchase of entire discography. Coupled with total sales, it translates into an ASR score of 142. The ranking of all artists studied so far is available too at this link.
Records & Achievements
- At 53,753,000 EAS, Nicki Minaj is the most successful female rapper of all-time.
- At 147, Nicki Minaj has the 5th most Hot 100 entries of all-time.
- At 73, Nicki Minaj has the 5th most Hot 100 Top 40 entries of all-time.
- At 207 weeks, Nicki Minaj has the 4th longest streak on the US Hot 100 (from Feb 20, 2010 with Knockout to Feb 1, 2014 with Love More).
- At 16, Nicki Minaj has the 2nd most #1 hits on the US Digital Song Sales chart.
- At 9,983,000 EAS, Pink Friday is the 2nd most successful rap album from 2010.
- At 9,807,000 EAS, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is the 3rd most successful rap album from 2012.
- At 6,952,000 EAS, The Pinkprint is the 2nd most successful rap album from 2014.
NB: EAS means Equivalent Album Sales.
Dynamic Spotify Key Performance Indicators
Current followers count: 30,388,588 30,000,000 followers have been reached on 11/12/23 29,000,000 followers have been reached on 10/19/23 30,000,000 followers have been reached on 10/17/23 29,000,000 followers have been reached on 08/05/23 28,000,000 followers have been reached on 04/26/23 27,000,000 followers have been reached on 12/29/22 26,000,000 followers have been reached on 09/14/22 25,000,000 followers have been reached on 09/07/22 26,000,000 followers have been reached on 08/29/22 25,000,000 followers have been reached on 05/14/22 24,000,000 followers have been reached on 02/05/22 23,000,000 followers have been reached on 11/08/21 22,000,000 followers have been reached on 07/24/21 21,000,000 followers have been reached on 04/19/21 20,000,000 followers have been reached on 01/16/21 19,000,000 followers have been reached on 10/24/20 18,000,000 followers have been reached on 07/12/20 >> Daily breakdown
Nicki Minaj is #45 among the most followed artists of all-time >> Visit our Top 5,000 most followed artists ranking
Current streams count: 20,103,793,099 20,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 02/20/24 19,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 12/15/23 18,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 08/31/23 17,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 06/24/23 20,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 06/16/23 16,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 03/17/23 15,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 03/16/23 16,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 03/14/23 15,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 12/18/22 14,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 12/17/22 15,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 10/19/22 14,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 06/07/22 13,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 11/30/21 12,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 06/15/21 11,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 12/29/20 10,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 10/29/20 >> Daily breakdown
Nicki Minaj is #39 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: 55,824,122 (Trend: -3,636,835) Global chart position: #35 The artist top 50 cities come from 21 distinct countries >> Global impact breakdown
As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!
You may be interested in…
… Nicki Minaj‘ streaming masters analysis
… best-selling artists, albums, and singles
We have created amazing cross-artists tops. Click to see all CSPC and raw sales results compiled so far!
… similar artists
To put Nicki Minaj‘ figures into perspective, click to reach career breakdowns of more rap stars: