Tina Turner albums and songs sales
While Ike & Tina Turner managed several hits over their 16-years stay together, Tina Turner was very unlikely to make it big once she went solo.
Her first 4 albums were expectedly very poor sellers, yet she broke the rules becoming a global top seller at an age where many popular artists are semi-retired from the largest scenes.
Maybe even more incredible, she retained this status for several more albums and years. One of the best selling female singers of all-time, we review her trajectory in numbers.
A big picture of Tina Turner’s career
Born in November 26, 1939, Tina Turner had a difficult childhood. While she was moved from her parents to her grandparents on both sides multiple times, she saw her father beat her mother for years, and her mother consequently leave the house when she was 11.
Her sister Evelyn as well as two of her cousins died in a car crash when she was a teenager. While going through all these painful moments, Tina, then Anna Mae Bullock, worked as a domestic servant on top of graduating in high school.
She became a nurse’s aide until she met with Ike Turner in 1957. She joined his band the Kings of Rhythm after impressing him with her vocals. They became Ike & Tina Turner in 1960.
For the next career, the pair would work incredibly hard, building the reputation of an incredible live act. These weren’t happy days for the singer yet, as she again had to meet with domestic violence for many, many years.
From the mid-70s, she kicked her solo career with the low profile release Tina Turns the Country On! album in 1974, followed by Acid Queen in 1975.
While she was still seen as a sex symbol with her sensual performances and iconic legs, as well as an impressive vocalist, the albums bombed.
The next year, after getting beaten one more time by her husband, she filed for divorce. While it was absolutely necessary, this also brought her huge financial problems as her leave broke their ongoing recording and touring contracts.
She tried to turn things around with Rough (1978) and Love Explosion (1979), but both albums failed to sell relevant amounts. Her label broke her contract.
Now in her 40s, with no solo hit and no hit altogether in many years, financially broke, Tina Turner was on a very low point. To pay her bills, she performed extensively on very small avenues like hotel ballrooms and Las Vegas casinos.
In 1983, Capitol Records gave her another chance. Her cover of Let’s Stay Together shockingly smashed in the UK, peaking at #6. It was her first top 10 hit since Nutbush City Limits a decade earlier.
Her label then agreed to finance a complete album. Months later, Private Dancer was out. The single What’s Love Got to Do with It made her the oldest #1 ever on the Hot 100. She was 44.
The album smashed very hard in both the US and in Europe. This immense success decreased in the US, but remained incredible in Europe. To highlight this success, in Germany, her trio Private Dancer – Break Every Rule – Foreign Affair averaged about 1.2 million sales by the end of the 80s, while Madonna‘s big 3 Like a Virgin – True Blue – Like a Prayer sold roughly 800,000 units each.
When such a performer sells so many records, one can expect concerts to do wonders. It’s exactly what happened, as her 7 career tours from 1985 to 2009 combined for an unreal attendance of nearly 18 million people.
In-between, she kept healing herself with the release of her autobiography I, Tina in 1986, the 1993 biopic, and her departure to Switzerland in 1994 with her new husband, to move away from all the drama surrounding her family in the US.
She stopped releasing new studio albums after 1999’s Twenty Four Seven. After announcing her retirement with her farewell 2009 tour, at 70, the singer was done. She had gave all the energy she had, and could at last enjoy some peaceful years.
From 2009 to 2017, she released 4 albums of spiritual music with Christian artist Regula Curti and Buddhist artist Dechen Shak-Dagsay.
Life can be really harsh, and in her last 10 years Tina Turner still had to go through a stroke, an intestinal cancer, and kidney failure and transplant, on top of the passing of 2 out of her 4 sons in 2018 and 2022.
The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll passed away in May 24, 2023. Countless music stars paid tribute to the woman who opened so many doors while fighting harder than anyone can fight. As her fans put it, her journey was epic.
We also pay tribute to her, digging the numbers of her unique catalog.
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 Tina Turner‘s 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 explanations. I fully recommend watching it before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the numbers directly.
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 just 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 sales figures in detail in order to apply this concept and define the act’s true popularity!
Tina Turner Album Sales
Updated Studio Album Sales & Comments
The first 4 solo albums from Tina Turner sold a total of 1.3 million units. This doesn’t even look so shabby, especially Acid Queen at 810,000 units. In truth, the huge majority of these sales came as budget items after the success of subsequent albums.
Then came Private Dancer. It’s up to 8 million sales in the US, nearly 3 million combined in the UK and Germany, and over a million in Canada. The classic album is now past 15.5 million pure units.
This is one of the most insane successes in the history of music. An artist close to turn 45, who sold 7.7 million combined over her 24 previous studio albums, suddenly smashes the 15 million barrier with her new effort. Really incredible.
Mad Max OST moved near 1.3 million. The single We Don’t Need Another Hero was quite big, the only reason the album hasn’t sold more was because didn’t contain that much more, one more track, a remix of the single, and then instrumentals.
New proper studio albums Break Every Rule and Foreign Affair averaged 6 million units each, again impressive numbers.
It’s worth keeping in mind that these weren’t the 2nd and 3rd album of a 23-years old singer, but instead the 26th and 27th output of a woman entering her 50s.
Foreign Affair was especially impressive, actually outselling Private Dancer outside of North America.
As we will see in the compilation section, in early 90s she mostly reviewed her catalog, with 1991’s Simply The Best compilation and 1993’s What’s Love Got To Do With It soundtrack which was a kind of compilation too.
She returned with new music in 1996 with Wildest Dreams, which sold 3.7 million, and closed her career at 60 with Twenty Four Seven, a solid 2.6 million seller.
Want to compare Tina Turner’s albums with others?
Tina Turner 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, he is rewarded with 100% of these units, while featured acts share among them a 50% piece of the totals.
As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between albums and physical singles.
Up to 1982, her top selling physical single was Led Zeppelin’s cover Whole Lotta Love which sold a mere 75,000 units.
It all changed from Let’s Stay Together on. This song, a good success in both the UK and Europe, topped the million mark.
This was still nothing compared to the earthquake What’s Love Got To Do With It which shifted 3 million sales, selling well past a million in both the US and Europe.
The album Private Dancer continued to provide hits. The title track came close to a million too, Better Be Good To Me was close behind while It’s Only Love did over 600,000 units. No less than 4 additional tracks from the album sold 165,000-335,000 copies.
We Don’t Need Another Hero went even higher than What’s Love Got To Do With It as the lack of a proper studio album with it pushed consumers to go by the single.
The album Break Every Rule sold so well in Europe upon release that its singles failed to move very large amounts. The biggest hit from the era was Typical Male, a 1.37 million seller which most notably peaked at #2 in the US.
From Foreign Affair, the biggest hit was its lead single, The Best. A top 5 hit in most European markets, and #15 in the US, the song moved 1.3 million units too. It also pushed the album to monster sales in the old continent.
While by then she was a confirmed album seller, she still pulled two more near million sellers during the 90s. The first is James Bond theme GoldenEye from 1995, the second is Cose Della Vita, a 1997 version of the Eros Ramazzotti track.
All in all, the diva sold almost 21.5 million physical singles during her solo career.
As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1.5 ratio between albums and digital singles.
Downloads are often a good way to define the signature song of an artist, but it’s not in the case of Tina Turner. Her top 3 are very close to each other, with The Best, What’s Love Got to Do With It and We Don’t Need Another Hero cracking the million mark.
The singer has a significant number of well remembered songs as 9 more tracks moved in excess of 200,000 units, led by half a million sellers Private Dancer and Better Be Good to Me.
Of course, she also sold very well with her rendition of Proud Mary, but its sales are combined with the original as all units are assigned to the original recording. These units are thus reflected on Ike & Tina Turner‘s entry.
Her solo career adds for over 9 million sales of downloads and ringtones.
Streaming is made up of audio and video streams. Our CSPC methodology includes both to better reflect the real popularity of each track.
The main source of data for each avenue is respectively Spotify and YouTube. 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
In the streaming side, What’s Love Got to Do With It leads the way with 650 million streams on Spotify and 462 million on YouTube, good enough for nearly 800,000 equivalent album sales.
The Best is a very solid runner up, itself closing in 600,000 and with the top spot on YouTube, Genie and QQ.
The usual suspects follow this big two, several of them around 100,000 EAS. The biggest surprise is possibly I Don’t Wanna Lose You which ranks 6th among her top tracks.
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 Tina Turner’s songs with other top hits?
Tina Turner 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 also generate sales of 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 of each of its tracks instead. Inevitably, when such compilations are issued, this downgrades catalog sales of the original LP.
Thus, to perfectly 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 to understand this table? If you check this example of the Simply The Best line, those figures mean it sold 11,845,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 6,185,237 equivalent album sales from streams of all types.
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 on the overall package.
Thus, streaming figures tell us songs from Private Dancer are responsible for 48% of Simply The Best tracklist attractiveness, which means it generated 5,646,000 of its 11,845,000 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 of all kinds it 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.
While her studio albums from 1984 to 1989 sold close to 31 million pure sales, Tina Turner was also busy selling compilations of her various hits. With successes like Live In Europe, Simply The Best and the What’s Love Got to Do With It soundtrack, she added more than 17 million sales for her solo 1986-1993 greatest hits-like products.
The majority of these sales were fueled by Private Dancer material, which claims almost 14 million sales in this table. Foreign Affair is very strong too at 6.5 million.
Bonus: Top selling compilations’ breakdowns
Total Album (all types) Sales per Country
Please note country-specific numbers may miss sales of a few minor releases, although totals are complete.
Tina Turner Career CSPC Results
So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each Tina Turner 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
Over 33 million equivalent album sales for Private Dancer. This is absolutely magnificent considering the context of this release.
Foreign Affair is an amazing second too with roughly 16 million units, which is stunning considering the studio set hasn’t even hit a million in the US.
Break Every Rule is a strong seller too at 8 million, while the Mad Max soundtrack, Wildest Dreams and Twenty Four Seven combine for over 11.6 million slaes.
Obviously, the first 4 albums are on a lower league with an average a bit over half a million.
All told, she comes close to 75 million sales through her solo career. If we look at her as a person rather than a solo act, thus adding in her sales as part of Ike & Tina Turner, she climbs to 109 million units.
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 26.53 million times the purchase of entire discography. Coupled with total sales, it translates into an ASR score of 240. The ranking of all artists studied so far is available too at this link.
Records & Achievements
- At 44, Tina Turner was the oldest female singer to top the Hot 100 with What’s Love Got to Do With It.
- At 180,000, Tina Turner sat the record for the most attended paid concert of all-time in 1988 in Maracanã Stadium, Brazil.
- By the end of the 90s, Tina Turner owned the 3 most attended tours of all-time by a female artist.
- At 33,280,000 EAS, Private Dancer is the 5th most successful album from 1984.
- At 33,280,000 EAS, Private Dancer is among the 20 most successful albums from the 80s.
NB: EAS means Equivalent Album Sales.
Dynamic Spotify Key Performance Indicators
Current followers count: 3,908,600 3,000,000 followers have been reached on 06/17/22 2,000,000 followers have been reached on 09/12/20 >> Daily breakdown
Tina Turner is #784 among the most followed artists of all-time >> Visit our Top 5,000 most followed artists ranking
Current streams count: 2,358,851,099 2,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 09/28/23 3,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 09/10/23 2,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 06/04/23 1,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 12/03/20 >> Daily breakdown
Tina Turner is #837 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: 10,790,044 (Trend: 209,404) Global chart position: N/A The artist top 50 cities come from 26 distinct countries >> Global impact breakdown
As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!
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