Madonna, The Reining Queen Of Music

Madonna 'Hung Up' single cover

Submitted anonymously:

The past 12 months have been very successful for the reining queen of the music world. Not only has Madonna reinforced her hold on her throne sitting firmly at the top of the music world she has managed to still remain provocative. Love , worship, admire her or even love to hate her no other artist has garnered so much attention and press as this entertainment legend. She may well be the only living legend the world has ever known. Other legends like Elvis and Marilyn Monroe only became legends after there untimely deaths, while Madonna has become the worlds most famous person, a true living legend. Even after an amazing 23 years in the music business she continues to break world records. In 2006 alone she managed to break several world records with the 2005 release of “Confessions On A Dance Floor” the album to date has went to #1 in over 40 countries (a world record), the lead off single “Hung Up” also made history by going to #1 in over 43 countries, and has become one of Madonna’s most successful singles in her 23 year career. Madonna made history by holding on to the #1 position on The United World singles chart for an unheard of 22 weeks straight. Her single “Hung Up” held on to the pole position for an amazing 15 weeks and was dethrones by Madonna’s second single “Sorry” which held onto the position for 7 weeks. The 2nd single “Sorry” managed to go to #1 in over 18 countries, If not for the release of “Sorry” Madonna’s massive hit single “Hung Up” would have continued to hold on to the #1 position another 2-3 weeks. The 3rd single “Get Together” went to #12 in over 10 countries and became Madonna’s 36th #1 selling single, maxi-single and dance single in the United States. All 3 singles with the exception of “Hung Up” have not faired as well on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States due to Clear Channels apparent ban on Madonna’s music over her current political views.

One can only imagine what additional success Madonna would have had with American radio support.

Madonna also has embarked on the most successful tour of the year expected to gross over $200 million dollars in around 3 1/2 months on ticket sales alone.

The album COADF has sold over 9 million copies in the top 24 markets tracked by Media Traffic, Madonna currently has major chart success in over 100 countries worldwide. It is estimated that to date COADF has global sales of at least 13 to 15 million copies. This number does not included pirated copies of the album and illegal file sharing which according to a prior WTO report Madonna is the most pirated artist of all time.

One of the things that makes Madonna the great artist that she is today is her determination to speak her mind and use her music to make statements, the cost for her has been as high as it has been rewarding. It made Madonna a rebel in the music world, it has garnered her much critics from varies parties and has cost her millions in sales and of course quite a few potential #1 singles in countries like America where radio play and payola are the avenues to #1 singles on charts like Billboards Hot 100. One can imagine what additional success Madonna would have had if she only played it safe like many other artist, if she keep her political views to herself, her career long support of the gay community, her support of equality for minorities, her support of diversity, her fight against racism and sexism. But if Madonna did not have something to say, if she did not push the boundaries then she would be just another singer. She would not be Madonna, she would not have people thinking and debating issues that really do matter.

All though her career has been mired in controversy with around 350 million albums sold she is the most successful female vocalist of all time, an honor she has held since the 80’s.

A “Sample” of World Wide Stats:

36 #1 “Selling” singles
Billboard Hot 100 Single Sales
Billboard Maxi-Single Sales
Billboard Dance Singles

Madonna has the most top-five singles by a female artist on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart (27).

Madonna has the most top-ten singles on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart (36).

Madonna has the most top-twenty singles by a female artist on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart (42).

Madonna has the most top-thirty singles by a female artist on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart (44).

Madonna has the most top-forty singles by a female artist on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart (47).

Madonna has 12 No. 1 singles on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles Chart.

Madonna is the artist with most number one singles in the history of The ARC Weekly Top 40.

Madonna has twelve Multi Platinum-Albums (more than any other female artist)

Madonna has two Diamond-Albums (behind only Shania Twain who has three)

Madonna has 26 gold singles.
According to the Recording Industry the most for any female artist.
Five Platinum Singles.
Two Multi Platinum Single
(Numbers would be higher if re-certified by today’s standards)

Madonna has sold a certified (RIAA) 70 million albums in the US, behind only Barbara Streisand’s 72 million among female artists.

Madonna is the most successful act in the history of MTV’s Video Music Awards with an all time record 72 VMA nominations and 19 VMA wins.

The United Kingdom:

In 2004, Madonna became one of the five founding members of the UK Music Hall of Fame, joining Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Bob Marley, and U2 as automatic inductees.

In 2001, Madonna was named Top Female UK Singles Artist of All Time in the Guinness Book of Hit Singles edition of the Most Successful Artists in the 50-year history of the British charts.

Madonna holds every major sales and chart record for a female artist in the UK In all-time singles sales she lies comfortably fourth behind – Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard and The Beatles – and she is also fourth in combined singles and albums sales behind those three artists, pulling away from the Rolling Stones.

Madonna remains the female artist with the most No. 1s in the United Kingdom with 12. Kylie Minogue is in second place among solo female artists, with seven. The Spice Girls have nine.

Madonna has had forty-seven top-five singles on the UK singles chart, more than any other female artist ever.

Madonna has had fifty-eight top-ten singles on the UK singles chart, more than any other female artist.

Madonna has had sixty-two top-twenty singles on the UK singles chart, more than any other female artist.

Madonna has had sixty-two top-forty singles on the UK singles chart, more than any other female artist.

Madonna has spent a total of twenty-five weeks at number one on the UK singles chart, more than any other female artist.

With “Sorry”, Madonna scored a record sixtieth consecutive top-twenty single (not counting “Me Against the Music”). It is a record that will be more difficult to beat than Elvis Presley’s twenty-one number-one singles according to ChartPlus Company.

All of Madonna’s singles released in the UK have reached the top twenty and all but five of them have reached the top ten.

Madonna is the only female artist ever to occupy the top two positions on the UK Singles Charts when “Into the Groove” and “Holiday” hit number one and number two, respectively in 1985.

In 1985 alone, Madonna scored eight top-five singles in the UK Charts.

Madonna has had nine number-one albums on the UK albums chart, more than any other female artist.

Madonna has had four number-two albums on the UK albums chart, more than any other female artist.

Madonna has had sixteen top-five albums on the UK albums chart, more than any other female artist.

Madonna has had seventeen top-ten albums on the UK albums chart, more than any other female artist.

From the Evita Soundtrack in 1996 to Music in 2001, Madonna had three consecutive number-one albums on the UK albums chart, a record for a female artist.

Every album, Madonna has released, has reached the top ten in the UK; her self-titled first album is the only one to miss the top five. (Her 2003 EP, Remixed and Revisited, was not allowed to appear on the UK album chart as it was too short to qualify as an album.)

In the UK, Madonna and Kylie Minogue are the only artists ever to have a number-one album and a number-one single in three different decades.


Madonna has sixteen number one singles on Eurochart Hot 100 Singles and eight number one albums.


Madonna is the most successful female singles artist in Canada, having amassed 20 number one singles on the Canadian Singles Chart.

Confessions on a Dance Floor” was her seventh number-one album in that country.

“Music and “American Pie” were declared the number-one and number- two Top Singles of 2000 – the first time in Canadian chart history that an artist held the top two positions on the year-end musical charts.


Madonna has achieved ten number-one singles (the most for a female artist) and eight number-one albums in Australia. She also achieved five consecutive number-one albums from “Bedtime Stories” to “Ray of Light”. She is the third highest selling artist in Australian history behind Elvis and The Beatles.


Madonna is the most successful artist ever on the Swiss charts since it began in 1965, appearing on the list every year (starting 1983) but 1988 and 2004, and spending 497 weeks on the singles charts. With “Hung Up” she overtook ABBA for the act with the most number-one hits in Switzerland. “Confessions on a Dance Floor” was her seventh album to go number-one there.


She has three number-one singles and six number-one albums (plus eight number-two albums) in France


She has notched three number-one singles and nine number-one albums in Germany


She has scored two number-one singles and seven number-one albums in Austria


Madonna is the foreign artist with the most top 100 singles (28) in Japan’s Main Singles Chart she has notched twenty-five number-one singles in the International Charts (more than any other artist).


She has 18 number-one singles and 8 number-one albums in Italy

She has 19 number-one singles.
She has 6 number one albums


She has nineteen number-one singles.
She has nine number one albums.


She has twenty-two number-one singles
She has eleven number one albums

Madonna is the richest female singer in the world, and one of the richest self-made women in the world … with an estimated cash on hand of over $1 billion.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Billboard, The RIAA, and The IFPI Madonna is the Most Successful Female Recording Artist of All Time.

Globally Madonna is the #1 selling female vocalist of the 80’s, 90’s and current.

“Justify My Love” was the first-ever video single in history and has been certified 8x platinum for sales of over 400,000 units.

“What It Feels Like For A Girl” holds the world record for the highest selling DVD single.

Madonna was voted by MTV viewers as the greatest music video icon ever on the network’s 25 Greatest Video Stars.

Madonna was named the sexiest recording artist ever on VH1’s 100 Sexiest Artists

Madonna was named by MTV Asia as the Artist of the Millennium in 2000.

Truth or Dare (In Bed with Madonna) earned critical raves and took in over $ 10,000,000 at the US box office, and $ 15,000,000 in overseas box office, making it the most commercially-successful documentary ever made in the 20th century.

Madonna’s Evita was the highest grossing musical film of the 1990s (it also made more money than any musical film in the 1980s). It made $50,047,179 at the domestic box office and $91,000,000 overseas for an impressive worldwide box office total of $141,047,179.

Total earnings of all Madonna movies: $781,246,609

Sex, a 128-page coffee table book priced at $49.95 hit # 1 on the non-fiction bestseller lists of both the New York Times and Washington Post and sold a record limited run of 1,500,000 copies around the world in just one week.

In 2003 Madonna released her first of five children’s storybooks, The English Roses. It holds the world record as the fastest-selling children’s picture book in history. Since then Madonna has released another four children’s books, all of which have gone on to major success.

The English Roses was #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and was simultaneously released in over one hundred countries.

All of Madonna’s concert tours have sold out globally, making her one of the most successful live acts to ever have performed. In 2004 her Re-Invention World Tour was the most successful tour of the year, selling out globally despite ticket prices upwards of $300 US.

The August 5, 1990 telecast of the “Blonde Ambition Tour” on HBO received a 21.5 percent rating and a 31 percent share of the viewing audience, beating out all network competition and becoming the highest rated non-sports event ever to broadcast on the said network.

The MSN Webcast of Madonna’s first concert in Britain in 2000 set a new world record as some 11 million people (the max MSN allotted) tuned in over the Internet to see the thirty-minute show (Over 45 million hits).

In 2006, the USA List of Internet Fame released by Pop List ranked Madonna as the fifth (the highest ranked female) most popular personality on the Web. She appeared in 66 million webpages.

A 1999 survey conducted by Britain’s HMV music store, Channel 4 television and Classic FM radio chain among 600,000 music fans named Madonna Best Female Artist of the Millennium.

In 2002, Life Magazine ranked Madonna as the sixth Top Rock and Roller of All Time, the only female artist who made the top-ten.

VH1’s 100 Greatest Women ranked Madonna at #1.

2006: MTV Videos Which Broke The Rules: “Like a Prayer” at #1, “Ray of Light” at #4 and “[[Vogue (song)|Vogue” at #5.

Recording Industry Association of America named Madonna the Top Selling Female Singer of the Century.

Since Madonna’s first single release in 1979, she has amassed 36 top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100, a record that ties her with Elvis Presley for the most top 10 hits of any artist in the Rock era.
Album Facts:
*Worldwide sales are as of 2000 and account for only the top 10 major markets tracked by Media Traffic.)


The album did quite well in the charts, reaching the Top 10 in Australia, France, Portugal, the UK, and US. In total, the album spent 168 weeks on the Billboard charts in the United States. On its last re-cert in 2000 the album had sold over 5.1 million copies in the US and over 12.5 million in the top 10 markets tracked by Media Traffic (as of 2000).

Like A Virgin:

In 1998, the album was certified Diamond Platinum (the highest certification given by the RIAA) in the US for shipments of 10 million US copies.

Canada 10x Platinum (Diamond)

Worldwide sales (Top 10 markets) : 22.5 million
(as of 2000)

True Blue:

“True Blue” is Madonna’s biggest selling studio album internationally. It has sold over 8.2 million copies in the US and a total of 28 million worldwide (as of 2000). On its release, it hit number one in twenty-eight countries, an achievement that The Guinness Book of World Records called “totally unprecedented”.

Canada 10x Platinum (Diamond)

Like A Prayer:

It has sold over 4.2 million copies in the US and a total of 23 million worldwide (as of 2000).

The Immaculate Collection:

Madonna’s The Immaculate Collection is the highest selling, greatest hits album by a female artist in the world and in the U.S., with more than 12 million U.S. sales and 56 million worldwide sales.

Some Certs.
USA: Diamond
Brazil: Diamond
France: Diamond
Mexico: Diamond
Australia 11x Platinum
Canada 7x Platinum
Italy 5x Platinum
Singapore 8x Platinum
UK 12x Platinum


Erotica is the fifth studio album and ninth recording by singer Madonna, which was released on October 14, 1992. The album has sold an estimated 7.8 million copies worldwide.

Bedtime Stories:

Bedtime Stories is the sixth studio album and the tenth recording by singer Madonna, released in 1994 and sold 10.2 million copies worldwide.

Something to Remember:

Something to Remember is Madonna’s second greatest hits album and eleventh recording.
It sold over 12 million copies worldwide as of 2000.

Australia 4x Platinum
Canada 2x Platinum
Finland 3x Platinum
Italy 4x Platinum
UK 3x Platinum
USA 3x Platinum

Ray Of Light:

Ray of Light is the seventh album by singer Madonna.
4.6 million copies sold in the US (2000)
18.6 million copies worldwide (2000)
Went to #1 in over 28 countries.

Canada: 7x Platinum
Europe: 7x Platinum
UK: 6x Platinum
U.S.A: 4x Platinum
Ireland: 4x Platinum
Australia: 3x Platinum
France: 3x Platinum
Germany: 3x Platinum
Netherlands: 3x Platinum
Norway: 2x Platinum
Poland: 2x Platinum
Japan: 3 x Platinum


Music is the eighth studio album and fifteenth recording by singer Madonna, released in 2000.
The album has sold 3.9 million copies in the US, and over 17.8 million in the 24 markets tracked by Media Traffic. It went to #1 in 36 countries.

Music – The album’s first single. It would reach #1 in the US and many other countries, becoming Madonna’s biggest single since 1994’s “Take a Bow”.

Australia 3x Platinum
Austria Platinum
Belgium 2x Platinum
Brazil 2x Platinum
Canada 3x Platinum
Europe 5x Platinum
France 2x Platinum
Germany 2x Platinum
Greece Platinum
Hong Kong Platinum
Ireland 3x Platinum
Italy 4x Platinum
Mexico 2x Platinum
Norway Platinum
Poland Platinum
Singapore 2x Platinum
Spain 2x Platinum
Sweden Platinum
Switzerland 2x Platinum
UK 5x Platinum
USA 3x Platinum


GHV2 (“Greatest Hits Volume 2”) is Madonna’s 3rd greatest hits album and the follow-up to 1990’s The Immaculate Collection. Her 16th recording, the album peaked at #2 on the official UK albums chart, and went to #7 on the Billboard 200.

The album has sold over 1.8 million copies in the US and over 8.6 million copies in the 24 markets tracked by Media Traffic.

American Life:

American Life is the ninth studio album and sixteenth recording by Madonna, released in 2003. This album was her 1 and only album to be a commercial bomb in the US and began the current radio boycott of the singer.
The album went to #1 in over 28 countries and sold over 7.2 million copies worldwide with less than 1 million of them sold in the USA.

Remixed & Revisited

With “American Life” tanking in the US Madonna released “Remixed & Revisited” and EP that added an additional 1 million copies to Madonna’s album sales.

Confessions on a Dance Floor:

Confessions on a Dance Floor is the tenth studio album recording by Madonna. It made world history by going to #1 in over 40 countries.
COADF has sold over 1.5 million copies in the US, and over 9 million copies in the top 24 markets tracked by Media Traffic.

I’m Going To Tell You A Secret:

Went to #1 in over 12 countries and has sold over 5.3 million copies worldwide to date in the top 24 markets tracked by Media Traffic.

Sound Tracks:

Who’s That Girl:
6.5 million copies sold (as of 2000)

You Can Dance:
7.8 million copies sold (as of 2000)

I’m Breathless:
7.9 million copies sold (as of 2000)

Evita: Music From The Motion Picture
14.2 million copies sold (as of 2000)

****Madonna currently has major chart success in over 100 countries worldwide. Media Traffic accounts for 10-24 countries of album sales based on the time of release. Madonna’s albums sales are estimated at over 350 million albums sold, excluding singles and maxi-singles.

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11 thoughts on “Madonna, The Reining Queen Of Music

  1. ScorpionMan says:

    Anyone who thinks she is over is retarded or a Lamb. And there’s not much difference between the two. Madonna’s ”Confessions” has outsold most of her rivals, according to the United World Charts: Christina ”Stripped” Britney ”ITZ” Gwen ”LAMB” Beyonce ”Dangerously In Love” J-LO ”This Is Me” & ”Rebirth” She has also matched Mariah Carey’s sales of ”TEOM” Go to –> albums –> all time chart

  2. EdwardAlex says:

    I love how the lambs say its not the 80’s anymore… well yeah no sh*t Madonna is still on top in 2006 23 years after she started. Good essay Kaustin… Long but good.

  3. yonder says:

    New album’, ‘I hear she’s writing a new album whilst on tour, anyone know when it will be released? Should add another 10 – 15 mil albums to the tally and another 5 – 10 mil in singles.

  4. KAustin says:

    I like Christina and I like Britney too, they both are respectable,’, ‘they earned there positions in the music industry. Christina has a remarkable voice, Britney’s is sort of like Madonna’s very distinguished. I like the fact that they both respect Madonna and honored her hard work that paved the way for other female artist to be more than just a pretty face. To my knowledge they like Madonna have not relied on payola or screw your boss tactics to become a major star. I can respect that.

  5. S Yates says:

    53 million album sales, fantastic. Queen have 300 million, a little way to go I guess?

    She’s ok, but not a legend!

  6. Sharia says:

    Madonna is the world’s best selling female artist of all time with the access of millions more than Celine and Mariah (before Nielsen Soundscan era in the 90s).

    Diamond Awards (started around 1991) could not qualify both Celine and Mariah because Madonna arrived in the music scene since 1982.

  7. Marcus says:


  8. Jules says:

    I am a fan of Madonna but a lot of the stats above are completely wrong. She has sold nowhere near 300 million albums.

  9. Onslaught says:

    Madonna is the Greatest Music Artist of All Time, and I’m very happy for that.

  10. jack says:

    I can actually tell you that if anything Madonna has sold OVER 350 million albums!!! In the UK the certifying body the BPI states that Madonna has sold over 42 million albums and 26.5 million singles, that’s just in the UK!! On average it states, she sells around 1.2 million albums a year from her back catalog be it in digital downloads or CD sales without a new album even being released so her tally is always increasing. In America she has shifted 64.5 million units which DOES NOT include her pre 1989 sales! The last official tally of Madonna’s sales were submitted in 1999 by Warner Brothers who stated back then that she had sold an unprecedented 220 million albums for them, this is without the sales of Music, GHV2, American Life, Confessions On A Dancefloor, Hard Candy, Remixed & Re-Visited (album in certain territories) and more recently Celebration. You also can add to this an average global sale of her old back catalog of around 3-4 million CD’s/Digital downloads globally. Also included are CD’s released as albums like I’m Going To Tell You A Secret and The Confessions Tour. In 1995 George Michael’s Faith album went on to be certified Diamond in the USA, 8 years after its official release! So the moral is don’t ever finish counting sales because artists like Madonna continually sell. As each new generation discovers her music, so they continue to buy. Why else is Elvis and Michael Jackson and The Beatles still selling long after their deaths?

  11. Alexis says:

    S Yates:

    Madonna hasn’t sold 53 millions, and of course that she has sold more than 300 million albums worldwide Joules, inform well :D
    And obviously she’s a legend

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