Can Bieber retire with ‘Mistletoe’ earnings?
If Justin Bieber’s Christmas album does well, will he never have to work again?—The Third Woman, via the inbox
Bieber likely has earned enough to retire already — or at least take a long vacation — even without that song about how I’mma be under the mistletoe with you, shawtay. (Confidential to Bieber: Don’t you threaten me.) For singers, Christmas albums are the gift that keeps on giving. To them. To the tune of…
Hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions.
Because look: Some albums do so well that they not only sell for the Christmas season, but also return to the top of the album charts every Christmas.
Such as? Well, let’s put it this way. You know how Mariah Carey mentions her kids every chance she can get? (I refuse to say “dem babies.”) Well, thanks to her “Merry Christmas” album, she likely has enough money to send both of them to college. On Mars. For the rest of their lives.
“That album re-entered the Billboard 200 albums chart” just last week, Billboard’s Keith Caulfield tells me. In fact, the album has sold 5.1 million copies since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking such things back in 1991. Now, let’s just say that Carey has a superstar royalty rate of, say, 10 to 20 percent.
Do not make me, a member of the 99 percent, do that math. Let’s just say that many times a star of that caliber will earn upwards of 90 cents per record sold.
If those figures make you jealous, do not read the following sentence: Josh Groban’s Christmas album, “Noel,” has sold 5.3 million copies. Even Andrea Bocelli has a Christmas album that has sold 2.6 million copies.
And of course, we haven’t even begun to discuss the earnings that Carey types make as songwriters. “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” which Carey co-wrote, has been covered by everyone from Lady Antebellum to Michael Buble to the “Glee” kids. It’s a moneymaker all by itself.
Where does Bieber fit in to all this? Well, his holiday album, “Under the Mistletoe,” entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 1, with opening week sales of 210,000 copies — promising Bieber enough cash to buy candy canes for a whole lot of shawtays.
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