With her Yo Gotti collaboration “Rake It Up” officially advancing from 2x to 3x multi-platinum, Nicki Minaj has topped 100 million RIAA units across albums, singles and features.
Minaj is the fourth female artist to achieve this milestone (joining Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry) as well as the first ever female rapper.
Here’s an updated look at the top 5 women as certified by the RIAA:
1. Rihanna 198 million units (22.5 million of which are albums)
2. Taylor Swift 169.5 million units (43 million of which are albums)
3. Katy Perry 108 million units (6 million of which are albums)
4. Nicki Minaj 100 million units* (8.5 million of which are albums)
4. Mariah Carey 90 million units (66 million of which are albums)
The top 10 is completed by Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga and Adele.
Nicki Minaj’s total includes her work with Young Money (0.5 million albums and 3 million singles). The total also includes certifications for Nicki’s remixes of “Down in the DM” (award presented to Yo Gotti and Nicki Minaj) and “Dance (A$$)” (RIAA website specifies the remix).
Despite receiving credit on Billboard for both “Plain Jane” and “The Way Life Goes”, it’s unclear which versions the RIAA considers primary. For this reason, they have been excluded. Including those tracks, Minaj’s total units would rise to 93 million.
All other remixes were either considered promotional singles (“Hello Good Morning”, “All I Do Is Win”, etc.) and didn’t receive credit on Billboard or remain uncertified (“Till the World Ends”).
Nicki Minaj, along with many other artists referred to in the ranking above, have under-certified catalogues. In addition, RIAA certifications are not entirely appropriate in expressing overall career sales.