Celine Dion's Best-Selling Albums & Most-Streamed Songs: Ask Billboard Mailbag

Courtesy of Columbia Records
Celine Dion

Plus, Lizzo's heavenly ascent with "Good as Hell."

Submit questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com.

Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, tweet @gthot20.

Let's open this week's mailbag.

Hi Gary,

To celebrate the chart-topping arrival of Celine Dion's new album, Courage, could you please update us with her career sales and streaming totals?

Thanks,

Krzysztof Gorecki
Lublin, Poland

Hi Krzysztof,

As previously reported, Dion rules the Billboard 200 for the first time in over 17 years (ending a record wait between No. 1s among solo female artists), as Courage opens atop the Nov. 30-dated chart.

The set is Dion's first leader since 2002's A New Day Has Come, whose title cut topped the Adult Contemporary chart for 21 weeks, marking the longest-leading, and most recent, of her 11 No. 1s on the ranking.

Meanwhile, Courage lead single "Imperfections" has reached No. 13 on AC so far, marking her highest rank this decade. The song is her 43rd total entry on the chart, dating to her 1990 debut, the most of all acts in the '90s, 2000s and '10s combined. (Rounding out the top five in that stretch: Rod Stewart, with 43; Jim Brickman, 37; Elton John, 36; and Mariah Carey, 35.)

Let's dig in to Dion's impressive career U.S. sales and streams, according to Nielsen Music.

Best-Selling Albums
10.9 million, Falling Into You; 9.6 million, Let's Talk About Love; 8.2 million, All the Way...A Decade of Song; 5.6 million, These Are Special Times; 4.6 million, The Colour of My Love

3.3 million, A New Day Has Come; 2.4 million, Celine Dion; 1.8 million, One Heart; 1.2 million, Unison; 1.1 million, Taking Chances

Most-Streamed (On-Demand) Songs
588.2 million, "My Heart Will Go On"; 154.7 million, "Because You Loved Me"; 99 million, "The Power of Love"; 84.5 million, "It's All Coming Back to Me Now"; 70 million, "All by Myself"

64 million, "Ashes"; 60.4 million, "Beauty and the Beast" (with Peabo Bryson); 54.1 million, "That's the Way It Is"; 49.5 million, "I'm Alive"; 49.4 million, "A New Day Has Come"

Dion ranks in elite company as the fifth-best-selling album artist since Nielsen began tracking sales in 1991, with 53.2 million albums sold in the U.S. in that span. The top four: Garth Brooks, 72.4 million; The Beatles, 70.2 million; Metallica, 56.6 million; and Carey, 55.5 million.

As for perhaps her signature (and most-streamed) song, Dion recently revealed, "There's one song that I didn't wanna record ... and I'm glad that they didn't listen to me: 'My Heart Will Go On.' It's true."

Her late husband and manager, René Angélil, convinced her to demo the Titanic theme song just once, and that vocal made the finalized recording, which topped the Billboard Hot 100, among other charts, in 1998.

"It didn't appeal to me," she recalled of the ballad. "I was probably very tired that day ..."

Oh, one more official stat:

"But after that," she said, "I've sung it about 3 gazillion times."

NONE AS GOOD AS 'GOOD AS HELL'

Hi Gary,

With Lizzo's rise to No. 3 on the Hot 100 this week with "Good as Hell," is that now the highest-charting hit to include the word "hell"?

I recall that The All-American Rejects reached No. 4 with "Gives You Hell" in 2009. Of course, songs with "heaven" in their titles have hit No. 1, but, thanks to Lizzo, have the depths of "hell" hit a new high?

Pablo Nelson
Oakland, California

"Hell"-o Pablo,

You are correct: Lizzo raises "hell" to a new Hot 100 best.

Here's an updated look at the top 10-peaking Hot 100 hits with "hell" in their titles, including another currently on the chart by a fellow 2019 breakout star, Billie Eilish. (And, we'll make it 11, actually, since the last one is one of the most iconic such songs.)

Peak Pos., Title, Artist, Peak Year
No. 3, "Good as Hell," Lizzo, 2019
No. 4, "Gives You Hell," The All-American Rejects, 2009
No. 11, "What the Hell," Avril Lavigne, 2011
No. 11, "One Hell of a Woman," Mac Davis, 1974
No. 17, "Hell Yeah," Ginuwine feat. Baby, 2003
No. 32, "Gives You Hell," Glee Cast, 2010
No. 33, "If You're Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)," Rodney Atkins, 2006
No. 44, "One Hell of an Amen," Brantley Gilbert, 2015
No. 45, "Hell Yeah," Montgomery Gentry, 2003
No. 46, "All the Good Girls Go to Hell," Billie Eilish, 2019
No. 47, "Highway to Hell," AC/DC, 1979

(Notably, nine of the 11 songs above are from 2000-on, perhaps suggesting that standards have loosened for potentially controversial song titles.)

"Good as Hell" concurrently spends a second week at No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, where it's the first hit to reign with "hell" in its title, having bested Curtis Mayfield's "(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below We're All Going to Go," which reached No. 3 in 1971.

Meanwhile, joining Lizzo and Eilish with "hell"-ish current hits, Kesha is climbing Pop Songs with "Raising Hell" (featuring Big Freedia), which lifts to a new No. 26 high this week.

We should probably give songs with "devil" in their titles their due, so three honorable (dishonorable?) mentions. INXS's "Devil Inside" is the highest-charting such Hot 100 hit, having reached No. 2 in 1988. It surpassed two No. 3-peaking classics: "(You're the) Devil in Disguise," by Elvis Presley with The Jordanaires (1963), and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," by The Charlie Daniels Band (1979).

If that's all too much "hell," five hits with "heaven" in their titles have ascended to No. 1 on the Hot 100, starting with the Bee Gees' "Too Much Heaven" in 1979. The other four: "Heaven," by Bryan Adams (1985); "Heaven Is a Place on Earth," by Belinda Carlisle (1987); "Inside Your Heaven," by Carrie Underwood (2005); and "Locked Out of Heaven," by Bruno Mars (2012).

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.