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Ask Billboard: Demi Lovato’s Career Album & Song Sales

A pair of lists for Lovatics. Plus, chart similarities between twenty one pilots & 21 Savage and the oddity of Tom Petty's signature song never having hit the Hot 100.

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”><a href=””>@gthot20</a> Can you recap Demi&#39;s US sales? thanks <a href=”;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#AskBillboard</a></p>&mdash; Demi Lovato Charts (@dlovato_charts) <a href=””>September 14, 2017</a></blockquote>

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Hi @dlovato_charts,

Demi Lovato had quite a week on the charts, lifting to a new career high of No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 (dated Oct. 21) with “Sorry Not Sorry”; debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with her new album Tell Me You Love Me, marking her sixth top five entry in as many visits; and hitting a new Hot 100 peak (No. 38, in its 21st week on the list) with Cheat Codes’ “No Promises,” on which she’s featured.

Let’s celebrate her latest chart achievements by recapping her career sales in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music.

Album Sales
549,000, Don’t Forget (2008); 527,000, Unbroken (2011); 514,000, Here We Again (2009); 482,000, Demi (2013); 235,000, Confident (2015); 48,000, Tell Me You Love Me (2017)

Lovato’s career U.S. album sales stand at 2.4 million.

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Best-Selling Digital Songs
2.2 million, “Give Your Heart a Break”; 2.1 million, “Heart Attack”; 1.6 million, “Skyscraper”; 1.1 million, “Let It Go”; 1.1 million, “Don’t Forget”

1.1 million, “Confident”; 1 million, “Neon Lights”; 995,000, “Cool for the Summer”; 952,000, “Really Don’t Care” (feat. Cher Lloyd); 945,000, “This Is Me” (with Joe Jonas)

935,000, “La La Land”; 880,000, “Here We Go Again”; 586,000, “Get Back”; 517,000, “Sorry Not Sorry”; 336,000, “One and the Same” (with Selena Gomez)

314,000, “We’ll Be a Dream” (We the Kings feat. Lovato); 312,000, “Made in the USA”; 303,000, “Stone Cold”; 294,000, “Catch Me”; 278,000, “Somebody to You”

Lovato has sold 20.8 million song downloads.

21, BUT NOT 2-1

Hi Gary,

If Post Malone’s “Rockstar,” featuring 21 Savage, peaks at No. 2 on the Hot 100, that will mark the second act with “21,” or “twenty one,” in its name to peak at that position. Before “Rockstar,” twenty one pilots flew to the runner-up position twice, with “Stressed Out” and “Heathens,” in 2016. Can 21 Savage be the one to get a “21”-named act from 2 to 1?

Now I’m humming Ciara’s “1, 2 Step” (also a No. 2 Hot 100 hit) for some reason.

Pablo Nelson
Oakland, California

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Hi Pablo,

Meanwhile, twenty one pilots’ first major-label album, Vessel, reached No. 21 on the Billboard 200 in 2016 (the year that Post Malone turned 21 years old). It’s sort of like how Maroon 5 climbed to No. 5 on the Hot 100 with its first two top five hits, “This Love” and “She Will Be Loved,” in 2004. Or how 38 Special hit No. 38 on the Hot 100 with “You Keep Runnin’ Away” in 1982. Or how 10,000 Maniacs peaked at … oh, um, much higher than that number with hits on several charts …

In any case, “Rockstar” could still hit No. 1 on the Hot 100; we’ll find out the top 10 of the new, Oct. 28-dated chart tomorrow. If it does, as for the second part of his name … 21 Savage would become the second act with “savage” in its billing to top the chart, following Savage Garden, who led in 1998 with “Truly Madly Deeply” and in 2000 with “I Knew I Loved You.” (On their way down the Hot 100, each of those ballads spent a week at No. 21.)


<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><a href=””>@gthot20</a> Interesting how American Girl (now one of his signature songs) didn&#39;t crossover to pop, but Jammin Me (which you rarely hear) did.</p>&mdash; Damon Shaw (@DamonShawPhotos) <a href=””>October 3, 2017</a></blockquote>

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Hi Damon,

“American Girl” is certainly one of those songs whose legacy far outshines its chart history. It was released as the second single from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers‘ 1976 self-titled debut album but never hit the Hot 100. Re-released in 1994, it reached No. 9 on the Hot 100’s Bubbling Under chart. Following Petty’s Oct. 2 passing, it did debut at No. 11 on last week’s Hot Rock Songs chart. It also has sold an impressive 1.1 million downloads to date.

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Sometimes, songs don’t become chart hits but bands go on to superstardom and, given their popularity by that point, log other high-charting tracks, but ones that ultimately aren’t as fondly remembered, a la “Jammin’ Me,” a No. 18 Hot 100 hit in 1987 (and a fun song in its own right, just nowhere near the revered status of “American Girl”).

“American Girl” could be considered Petty’s signature song – that or “Free Fallin’,” but “American Girl” was the last song that he played in, sadly, his final show with the Heartbreakers on Sept. 25 – and it’s hard to find other major rock acts whose perhaps most beloved song was never a Hot 100 hit, released before they broke through to greater levels with other singles. New Order almost makes the cut, but a re-released “Bizarre Love Triangle,” originally from 1986, spent two weeks on the Hot 100 in 1995, reaching No. 98. Maybe The Clash’s “London Calling”? Or, Barenaked Ladies’ “If I Had $1,000,000”? Feel free to add other examples in the comments section.


As a huge Petty fan, I ranked my favorite songs of his in a 2014 “Ask Billboard,” after he graced the cover of Billboard that July. Let’s rerun my top 20 in tribute. It also shows how, like “American Girl,” he gave us so many classic songs beyond his Hot 100 hits.

20, “Into the Great Wide Open,” Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1991
19, “Scare Easy,” Mudcrutch, 2008
18, “The Last DJ,” Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 2002
17, “The Waiting,” Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1981
16, “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1985

15, “Runnin Down a Dream,” Tom Petty, 1989
14, “Free Fallin’,” Tom Petty, 1990
13, “Runaway Trains,” Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1987 (like “Jammin’ Me, from the album Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough); so is another personal favorite, “All Mixed Up”)
12, “Square One,” Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 2006
11, “Learning to Fly,” Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1991

10, “Flirting With Time,” Tom Petty, 2007
9, “Not Alone Any More,” Traveling Wilburys, 1988 (The origin of the supergroup’s name? In recording George Harrison’s album Cloud Nine with Jeff Lynne, some glitches occurred due to faulty equipment. Harrison’s solution: “We’ll bury ’em in the mix.”)
8, “Wildflowers,” Tom Petty, 1994
7, “A Face in the Crowd,” Tom Petty, 1990
6, “I Won’t Back Down,” Tom Petty, 1989

5, “End of the Line,” Traveling Wilburys, 1989
4, “All the Wrong Reasons,” Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1991
3, “Handle With Care,” Traveling Wilburys, 1988
2, “Inside Out,” Traveling Wilburys, 1990

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And …
1, “A Higher Place,” Tom Petty, 1995 (Petty at his Byrds-influenced best, from 1994’s Wildflowers)

“The only good thing about getting older is you get smart enough to avoid unnecessary problems,” Petty mused in the Billboard 2014 cover story. “You know what’s worth spending time on and what’s not. If I had known that at 20, life would have been so much easier.

“But, you have to experience all these things so you figure out how to find your way through the woods.”