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Mariah Carey’s Daydream Overtakes Music Box in Sales Record

Mariah Carey Daydream cover

The recount had been overdue for quite some time. Chartmasters, renowned for their meticulous global tracking of physical sales, digital downloads, and streaming figures, had not revised Mariah Carey’s album sales since 2017.

Excluded from this tally were albums like The Rarities and Caution, along with various Christmas seasons, MC30 celebrations, and other events up to the present (because Mariah is the gift that keeps on giving).

The global recount has finally been executed, adding an extra 15 million equivalent units to Mariah’s tally. As a result, “Daydream” has now overtaken “Music Box” in equivalent album sales. This is hardly surprising given that “Daydream” racks up 500 thousand daily streams on Spotify alone, compared to “Music Box’s” 325 thousand.

For those unacquainted with Chartmasters’ data methodology, they meticulously gather official physical sales data from various sources, digital sales, and streaming figures from Spotify and YouTube. They then extrapolate data to other platforms based on user share.

Though we encourage delving into their comprehensive article detailing their accounting methodology and specific figures by segment, we’ve condensed the overall findings from their extensive research.

Mariah’s Album Sales

Mariah Carey album sales
Mariah Carey album sales part 2

Over time, Music Box held its ground as Carey’s most successful album. However, it was only a matter of time before digital sales and streaming caught up with the timeless classics of Daydream, eventually surpassing the former.

Currently at 35,809,000 and counting, Daydream has now surpassed Music Box worldwide equivalent sales by 150 thousand copies. Not that there’s a competition since Daydream and Music Box are now the 45th and 46th best selling albums of all time, respectively.

Trailing closely behind but poised for a swift ascent is “Merry Christmas.” Serving as her most significant streaming asset to date, the album boasts the enduring power of “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” which has amassed 2 million physical copies and 17 million digital downloads, including ringtones. With a current tally of 24 million copies, it won’t be long before this album becomes Mariah’s third to reach the 30-million mark.

On the lesser end of the spectrum, “Caution” appears to be grappling with diminished physical sales in today’s digital era. Its certifications are limited to 17,000 copies in China and 43,000 physical copies according to Billboard’s records for its debut week. The album’s overall stream count, which remains below 100 million, further underscores its current standing, making it difficult to disagree.

As a notable highlight, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, once deemed a modest performer with “only” one million physical copies sold to date, has now surged to 3 million copies. This increase is largely attributed to the influence of streaming platforms and the resurgence of hits like “Obsessed” and “It’s a Wrap”.

According to Chartmasters, compilations are tallied differently, with streams and singles attributed to their original albums. Yet, #1’s has exceeded 16 million physical sales, and MTV Unplugged is approaching 7 million.

And regarding compilations, Chartmasters devised a metric called Artist Success Rating (ASR), considering an artist’s success not only based on album sales but more on consumption frequency. Despite the complexity of the calculations, Mariah ranks 7th, right after ABBA, debuting her position as the most successful female artist to date.

Top Artist Success Rating

In terms of album sales, Mariah Carey currently ranks as the 16th best-selling artist/act of all time and the 4th top-selling female artist (after Madonna, Celine Dion, and recently surpassed by Taylor Swift).

At Mariahpedia, this development simplifies our data collection process, allowing us to track daily streams and reported physical sales moving forward. Currently, Mariah has achieved legendary sales figures.

With 75 million US certifications, Mariah Carey holds the record for the highest number of album certifications by a female artist in the United States.

Mariah’s cumulative album sales stand at an impressive 192 million equivalents. These include 150 million physical sales, 7 million EPs, 3 million videos, 40 million physical singles, 81 million digital downloads, and ringtones, along with 13 million equivalent album sales from streams alone.

At a consistent pace of 6000-8000 equivalent copies sold daily, Mariah Carey’s enduring influence transcends the holiday season and the absence of recent album releases. Her legacy as an incomparable legend in the music industry is characterized by her timeless hits, unwavering fan base, and profound impact on popular culture. Despite the evolving landscape of the music industry, Mariah’s music continues to resonate with audiences worldwide, solidifying her status as one of the most iconic and enduring figures in contemporary music history.

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