The Houston native has been breaking sales and streaming records since the start of her career. Boardroom looks at the best-selling Beyoncé albums.
Beyoncé isn’t new to this; she’s true to this. Since she stepped onto the scene in girl groups to now being one of the best entertainers of all time, the Obsessed actress has continued to break her own records. No matter the genre — R&B, pop, 1970s-inspired funk, or electronica — she has continued to cultivate an untouchable path all on her own.
Beyoncé is now the sixth-most certified artist and third-most awarded female artist in all of US music history with a total of 114 million RIAA Single Awards. Did we also forget to mention that the Houston native made history as the most-awarded and most-nominated artist in Grammy history, including her work with Destiny’s Child and alongside her husband Jay-Z in The Carters?
Now a mother of three, including her award-winning daughter Blue Ivy Carter, Beyoncé is continuing to leave a legacy that only a living legend of her caliber could continue to curate as she serves as an icon for Black folks, women, and the queer community. Boardroom is getting into the official Virgo’s Groove as we celebrate the accolades of Queen Bey by album sales. Join us as we sift through each of the Beyoncé albums that hit No. 1, according to official RIAA reports.
The Best-selling Beyoncé Albums
Dangerously In Love (2003): 6 Million Certified Units
Talk about the ultimate debut. Still in her late teens, young Bey stepped out on her own away from her Destiny’s Child bandmates to record her first solo project. With notable singles such as “Naughty Girl,” “Baby Boy,” and “Crazy In Love” featuring her now-husband, Dangerously In Love is still her highest-selling album to date.
I Am Sasha Fierce (2008): 6 Million Certified Units
When Beyoncé introduced her alter ego Sasha Fierce, a new wave of fandom was unleashed to the Beyhive. From pop hits “Sweet Dreams” and the Lady Gaga-assisted remix of “Video Phone” to beloved ballads “Halo” and “Ave Maria,” I Am Sasha Fierce is still one of Beyoncé’s best performing pieces of work nearly 15 years later.
B’Day (2006): 5 Million Certified Units
Beyoncé released her sophomore album following the recording of Destiny’s Child’s farewell album Destiny Fulfilled and her role as Deena Jones in the 2006 reimagining of Dreamgirls. With elements of funk and live instrumentation, B’Day included smash hits such as “Deja Vu,” “Get Me Bodied,” “Irreplaceable,” and “Ring The Alarm,” which became Beyoncé’s highest-debuting single at the time. Did you know that the music video was choreographed by a then-16-year-old Teyana Taylor?
BEYONCE (2013): 5 Million Certified Units
We all remember where we were when Beyoncé stopped the world with her surprise self-titled album in 2013. Just a decade ago, Beyoncé released the album across streaming platforms and changed the game of the music industry’s release schedule for years to come. Including chart-topping singles such as “XO,” “Partition,” and “Flawless (Remix)” featuring Nicki Minaj on the platinum edition of the album, it’s no wonder this album secured a top Billboard spot and became the fastest-selling album on iTunes.
4 (2011): 4 Million Certified Units
“Run The World (Girls)” and “Best Thing I Never Had” are just two of the many standout singles from Beyoncé’s 4 album. “Love On Top” has become one of her most popular hits to date and served as a key moment in pop culture history when the singer announced her pregnancy with her first child Blue Ivy at the 2011 Video Music Awards. The single also won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance at the 55th annual ceremony. With writing credits from Kanye West, Ester Dean, Michael Bivins, and Babyface, 4 stamped Beyoncé’s creative artistry in the music industry for years to come.
Lemonade (2016): 3 Million Certified Units
This seemingly scandalous album created some of the most controversial conversations about a romantic relationship in pop culture history, including speculation as to who was “Becky with the good hair.” From “Sorry” and “Formation” to “Hold Up,” Beyoncé’s musical film and visual album release via HBO became the most critically acclaimed in her discography, while allowing the Beyhive into her personal journey in love, self-worth, and more.
Renaissance (2022): 1 Million Certified Units
It’s no secret that Queen Bey’s most recent studio album has lit a new fire under the Beyhive, especially with Virgo season right around the corner. Beyoncé’s dance-electronic album has resurged the love of house music while paying homage to the LGBTQIA+ community and collaborating with figures such as DJ Honey Dijon and New Orleans bounce royalty Big Freedia. According to Access Online, the RIAA awarded the singer-songwriter with 70 new certifications for massive sales and streaming tallies, with nine of her tracks selling over 1 million units.
Homecoming: The Live Album (2019): 500,000 Certified Units
As Beyoncé’s fifth live album, the project was recorded during her Coachella performance in April 2018. In addition to the album, the Netflix concert film was released on the same day with her cover of Maze’s “Before I Let Go” streaming through the credits. The album and concert film were wildly praised for their spotlight on inclusion of the HBCU community, with Google searches of the term “HBCU” reaching an all-time high after Homecoming: The Live Album was released.
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