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Ask Billboard: Ariana Grande’s Career Album & Song Sales

Plus, "Meant to Be" is a rare pop-to-country crossover hit.

Submit questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, tweet @gthot20   


<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Hey <a href=””>@gthot20</a>! Can we have an update on <a href=””>@ArianaGrande</a>&#39;s US sales? <a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#AskBillboard</a> <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; Ariana Grande Charts (@arianaonchart) <a href=””>April 21, 2018</a></blockquote>

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In honor of Ariana Grande‘s return with new single “No Tears Left to Cry,” let’s recap her album and song sales in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music.    

Album Sales
735,000, My Everything; 596,000, Yours Truly; 396,000, Dangerous Woman; 44,000, Christmas & Chill (EP)   

Top-Selling Digital Songs
3.7 million, “Problem” (feat. Iggy Azalea); 3.4 million, “Bang Bang” (Jessie J, Grande & Nicki Minaj); 2.4 million, “The Way” (feat. Mac Miller); 1.3 million, “Love Me Harder” (with The Weeknd); 1.9 million, “Break Free” (feat. Zedd)

1.11 million, “Side to Side” (feat. Nicki Minaj); 1.09 million, “Dangerous Woman”; 881,000, “One Last Time”; 744,000, “Into You”; 490,000, “Focus”

Released April 20, in time for a full week of streaming and sales tracking (ending April 26), “No Tears Left to Cry” is in line to make a splashy debut on the Billboard Hot 100 dated May 5 (highlights of which are scheduled to be revealed Monday, April  30).


Meanwhile, the song should debut in the top 30 of the Pop Songs airplay chart to be compiled tomorrow (April 23), and posted on Tuesday (April 24), from its first three days of airplay (as that chart’s tracking week, unlike for streaming and sales, runs Monday through Sunday).


<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Hi <a href=””>@gthot20</a> . One quick question from me. Before &quot;Meant to Be&quot;, is there any other songs that reached top 10 of Country Airplay AFTER reaching top 10 of Pop Songs? I believe this is a rare feat.</p>&mdash; Firdaus Zainalabidin (@dexterfirdaus) <a href=””>March 14, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Insightful angle, as country crossover hits generally start at country and then segue to pop radio.

Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line‘s “Meant to Be” is the 13th song that has hit the top 10 on both the Country Airplay and Pop Songs airplay charts, dating to the latter’s Oct. 3, 1992, inception (after Country Airplay originated on Jan. 20, 1990).

It’s just the second song of those, however, to hit both the top 40 and top 10 of Pop Songs before reaching those benchmarks on Country Airplay:

“Meant to Be,” Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line
Hit Pop Songs top 40: Nov. 25, 2017
Hit Country Airplay top 40: Dec. 30, 2017

Hit Pop Songs top 10: March 10, 2018
Hit Country Airplay top 10: March 17, 2018

It joins …

“All Summer Long,” Kid Rock
Hit Pop Songs top 40: June 7, 2008
Hit Country Airplay top 40: July 26, 2008

Hit Pop Songs top 10: Aug. 9, 2008
Hit Country Airplay top 10: Sept. 6, 2008

The other top 10s on both charts, all of which made their marks at country first before crossing to pop: FGL’s “Cruise”; Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now”; Taylor Swift’s “Fifteen,” “You Belong With Me” and “Love Story”; Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats”; Faith Hill’s “Breathe”; Lonestar’s “Amazed”; Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “You’re Still the One”; and Restless Heart’s “When She Cries.”

Looking at that list, it’s not surprising that “Meant to Be” and “All Summer Long” are the outliers, as Rexha and Kid Rock are not core country acts, like Lady A, Underwood, Twain and others.

“Meant to Be” has so far risen to No. 2 on both Pop Songs (April 14) and Country Airplay (dated April 21). Only one song has topped both tallies: Swift’s “Love Story,” which hit No. 1 on the country chart dated Nov. 22, 2008, and the pop survey three months later, on Feb. 28, 2009.


“Meant to Be” has crowned the airplay-, streaming- and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart for 20 weeks and counting, the third-longest reign in the ranking’s 59-year history. It’s led Country Digital Song Sales for 18 frames and Country Streaming Songs for 16.

“I told our staff from day one, if there is a [country] station that doesn’t want to play it, don’t get into a debate,” Big Machine Label Group executive vp and BMLG Records president Jimmy Harnen recently told Billboard of “Meant to Be.” (BMLG, FGL’s label, is co-promoting the song with Warner Bros., Rexha’s label; and that is the same Harnen who hit No. 10 on the Hot 100 in 1989 with lost-love song “Where Are You Now.”)

“Just show them the sales, streams and [radio] audience impressions. Sometimes you have to listen with your eyes.”


Hi Gary,

It’s somewhat appropriate that Grey‘s first trip to the Hot 100’s top 10 is titled “The Middle” … given that gray (or grey) is that type of color, between black and white …

Pablo Nelson
Oakland, California

Hi Pablo,

Plus, the song, by Zedd, Maren Morris (the middle-billed artist) and Grey, has essentially hit the middle of the Hot 100’s top 10, reaching No. 6 so far (as there’s no way to be a No. 5.5 hit).

If the collab can climb one more spot to the upper side of the middle of the top 10, it’ll tie for the highest-peaking hit by that title: Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” reached No. 5 in 2002.

P.S.: Congrats – from a Boston sports fan here – on the A’s’ no-hitter, by Sean Manaea, last night over the Red Sox (who were wearing their road … grays). Sports, like charts, can be unpredictable, as the Red Sox were an MLB-best 17-2 going into the game. Of course, unlike for an artist on the charts, no hits for a pitcher is a good thing.