Kanye West might be one of the world’s hottest topics right now in terms of celebrity and pop culture. With his divorce from Kim Kardashian and some of the subsequent behaviours, Kanye has been the talk of the town for everything besides his music as of late.
But some version of that has been the case for a while now, from his conviction to run for president to his church sermons that seemed to appear and disappear out of nowhere. It can be easy to forget that Kanye West is the same person who produced The College Dropout and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Especially as some of his music hasn’t been immune to his… interesting choices. (Does anybody remember 2018’s ‘Lift Yourself’?)
Regardless, Kanye was the person who made College Dropout, Graduation, Yeezus, and so many more incredible feats of music. He’s the mind behind ‘Gold Digger’ and ‘Power’. There’s so much range to his songwriting and execution. Between his genuine talent and his media attention, it leaves one to wonder exactly how many albums he’s sold, in total.
Although album sales aren’t the primary means for measuring success, especially for an artist who has been around long enough to see the landscape of album buying to streaming platforms change, but it can be an interesting metric to use in terms of tracking an artist’s career.
Kanye West’s best selling album:
This might surprise some, but it might come as no shock at all to others, but The College Dropout is still Kanye’s best selling album to date. Released in 2004, The College Dropout was his debut, and it had plenty of hits that people took an immediate liking to.
The College Dropout included songs like ‘Get Em High’, ‘All Falls Down’, and ‘Through the Wire’. Even though a few of his bigger hits were still on the horizon, this album represented who he was as an artist purely, aside from any public persona.
The album sold 3,358,000 in the United States, and went platinum four times over. Even to this day, almost twenty years later, he’s yet to surpass this with another album.
Kanye West’s worst-selling album:
This is actually a much more complicated question than you might think. Here’s why: his 2018 album Ye sold 85,000 US copies, technically making it his least successful album to date. However, the recent release of Donda 2 makes many of the figures unavailable yet. However, after Donda in 2021’s 309,000 copies, it’s safe to say that it will at least surpass Ye.
However, The Life of Pablo also dips close to Ye with 94,000 album-equivalent units. However, with the development of streaming services, especially between his early and most successful albums, and his later successful albums, one might wonder if his lower-sale albums weren’t about Kanye himself, but the way that media consumption was shifting in the 2010s.
Kanye West’s total album sales:
Regardless, Kanye West still has sold so many albums. When it comes to compiling his total album sales, which he’s had nearly twenty years to accumulate, he’s sold upwards of 100 million digital downloads and 21 million albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
These figures come from his eleven studio albums, but even with that range, there’s still something to be said for the level of success that he’s achieved. Regardless of his public persona, it’s clear that people still listen to his music and stick around, which is something even notoriety can’t always buy.