Wait, When Did That Come Out? Artists Whose Albums Flopped. Terribly.

July 16, 2014  |  
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These artists were expecting to do big numbers but instead their albums flopped. Terribly so.

Source: Interscope Records


What a difference a year makes. Last year Robin Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines” was everywhere and the song helped his album of the same name move almost a million copies. Even though his career was reaching new heights, Thicke was having trouble at home and his wife Paula Patton decided to separate. Determined to get her back, Thicke dedicated a whole album to woo his wife and even named it after her. However, fans weren’t feeling “Paula” and the album sold 24,000 copies in its first week here in the U.S. It was even worse overseas. The album only sold 530 copies in the U.K.

Source: Def Jam

“Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse”

No one has a voice quite like Mariah Carey. She released her debut album in the 90’s and since then she’s gone on to sell more than 200 million albums worldwide, becoming one of the highest selling artists of all time. But her last album didn’t fare as well as others. Carey has been working on “Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse” since 2011 and she originally partnered with longtime friend Randy Jackson before choosing producer Jermaine Dupri instead. The album debuted earlier this year at the number three spot on the Billboard charts and moved 58,000 units in the first week, Carey’s lowest numbers for a new release ever.

Source: Interscope Records

“Push And Shove”

No Doubt gave Gwen Stefani the launching pad she needed to start her solo career. Almost a decade after they released their debut album, the group split up and everyone went their own separate ways. The group got back together to tour and they soon went back into the studio to create some music. Eleven years since their last album, the group released “Push and Shout” in 2012. They managed to move over 100,000 in the first week but despite positive reviews, their sixth studio album soon fell off the charts.

Source: Interscope Records


In 2008, Lady Gaga dropped her debut album. “The Fame” contained the chart-topping song “Poker Face” which helped the album go on to sell more than ten million copies worldwide. But five years later, her third album didn’t do nearly as well. Described as a celebration and a poetic musical journey, “Artpop” claimed the top spot on the Billboard charts but soon became a distant memory. Lady Gaga’s latest album did so poorly, rumors started to swirl around that the flop had cost her label $25 million and led to layoffs, something the artist has said simply wasn’t true.

Source: Republic Records

“Talk A Good Game”

2013 was shaping up to be a promising year for the three ladies of Destiny’s Child. Beyonce kicked things off by reuniting the group for her Super Bowl performance and Kelly Rowland snagged a seat at U.K.’s “The X Factor” and dropped her fourth solo album. Despite receiving a lot of attention for getting personal on the song “Dirty Laundry,” Rowland just couldn’t translate that into sales. An even bigger star across the pond, Rowland’s “Talk A Good Game” debuted on the U.K. charts at number 80 spot. It didn’t do that much better here in the U.S.

Source: Columbia Records

“Somethin ‘Bout Kreay”

Like some other artists today, Kreayshawn gained a lot of attention when her 2011 song “Gucci Gucci” became a viral hit. Eager to capitalize off of that success, several labels came calling and the San Francisco native signed a record deal with Columbia Records. “Somethin ‘Bout Kreay” was released a year later and to Kreayshawn’s surprise, the album hardly moved off of the shelves. Selling just 3,900 copies, the 24-year-old has admitted that she’s only received one cent from royalties from “Somethin ‘Bout Kreay.”

Source: RCA Records

“Britney Jean”

For a while Britney Spears was one of the biggest selling pop artists out there. But something happened between her debut album “…Baby One More Time” back in 1999 and 2013’s “Britney Jean.” Her first album sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. By the time she was ready to drop her eighth studio album, times were different and her fans apparently weren’t feeling her new music. “Britney Jean” landed on the fourth spot in the U.S. and did even worse overseas. Her lowest selling album of her career, Spears’ latest attempt only reached the top 20 or 30 in other countries.

Source: RCA Records


Christina Aguilera started in the entertainment industry at an early. Working non-stop for much of her career, Aguilera took some time off when she had her first child. Four years later, the “Genie In A Bottle” singer was ready to reclaim her position but her fans just weren’t clamoring for her music. Her sixth album 2010’s “Bionic” was her lowest selling album of her career. That is until she dropped “Lotus” two years later. The album barely managed to go gold in the U.S. and it did even worse in the U.K. with less than ten thousand records sold.

Source: Interscope Records

“The Indestructible Spirit”

Nelly Furtado has sold more than 40 million records worldwide. No thanks to her latest album. After selling more than 10 million copies of her debut album the Latin singer was used to dominating the charts. But when she released “The Indestructible Spirit” in 2012, Furtado saw numbers she was never used to. Poor promotion led to poor sales and the album barely sold 10,000 in Canada and less than half of that here in the U.S.

Source: Capitol Records


Jennifer Lopez has been everywhere promoting her album, from performing at “Good Morning America” and appearing on “The Wendy Williams Show” to holding a free concert in her hometown of the Bronx. But despite all of her hard work, La Lopez’ “A.K.A.” is her lowest selling album so far. The album received mixed reviews from critics and even less support from fans. “A.K.A.” landed on the eight spot by moving 33,000 copies the first week and it dropped 75% in its second week and even further in the third.

Source: eOne


When Ashanti dropped her debut album back in 2002, she moved half a million records in the first week. Since then the “Foolish” singer has taken time off from singing to focus on an acting career but she was ready to make her return to music as an independent artist. Working on a 2012 release, “Braveheart” suffered a series of setbacks and kept getting new release dates until it finally got the green light this past March. A far cry from the sales of her debut album, “Braveheart” managed to move 28,000 copies in its first week.

Source: Epic Records


Ciara danced her way into our hearts with her debut album “Goodies” in 2004. However her popularity peaked with her first album and each one released after that sold less and less. By the time Ciara released her fifth self-titled album, she was barely selling the type of numbers she was used to. Despite features with Nicki Minaj, B.o.B. and her boo Future, “Ciara” soon fell off the charts. To help boost sales, Groupon offered a coupon for the album.

Source: Island Records


There was a bidding war over a young, baby-faced Justin Bieber. After signing with R&B singer Usher, the Canadian heartthrob’s debut album “My World” went platinum in several countries. But as he grew up in the public eye, Biebs adopted a bad boy image and it has negatively affected sales. To create a buzz for his latest project, Bieber released a new song on Monday for two months before dropping “Journals.” Despite their best promotions efforts, sales from “Journals” made it Bieber’s lowest performing album.

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  • Mr Vinyl Pants

    seems to be a theme, self indulgence doesn’t sell.

  • Alex Van Hagar

    Further proof in distinction between real artist and flavour of the month! What do you expect from the music industry in 2014…

    • Jay

      Very true! See: Lady Gaga. Or as I like to say, Lady Gaggag.

  • Miss M

    Gaga tacky showmanship, is all played out, no surprise here!

  • Smedley Snodgrass

    Gosh, who knew pop music was disposable…

    still, a badly-written article – could’ve used some more sales figures for these, instead of expecting us to take your word for it (show, don’t tell).

  • mon88

    All of the albums on this list were terrible imo, and ppl are not buying albums anymore because the music sucks plain and simple. If artist focus on making great albums with great songs instead of just having a hot single or two ppl would buy the album.

  • Guest

    All of the albums on this list were terrible imo, and ppl are not buying albums anymore because the music sucks plain and simple. If artist focus on making good albums with great songs apposed to just having hot singles ppl would buy the album.

  • Sean Cuthill

    You had a picture of the album cover and you still managed to screw up the title of Nelly Furtado’s album. Twice. Epic fail.

  • Elizabeth Aspen

    I’m not shocked that Mariah flopped. She just doesn’t get it. Maybe the material was good, who knows. It was the title that was the problem – “Me. I Am Mariah . . .’ For someone who’s constantly screaming that she’s not a diva, that title certainly sounds completely self-absorbed, as if she’s doing her audience a huge favor by just throwing an album their way. She’s turned her career into one big caricature with her over-the-top attitude.

  • Tim

    Please have someone go over this article with a fine tooth comb. There are numerous mistakes in spelling album names and some grammatical errors and missing words too.

  • 01lander

    The rumours that ARTPOP cost the label $25 million dollars and led to layoffs is entirely falsified by a troll journalist going under the fake name of Angela Cheng.

    • Mr Vinyl Pants

      So I guess the rumours that the producers also convinced to drop the ‘F’ from the title are untrue as well?

      • 01lander

        That’s nice.

  • Kensal

    truth these days now more than ever being the social media age we live in now people drop off the map pretty quickly

  • lola

    No doubts’ first album didnt sell too. Not a good example. There must be the prodigy’s always outnumbered

  • Thekeeks

    I actually enjoyed Ciara’ s album. I also have lady gaga’s album. Both were pretty good to me.

  • CeCe Says Ugonlearntaday

    U don’t stay hott on the music scene forever no matter who u are. Even Queen Bey encountered a dip in her album says with that album “4”….

  • mich

    Peeps aint buying records that’s all, these artists need to diversify!!

  • Doll Phace

    Who cares. People are still burning cds!

    • Elizabeth Aspen

      That’s not true. People who are real connoseurs of music buy cd’s – even vinyl – because they believe in the sound quality of those mediums over mp3’s. I personally don’t hear any difference, but a lot of people do. Soundgarden and Sarah McLachlan’s latest albums sold a lot of vinyl – AND they were two of the best albums of 2013 and 2014.

      • Doll Phace

        All I’m saying is that people don’t buy music like they used to and that could be a reason why people cd sales are down

  • Momma Dee Tha Q.U.E.E.N

    Kelly Rowland is the only one that shouldn’t have flopped… They shoved her down the worlds throats last summer… And I also heard Dirty Laundry wasn’t really her story just a song the Dream wrote & she sang it best to his liking…although I could just be a rumor…