The Final Sales Are In: Ashanti, Pharrell, & Rick Ross Exceed Predictions…

Published: Wednesday 12th Mar 2014 by Sam

After a relatively slow start to the year, Urban retail picked up in a major way this week when new releases from Ashanti, Pharrell Williams, and Rick Ross charged into stores.

Naturally, all eyes have been fixed on how each project fared – especially following questionable sales predictions.

Now, with the final numbers in, how did Ashanti’s ‘Braveheart’, Pharrell’s ‘G I R L’, and Ross’ ‘Mastermind’ perform?
The answer awaits, as ever, after the jump…


{Story has since been updated to reflect Billboard/SoundScan’s final, definitive numbers}

Echoing early sales forecasts, the Bawse will this week top the Billboard 200, after ‘Mastermind’ sold 179,000 copies. The figure represents an almost 20k increase on the initial prediction.

Exceeding expectation is a trend that continued into the count for both Williams and Ashanti; for the ‘Happy’ led ‘G I R L’ nabbed the #2 spot with sales of 112,000 – besting his initial prediction of 85k.

Elsewhere, ‘Brave’ nabbed a #10 placement, after totalling 28,000 first week. The sales represent a 9k increase on early forecasts.



Congrats to Rick, whose audience continue to prove themselves uber loyal (see: solid album sales in absence of a hit single).

As for Pharrell, we’re sure all involved are breathing a relative sigh of relief now that the album has (at least) crossed the 100k mark. What’s more, the first week picture is rendered all the more “sunny” given the blockbuster sales in international markets such as the UK. That said, given the immense spend on global promotion, it’ll be interesting to see how the project holds up in the weeks and months to come.

The Ashanti situation still presents quite the debate, in that on the one hand it’s a small victory given that the project was released independently. Hence, there’s every chance she’ll personally receive more dollars per unit sold than many of the major label acts above her.

That said, for a Grammy winning act, who’s first week sales have been as much as 20x her current numbers, it’s a mess. Especially when considering that she could have sold much more independently (and enhanced the success of the indie narrative) had the project not been delayed and mishandled so much over the two-year period she’s been promising and promoting it. Still, congrats, ay?

Your thoughts?

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  1. anonymous March 12, 2014

    well I’m glad Ashanti sold more than expected. I think that’s good for an independent artist. congrats to all of them.

  2. bj March 12, 2014

    Congrats to ashanti because she did everything ON her own, and she has her own record label so more money for her…

  3. hey March 12, 2014

    Ashanti should just hang it up..her album sales are extremely bad. Stop making excuses for her.. Braveheart had promo for months..While Beyonce had no promo and still outsold her in its 3rd month smh

    • Ashley April 29, 2017

      Oh come bey husband is jay z… do you REALLY think that the success of bey’s career is all because of her dedication ALONE?!?!?!?

  4. DatDude March 12, 2014

    Congrats to my two bosses Rick Ross & Ashanti y’all both have no hit singles but yet sells more than what was predicted especially Ashanti doing her thing with no major or promo I’m sure she will sell more once she start promo run

  5. TheOne March 12, 2014

    Well salute to Ashanti independent and only sold 11k less than ciara with no hit single or promo

  6. BEYAWNCE March 12, 2014

    Congrats Ashanti, Keep it up. Hollywood and label are conquer and all but true talent always speaks. I’m glad you Shifted to independent as it gave you freedom. You’re the BOSS of your own music.

  7. number1k9 March 12, 2014

    I cannot at you TGJ and haters being pressed at Ashanti who has not released an album since 2008, and selling more than major label acts like Nelly Furtado, Kelis and Jay Sean who is signed to the biggest Hip Hop label out there now.

    I do not know about anyone else. But after that long of a break and a brand new business model, I say its a decent look. I mean lets keep it 100, people not satisfied with the 23K first week, wouldn’t even be satisfied with even 100K. Probably not unless she outdid her record breaking 503K debut.

    Keep with the strides Ashanti.

  8. JOHNVIDAL March 12, 2014

    Well, it´s not that they exceeded anything. It´s just that early predictions are useless and even unfair. Let people buy what they want and wait till the week is over for crying out loud! I swear they only do it to over hype some realeases and to downplat some others ruining their commercial performance from day one.
    And btw, I was one of the first people who said Pharrel should be selling more than those 85k predicted (and he did at least more than 100k), but would any of you say “given the immense spend on global promotion” like TGJ says in this article? Inmense? Just cos he went to a couple of countries to perform??? Shouldn´t that be the norm? No wonder people really beleive in stupid rumours about budgets. TGJ “journalists” are a fail and their advice and predictions are always wrong.

  9. FutureCIARA March 12, 2014

    Lets not bring Bey or Ci into this…. they are all at different positions in their careers….

    Im just glad Ashanti album finally came out after 6768967565676789 pushbacks!!!

    Its pretty nice material as well, I hope she does the reggae number as her next single.

    I wish her all positive things!

  10. Peace Of Aguilera March 12, 2014

    The only reason Ashanti ever slayed is because she was funded by drugs money. Yes she was, and if you don’t believe me you can do your research. We’ll never how big she would have been if she wasn’t using money made from cocaine to fund her career and that is a shame.

  11. Peachsoda22 March 12, 2014

    What you fail to realize is this is the music business. R&B is not the most marketable brand right and Ashanti understands that. She has been on a major record label where she was top priority and sold millions of albums. But that was a different as well just as Ashanti has changed so have fans. Fans are not as loyal, attentive, and actually go out and purchase albums anymore. Instead, fans are more fickle, judgmental, and rather spends their time arguing on blogsite then actually support the artist they claim to love. I guess Ashanti figures it really would not make that much of a difference if she were on a major or independent I doubt she would sell any more than these other R&B acts. So she may as well get richer in the process. For anyone to turn that into something negative is small minder and not a visionary. And as for as the pushback well nobody’s perfect and in order to become stronger you have to get knock down sometimes. Ashanti do you boo don’t listen to naysayers, haters, and stupid ass people who would never amount to anything in life other than bringing misery to people are doing something.

  12. Sommer March 12, 2014

    People are making excuses for Ashanti! She has yearssss in the game with a supposed fan base. But as usual, they didn’t support her. Many independent artists have sold way more than Ashanti so that has nothing to do with it. Her fans should have supported her and that would have been way more money in her pocket. 23,196 will not do it! She needs to cover her expenses of putting out this project. She even said that it was very expensive.

  13. Rihater March 12, 2014

    What a surprise….beyonce has been mentioned again, for no reason….her album came out a long time ago, and i have to say, got boring fast…however yonce is a great track…thats about it

  14. the real xoxo March 12, 2014

    Pharrell is the real flop here. this is the most relevant man in pop music. those numbers are underwhelming.
    Ashanti’s numbers are laughable but she was independant so i applaud her.

  15. Xtina warrior March 12, 2014

    People are so impressed by basicness these days on a label or not ashantis numbers still suck. She had a huge career years ago and this the best she can do?

  16. Xtina warrior March 12, 2014

    and how Pharrell have a number 1 song yet selling less then Tamar.

  17. Lovebird March 12, 2014

    Ashanti did fantastic for an independent artist, if there was promo she would have sold more, well done.

    Rick Ross FLOPPED; a rap album only doing 100K by an overhyped artist? FLOP.

    Pharrell did ok I guess.

  18. Go ASHANTI March 12, 2014

    The shame is that you guys are bias….& use anything for a story. The major label acts above are seasoned and have been in the game for how long? Pharrell had the number song in the country and those are his first week numbers. Ricky Rozay has also been in the game for a while and those are his first sales…. Major label acts make about .10-.50 per album sold…..where we have Ashanti an independent CEO making $4-$7 per unit sold…uh you do the math. Ashanti said in a recent interview it isn’t about the sales, but the reception of the music. Let’s face it no one really knew she was coming out with an album because she hasn’t been on a reality show or did performances like other acts today. Given the opportunity, she would be right on top…just think we’re still mentioning her and comparing her to major label acts after 6 years off. Applause for Ashanti she moved this LP on her own, and will see the profit where as other acts lose deals and get booted off labels because of sales…..

  19. Molly March 12, 2014

    The numbers are horrible end of story.

  20. Stephy Tha Lambily March 12, 2014

    Good Job, Ashanti! I bought the album & I must admit I have not listened to it since the first day because the songs were so uninteresting & forgettable but I do feel happy that I purchsed the album to contribute to her success & hard work. Congrats!

    As for the other artist, well you know its 2014 so we live in a era were these number are considered “Success” aka unspoken FLOPS

  21. Stephy Tha Lambily March 12, 2014

    Hi, LoveBird. I love you baby! *Kisses*

  22. Vee March 12, 2014

    I was expecting Pharrel to do 200k after all his exposure and hit songs. Even though he exceeded predictions its still basic. Ashanti did great.

  23. Stephy Tha Lambily March 12, 2014

    Hi, Molly! I missed you boo!

  24. Molly March 12, 2014

    Hey @Stephy missed you more, how are you?

  25. Benji March 12, 2014

    Ashantis numbers are really great shes an independant artist don’t be jealous because she actually achieved this on her own while your fave had all the promo under the sun, a hit r&b song AND a label supporting them and still flopped. Ashanti didn’t flop in her circumstance.

  26. k.see March 12, 2014

    OMG…Guys can u just stop talking s*** about sales? Is that really so important? Can you just shut up and enjoy the music? Because thats the point for me actually. If album is good i dont give a F-U-C-K about sales. Sometimes shitty albums sold more than a half million in first week…so what? Is thats the determinant of good music? Sales? Thats stupid. A lot of u harassing artist just because they did not sell a million copies at the first week,Ciara fans talking s*** about Beyonce, Beyonce fans talking s*** about Rihanna, Rihanna fans dont respect older Icons like Janet, Whitney or Mariah…thats really stupid…Can u just stop talking b******* and enjoy the MUSIC?

  27. TheOuyonB March 12, 2014

    This is a prime example of someone speaking ignorantly on something they haven’t a clue about. She was not funded by drug money.. She had a machine behind her, meaning a MAJOR LABEL, during a time when cds were actually selling and because she was writing her own material, her royalties solidified her as an artist during a time when most new female, and male artists for that matter, weren’t writing their own material. Murder Inc may have been built with “drug money”, however, that has nothing to do with the fact that she had a huge “machine” behind her (DEF JAM). Murder Inc was not a major label.

  28. IStanForYourFav March 12, 2014

    I can’t at these comments. Ashanti did great to be independent. Hell some artists sell this with a fan base with major labels and millions of dollars wasted. She won. Pharrell (so s***) should be embarrassed. It shows how much of his success was based off using Payola. All of that forcing Happy and etc down people throat and sold only 100,000. Well congrats to him anyway. Decent opener. Rick Ross exceeded my expectations by 100,000. Congrats to the Boss. But I’m sure his boyfriend Diddy had something to do with those numbers lol (joking). Congrats to ALL OF THEM!!!! This industry ish is hard.

  29. Stephy Tha Lambily March 12, 2014

    @Molly, I’ve been doing good thanks for asking!

  30. DIGGER BEY March 12, 2014

    Look @ these hating bishes. @ Xtina fan….Um Pharrell sold around the same amount as ur fav but isn’t ur fav bigger? Gurl have a seat quickly. @ Xo…Pharrell hardly promoted this album. These are good numbers, considering how albums sales have decline. Pharrell will be good. Anyway congrats to ALL.

  31. Lovebird March 12, 2014

    Hi molly, hi stephy.

  32. Lovebird March 12, 2014

    Can someone tell me why suicide is trying to steal my man?

  33. FutureCIARA March 12, 2014

    Hi Bittches!

  34. kim Kardashian stan March 12, 2014

    Pharrells sales are pathetic i still love him tho, Who’s Ashley?

  35. FutureCIARA March 12, 2014


    Did you hear FOX News host Bill O’Reilly shade Beyonce, saying she is a bad role model for young girls.

    What a way to tarnish an image….. HA

  36. Molly March 12, 2014

    @FutureCiara omg Bill oRiley dragged Beyonce for flith sis i died watching that he stated facts tho.

  37. Molly March 12, 2014

    @Stephy No problem 🙂

  38. FutureCIARA March 12, 2014


    Yes hunny, I kind of agree with the statement Russell made when he said “Music a our reflection of reality”

    Just proves that JayZ is her pimp, behind the Marriage veil.

    SAD SAD story……. I hope she isnt being abused like Tina Turner though, I wouldnt wish that on anyone….

    “Eat the damn cake, Anna Mae!!!”

  39. Kai2dasuan March 12, 2014

    I see on Eone that her album debut at #10 billboard 200 and # 1 on the indie with 27k sold in the first week sales.

  40. ROSEGOLD March 12, 2014

    Let’s keep it real here…who really wants a Pharell album? Honestly? Show of hands? *keeps hands in lap*

    “Happy” is an awesome song, and Pharell is a great producer and writer, but a singer he is not. I purchased “Happy” from iTunes, but wouldn’t dare purchase an album full of him singing lol. He should’ve pulled a Diddy/Quincy Jones and got other artists sing the majority of the songs. He would’ve been coined down regardless.

    @LoveBored. I wouldn’t call Rick Ross a flop. He always goes to #1 and gets gold plaques/platinum singles. He’s no Kanye/Jay or Kendrick, but he’s very consistent. He has a loyal fanbase like a lot of hip hop artists. Him outselling Pharell says a lot.

    Good for Ashanti. Did anyone expect her to really sell a lot? She’s not the most popular singer out there, hell her and Ciara are the b*** of most “FLOP” jokes. She did well to have been away from the scene for so long, to be indie & to have no hit single in rotation every five minutes.

  41. Lovebird March 12, 2014

    @Future Ciara

    No I didn’t see that, I’ll have to look for it.

  42. D March 12, 2014

    “Many” independent artists have sold more than Ashanti??
    With NO hit single out? With no kind of promo whatsoever(beyond THEIR own social media sites, which obviously only extend to THEIR fans)? Having been mia for the past 6 years?

  43. I stan for myself March 12, 2014

    Well done Ashanti you did good gurl. I have the album on repeat. And these few fans Ciara has left stay worried about everyone besides their fave. Why couldn’t she even do 60k with all that label support. You got ther nerve calling ashantis numbers horrible when shes independant artist is so ignorant. Worrying about Beyonce and her impact is not the one either. Like seriously. Havn’t you learned the whole world has opinion on her because shes the one of the biggest stars? It is water off a ducks back and everyone moves on after a week.

  44. townerqxcbxcb March 12, 2014

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  45. Jamie March 12, 2014

    Lmao the c squad is shady.

  46. Valerie March 12, 2014

    I don’t know why^ The biggest shade is who they stan for.

  47. Valerie March 12, 2014

    Ashanti – Good
    Pharrell – OkISH
    Rick Ross – His hype is over

  48. Lovebird March 12, 2014

    Gurl I want to see these platinum plaques you speak of which Rick Ross supposedly has (he has non).

    For a RAP ALBUM by an over hyped hip hop artist, this is a FLOP.

    He should be doing Jay Z, Kanye, Drake, Kendrick numbers considering his hype. Instead he is doing Big Sean (99K) type of FLOP.

    Rap music fans still buy albums; not Rick Ross doing less than Roman FLOPloaded and Yeezus.

  49. DIGGER BEY March 12, 2014

    Too bad Citranny is career is filth. She doesn’t even have one to drag Kiiii. THE HIVE Dragggggggggged his ass and u can bet he won’t try that sh*t again.

  50. CARMEN March 12, 2014

    lmao Ashanti got so many ppl pressed. she did so much better than everyone expected. and as an independent act with no label and no hit song, her numbers are commendable. lets not forget the fact that it has been 6 years since her last album. Rmb Nelly Furtado? she had a 6 year break and still sold so much lesser and with a major label. lengthy waits between albums usually results in a decrease of the fan base, esp if youre not a houshold name. Ashanti sure isnt a houshold name so dont down play Ashanti’s success

  51. DIGGER BEY March 12, 2014

    And [email protected] How THE QUEEN stays on The Irrelevant Pack stans minds. Kiiii They must be mad no one mention or knows their fav kiiii

  52. Lovebird March 12, 2014

    Part of Miami – 750K
    Trilla – 650K
    Deeper than rap – 450K
    Teflon don – 750K
    God forgives, I dont – 560K

    Rick Ross is an overhyped FLOP. Lil Wayne and Drake sell in one week what he struggles to sell an entire era.

    Not Roman FLOPloaded doing more than Mastermind.

  53. lol March 12, 2014

    @diggerbey awww youre mad cause c sqaud dragged yonce?

  54. ABC March 12, 2014

    @lovebird rosegold said rick ross has platinum singles and he does. Rick Ross isn’t hyped as Jay, Kanye, Nicki and Kendrick. He’s kind of a singles artist who always manages to go gold. 2 chainz, meek mill and ASAP rocky are the real flops.

  55. ABC March 12, 2014

    Ashanti is a FLOP no matter how you try to slice it. Pharells sales are very underwhelming.

  56. DIGGER BEY March 12, 2014

    I heard Bill Oreily also talked about majority of pop stars but someone brought up Ciara and he said, ” who is that Kiiii lmafao

  57. DIGGER BEY March 12, 2014

    Lol @ lol…Chile how am I mad? People that stan for Irrelevant b*tches just makes me lmmfaooooooooooooooooooooo

  58. Molly March 12, 2014

    @DiggerBey but you know her f***.

  59. FutureCIARA March 12, 2014


    Im trying to post the video link, But the ratchet Google servers are down…..

    I hope nobody hacks my Google accounts

  60. FutureCIARA March 12, 2014


    Here is O’Reilly slamming Beyonce tacky image and Partition video….

  61. ashley March 12, 2014

    ^^^That’s just more promo for Beyonce, something Ciara desperately needs. Atleast the video won’t be banned like Ride.

  62. ashley March 12, 2014

    Congrats to Ashanti only selling a few thousand copies less than Ciara, independently! Just imagine if she had all of the promo and support of a major label like Ciara. This just confirms no one is interested in Ciara as an artist.

  63. SLAYRIAH CAREY (TOUR DE FORCE) March 12, 2014

    DAMN! That guy dragged TF out of a beyonce. Lol. I died when he asked, “Beyonce having s** in the back of a limo while referencing Monica Lewinksu is art?”


  64. SLAYRIAH CAREY (TOUR DE FORCE) March 12, 2014

    Death @ Ashanti’s sales. At least the Ciara fans have someone that they can actually drag now.

  65. DIGGER BEY March 12, 2014

    Lol @ Molly The Maid…..But B*tch i only know her from the Goodies era.

  66. d March 12, 2014

    Yes at Ashanti selling almost 40% more than expected AND nabbing a top 10 debut!!

    @ the beyonce stuff… Beyonce IS NOT higher on the chart
    @ the ciara stuff….Ciara had a massive hit, huge promo and was on a major label and only still just barely sold more than this….

    @ the “being 100, ashanti sales are horrible”…EVERY situation can be spun a certain way: Beyonce is the biggest thing is music right now, YET SHE CAN’T GET A NO.1; Gaga and all her force ONLY OPEN WITH 275K; etc etc So for Ashanti, 28k in 2014, being Indie, with no single or promo is big

  67. Dev March 12, 2014

    Ashanti’s album made top 10! Which isn’t bad considering the situation. Anyway, sales ain’t s***! Teedra Moses – Complex Simplicity slays 10 years later and that bombed hard! (Not that Ashanti is in her category) sales don’t mean quality, quality is quality.

  68. ASHANTU March 12, 2014


  69. GREEKGOD March 12, 2014

    Pharrell’s album is soo bad the only song’s that’s worth the listen are Happy, Lost Queen/Freq, and Gust of Wind (which all have been on constant rotation). Maybe I should give it another listen. Ross album is GREAT too. Loved majority of the tracks on first listen. Thug Cry, Supreme, Blk & Wht, Nobody, Sanctified, In Vein, Blessing In Disguise are my favs. Ashant’s album bump too. Love Games, Early In The Morning (French Montana been killing hooks/features lately, been doing his thang in the game. Don’t like his music much tho). I also love Count, She Can’t, No Where , Don’t Tell Me No.

  70. Comptons Finest March 12, 2014

    It seems like as of late artist are exceeding these predictions. Congrats to Ashanti if she can pull the same numbers as the other R&B girls that would be a win in my eyes.

  71. joy March 12, 2014

    @D but Beyonce opened at number 1 with her album…a hot 100 doesn’t matter at this point!!! She’s on the third leg of her sold out world tour – and has nabbed multiple number 1’s on the other charts…the HOT 100 is not everything!!

    Kudos to ashanti as well!

  72. SCHEISSE*RETURNS March 12, 2014



    Just when I thought there was gonna be a Ciara lessor… LMAO

    Anyway… Ashanti extra 9K or not is still OVER..

    And why does TGJ talk about Male Artist?

    Most of the Queens on this Website only care about the Women so they can be gay and drag

  73. d March 12, 2014

    @JOY that’s exactly my point !! Beyonce is doing the damned thing BUT no matter how or what, you can always find something to hate on. Ashanti selling 28k in her current situation is definitely a feat, but people want to play her or shade her by looking at JUST the numbers……So with that same logic, people can pull the fact that Beyonce despite all the acclaim has yet to capture a number 1.

  74. Mark111 March 12, 2014

    I’m pretty proud of Ashanti. 28k and inde? That’s what sup.

    28k X$9.99 = $280,000
    60K X .07 cents = $4,200

  75. Jay Jay March 12, 2014

    For Ashanti to sell near Basic Instinct numbers for an independent artist that’s not entirely too bad. If she was signed and had good amount of promotion she could of sold at least 80-100k.

  76. MIQ VERSE March 12, 2014

    Though I am not an Ashanti fan I have to give props for doing those numbers independently and give another look for R&B music.

  77. DIAMONDS March 12, 2014

    I don’t know who these people are tbh FLOP

  78. Sundayluv March 12, 2014

    One question. Did you buy the albums mentioned?If your answer is no than shut the f*** up. Albums don’t sell themselves.

  79. JER March 12, 2014


  80. STOPTHEHATE March 12, 2014

    Although I feel Ashanti is on another level and should be up there, I give her props for doing this on her own, funding and promoting her own material. For an independent artist to sell about 30,000 first week is awesome being that there are artist in major labels w a hit single on radio and sell about the same figures. Congrats Ashanti! I want you to win boo! BRAVEHEART is a dope ass album. There are some good songs on there and if you loved her first album you will love this one… Ashanti deserves so much more credit ya’ll! Quit the hating and give credit where it’s due. 😉

  81. mk March 13, 2014

    That’s because he didnt buy 90% of the sales. Which Tamar did n left her broke owing taxes

  82. Casual March 13, 2014

    Kudos to Ashanti for doing great this week. We can all second-guess her decision to go independent, but there’s no guarantee she’d have sold one more copy than she did of Braveheart. Ashanti was at the height of her career 10 years ago. A bigger promotional budget might have yielded similar results.

    We live in a digital world and her fan base is young enough to mostly be online. Anybody who cared to know knew Ashanti had a new album coming out. This album was promoted on the blogs (served here with sides of shade, but promoted nonetheless), on cable r&b video channels, through extensive radio interviews, and through TV appearances (most importantly, 106th & Park). Any Ashanti fans so inclined could have listened to her album online and decided to purchase a copy.

    Now, just imagine if Ashanti had gotten herself locked into a 360 deal. She’d be collecting 65¢ per unit (at best) instead of $6.50 per unit (at least). Oh, and she’d also have to cut her label in on any touring money she might make.

  83. Count Count Count your MONEY! March 15, 2014

    @Mark111..iight dat MATH …Love Ashanti!

  84. d November 16, 2014

    What happen to ashanti she sold 8 million wit first album had joints with ja rule they top the charts for years 3 years why happen

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