Ask Billboard: Britney Spears' Career Sales & How Big a Hit Will 'Make Me' Be?
A rundown of Spears' top-selling songs & albums, and a look ahead at the prospects for her brand-new single featuring G-Eazy.
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Britney Spears recently got awarded with the prestigious Millennium Award at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards, and now she's back with her new single, "Make Me," featuring G-Eazy. Would it be possible for you to update her album and single sales?
Los Angeles, California
With Britney-mania in full effect since "Make Me" arrived at midnight Friday morning (July 15), let's recap her best-selling albums in the U.S. and song downloads, according to Nielsen Music (while remembering that her 1998 career launch predates the digital download era).
…Baby One More Time (1999), 10.6 million; Oops!...I Did It Again (2000), 9.2 million; Britney (2001), 4.4 million; In the Zone (2003), 3 million; Circus (2008), 1.7 million; Greatest Hits: My Prerogative (2004), 1.5 million; Blackout (2007), 1 million; Femme Fatale (2011), 794,000; Britney Jean (2013), 272,000; The Singles Collection (2009), 260,000
With 33.4 million albums sold in the U.S., Spears is the 17th-best-selling album artist since Nielsen began tracking sales in 1991. Among women, she's fourth, after Mariah Carey (55 million), Celine Dion (52.6 million) and Shania Twain (34.7 million). After Spears, Reba McEntire rounds out the top five among women (30.5 million).
"Womanizer," 3.5 million downloads sold; "Circus," 3.2 million; "Till the World Ends," 3 million; "3," 2.4 million; "Toxic," 2.3 million
"Piece of Me," 1.9 million; "Gimme More," 1.84 million; "I Wanna Go," 1.78 million; "Hold It Against Me," 1.6 million; "If U Seek Amy," 1.3 million
Those 10 songs represent Spears' 10 million-selling downloads. Next on the list: "Work B**ch!," at 967,000.
On the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast in May, just ahead of Spears' Millennium Award win and Billboard Music Awards show-stopping (and show-starting) hits medley, RCA Records executive vp/GM Joe Riccitelli previewed that a Spears single was due "sometime this summer."
"I've played this track for a lot of people over the last couple of months and the response has been everything I was hoping for and more, so I'm really excited about that," he said.
As for a full album, her first since Britney Jean in 2013? "Britney's really working on a fantastic record. I've heard about four or five songs that I think are just going to be big hits for her.
"She's found a really great groove."
Radio programmers agree, considering the immediate reception for "Make Me." With three days of airplay in the tracking week (which closes at the end of today, July 17), the track should debut on Billboard's mainstream top 40-based Pop Songs airplay chart (dated July 30), due to be compiled early tomorrow. Hourly airplay on participating iHeartMedia-owned stations Friday helped drive the song's radio launch.
What size hit might "Make Me" become? "The honest read is big," iHeartMedia WHYI (Y100) Miami program director Alex Tear told Billboard Friday. "Today on Y100, it's a whole lot of BS!," as the station played the new single at the top of the hour and Spears throwbacks at the bottom of the hour. Among her classics aired: "…Baby One More Time," "(You Drive Me) Crazy" and "I'm a Slave 4 U."
Tear's overall take on "Make Me": "Strong listener feedback, really positive. G-Eazy also complements the song. A good partnership and vibe."
Having been released Friday, "Make Me" isn't likely to debut on the new, July 30-dated Billboard Hot 100, the top 10 of which will be announced tomorrow (first on Periscope; follow @billboard to be notified of when Trevor Anderson and I will count down the top 10 and chat with you, as always on Mondays #endofshamelessplug).
But, following a full first week of sales and streaming (ending July 21), "Make Me" should blast onto the Aug. 6-dated Hot 100, whose top 10 will be revealed a week from tomorrow, on Monday, July 25. It could arrive as Spears' first top 10 since early 2013, when "Scream & Shout," with will.i.am, reached No. 3.
Spears' last Hot 100 No. 1 (her fifth) as a lead artist? "Hold It Against Me," which debuted at No. 1 on Jan. 29, 2011. She landed her last No. 1 overall as featured on Rihanna's "S&M" (April 30, 2011).
"Make Me" looks likely to battle for a lofty debut on the Aug. 6 Hot 100 with that other notable song released Friday, Katy Perry's Olympics anthem "Rise." Stay tuned for sales and chart projections this week on billboard.com.