Friday, July 2, 2010

Billboard compares Gaga to Madonna

Ask Billboard is updated every Friday. Submit your burning music questions to Gary Trust at Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.

Hey Gary,

I am a longtime reader of Chart Beat and enjoy reading these "Ask Billboard" questions.

Many people compare Lady Gaga to Madonna. I believe the two are equal in talent, as well as style. It is hard to compare the pair, though, because Lady Gaga released her first single ("Just Dance") 27 months ago, while Madonna released her first single ("Everybody") 333 months ago (or 322, if you consider "Holiday" Madonna's first mainstream hit).

I was wondering if you could compare any statistics between Lady Gaga and Madonna approximately two years into each artist's career.


Mr. Clayman
New Jersey

Hi Garrett,

Since Nielsen SoundScan data was not launched until 1991, we can't fairly compare Madonna's sales to Lady Gaga's. We can, however, look at their Billboard chart performances in their first 23 months after each artist's Hot 100 debut, since that's how long Lady Gaga has been impacting the chart. Madonna first reached the Hot 100 dated Oct. 29, 1983, and Lady Gaga, Aug. 16, 2008:

Billboard Hot 100

Madonna: 8 entries, 7 top 10s, 2 No. 1s (and 2 Gold titles, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
Lady Gaga: 10 entries, 7 top 10s, 2 No. 1s (and 4 Platinum titles, according to the RIAA)

Billboard 200

Madonna: 2 entries, 2 top 10s, 1 No. 1
Lady Gaga: 2 entries, 2 top 10s

Dance/Club Play Songs (comparing each artist's first 26 months, since Lady Gaga first charted on the list dated May 3, 2008)

Madonna: 5 entries, 5 top 10s, 3 No. 1s
Lady Gaga: 8 entries, 8 top 10s, 7 No. 1s

Adult Contemporary

Madonna: 7 entries, 2 top 10s
Lady Gaga: 5 entries

SOURCE: Billboard