- Being nominated for a Grammy doesn’t necessarily mean a song dominated the charts and radio waves: but sometimes Grammy-nominated songs were a commercial success as well, selling thousands of units worldwide.
- We looked at data from Recording Industry Association of America to see how successful songs were in terms of sales.
- These Grammy-nominated songs were certifiable hits and had high sales.
When watching award shows like the Grammys, it can be hard to measure which songs are successful commercially (units sold), as well as lauded artistically (topping the charts or winning awards).
With the help of the Recording Industry Association of America‘s data, we’ve rounded up how well popular Grammy-nominated songs sold.
These songs were nominated for varying categories from record of the year to best song written for visual media to best music video. Just a note, we’ve only listed songs that achieved Gold or Platinum status and these numbers were up to date as of the time of publication, but are subject to change.
“I’m Not Racist” by Joyner Lucas sold 500,000 units.
This song featured a Make America Great Again hat-wearing white man and a black man both rapping back and forth about racism, stirring up inevitable controversy. “I’m very shocked at the amount of love that I’m seeing. I’m not seeing as much hatred,” Joyner Lucas said to CNN.
The song is nominated for best music video at the 61st Grammy Awards. It reached Gold status on November 26, 2018.
“Break Up in the End” by Cole Swindell sold 500,000 units.
“I feel like I’m living that song right now,” Swindell said to Billboard. “I don’t get into my personal life a whole lot, but when I heard it, I’ve been there, and it was just so powerful. I just wanted, when I sang it, to get lost in it.”
“Break Up In the End” is nominated for best country song. It reached Gold status on December 12, 2018.
“Millionaire” by Chris Stapleton sold 500,000 units.
This ballad is actually a cover of Kevin Welch‘s “Millionaire.” It was the first song Stapleton shared from his LP “From a Room: Volume 2.”
At the 61st Grammys, “Millionaire” is nominated for best country performance. It reached Gold status December 6, 2018.
“Focus” by H.E.R. sold 500,000 units.
H.E.R’s hit song is about neglect in a relationship, she told Sway’s Universe.
“Sometimes in a relationship or in life things are a certain way in the beginning,” H.E.R. continued. “Then we get comfortable. We get comfortable, and things turn out to be a little bit less important and we kinda take stuff for granted. So that’s the place I was in. I don’t wanna be taken for granted.”
The mysterious artist hit Gold status on October 17, 2018 with this song.
Her track is nominated for best R&B song.
“In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes sold 1 million units.
“After the success of ‘Holding Me Back’ and ‘Treat You Better’ and ‘Stitches’ and ‘Mercy’: How do I surpass those?” Mendes posed to SiriusXM Hits 1. “For me, the only way I musically am going to get past those is if I can be honest, as honest as I possibly can. I got super vulnerable, wrote exactly what I was thinking at the time.”
“In My Blood” is nominated for song of the year. It hit Platinum status on January 30, 2019.
“Best Part” by H.E.R. featuring Daniel Caesar sold 1 million units.
This song gave both H.E.R. and Caesar their second No.1 song on the Adult R&B Songs charts. H.E.R.’s first was “Focus,” while Caesar’s first was “Get You.”
“Best Part” is nominated in the best R&B performance category. It hit Platinum status on November 29, 2018.
“Joanne” by Lady Gaga sold 1 million units.
This song was written for Lady Gaga’s aunt Joanne Germanotta, whom she has never met. “She was a painter and a poet – and I had a spiritual vision I had to finish her business,” Gaga said.
“Joanne” is nominated for best solo pop performance. It hit Gold and Platinum status on October 24, 2017.
“Girls Like You” by Maroon 5 with Cardi B sold 1 million units.
Cardi B helped this deep cut from “Red Pill Blues” become a smash hit, as did the music video – which featured a star-studded cast including Gal Gadot, Ellen DeGeneres, Sarah Silverman, and more.
“Girls Like You” is nominated for best pop duo/group performance. It hit Platinum and Gold status on September 21, 2018.
“This is Me” by Keala Settle & The Greatest Showman Ensemble sold 1 million units.
This anthem from “The Greatest Showman” pushes for inclusiveness and self-acceptance. The “Queer Eye” cast even participated in a reimagined version of the song to help three high school kids realise their passions.
At the 61st Grammys, this song is nominated for best song written for visual media. This song hit Platinum status on July 25, 2018.
“Better Now” by Post Malone sold 1 million units.
It seems likely audiences will hear this song live and soon, as Post Malone is teaming up to perform with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers during the Grammys Sunday.
“Better Now” is nominated for best pop solo performance. It hit Platinum status on June 26, 2018.
“Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper sold 1 million units.
Ever since the trailer for “A Star is Born” dropped, people could not stop listening to “Shallow.” To film the memorable scene, Bradley Cooper invited 2,000 Gaga fans to Griffith Park to watch her sing it.
“Shallow” is nominated for song of the year, record of the year, best pop duo/group performance, and best song written for visual media. It hit Gold and Platinum status on December 11, 2018.
“Tequila” by Dan + Shay sold 2 million units.
“With a song title like ‘Tequila,’ it’s pretty obvious what we did to celebrate those weeks topping the chart!” Dan + Shay member Dan Smyers joked to Billboard.
The song is nominated for best country duo/group performance at the 61st Grammys. It hit 2x multi-Platinum on November 28, 2018.
“All the Stars” by Kendrick Lamar & SZA sold 2 million units.
A hit from “Black Panther,” “All the Stars” has already been nominated for a Golden Globe.
Now the track has four nominations at the Grammy’s – record of the year, song of the year, best rap/sung performance, best song written for visual media. It hit 2x multi-Platinum on May 14, 2018.
“King’s Dead” by Jay Rock featuring Kendrick Lamar, Future, and James Blake sold 2 million units.
This track also graced the “Black Panther” soundtrack, one of the biggest movies of the year. Rock didn’t know Future was on the track when he recorded it – but once he heard Future’s part “daw, I said ‘This is outta here, it’s a hit record.'”
At the Grammys, “King’s Dead” is nominated for best rap song and best rap performance. It hit 2x multi-Platinum on July 12, 2018.
“Be Careful” by Cardi B sold 2 million units.
The Internet was smitten with both this track and its video – a narrative-driven, cautionary tale of the consequences when a lover becomes unfaithful.
“Be Careful” is nominated for best rap performance. It hit 2x multi-Platinum on January 7, 2019.
“This is America” by Childish Gambino sold 2 million units.
The “This is America” video was hugely influential, with 479 million views at the time of writing. It sends a chilling message about gun violence and the experience of people of colour in America.
At the 61st Grammys, “This is America” is nominated for best music video, best rap/sung performance, song of the year, and record of the year. It hit 2x multi-Platinum status on December 12, 2018
“Nice For What” by Drake sold 3 million units.
“My manager had the idea of using a Lauryn Hill record [to sample],” producer Murda Beatz told Entertainment Weekly. “I chopped it up, added drums and added that Murda sound, then Drake wrote his verses. I’d say we had it done in like an hour and a half.”
At the 61st Grammy Awards, “Nice For What” is nominated for best rap performance. The song hit 3x multi-Platinum status on June 29, 2018
“Boo’d Up” by Ella Mai sold 4 million units.
“Boo’d Up” began to catch steam on the airwaves when a man requested it at a Bay Area club where Big Von was DJing, according to USA Today. Von played it on his radio show the next day, and the rest was history.
“Boo’d Up” is nominated for song of the year and best R&B song. The song hit 4x multi-Platinum status on December 14, 2018.
“Meant to Be” by Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line sold 4 million units.
When the band was going to meet Rexha for the first time, Tyler Hubbard’s wife told him: “Relax, have a good time, and if it’s meant to be, it will be.” Naturally, it was.
At the 61st Grammys, “Meant to Be” is nominated for best country duo/group performance. It went 4x multi-Platinum on October 9, 2018.
“Sicko Mode” by Travis Scott sold 5 million units.
This song made such a splash that Scott performed it at the 2019 Super Bowl, alongside a Spongebob meme video.
“Sicko Mode” is nominated for best rap song and best rap performance. It went 5x multi-Platinum on February 5, 2019.
“I Like It” by Cardi B featuring Bad Bunny and J Balvin sold 5 million units.
“I Like It” is nominated for record of the year at the 61st Grammys. It hit 5x multi-Platinum on December 13, 2018.
“rockstar” by Post Malone sold 7 million units.
Post Malone’s smash hit “rockstar,” which Slate called “a song so downbeat its title can’t even muster a capital letter … is nominally a party track, but it’s the dreariest party ever” and “the bleakest chart-topper yet,” but there is no denying its catchy chorus.
This year, “rockstar” is nominated for record of the year and best rap/sung performance. It went 7x multi-Platinum on July 19, 2018.
“God’s Plan” by Drake sold 8 million units.
As soon as a leaked snippet of “God’s Plan” hit the public, Drake’s team knew they had struck gold. “It was clear
what we had, we knew it had to be released,” producer Noah “40” Shebib told Variety.
At the 61st Grammys, “God’s Plan” is nominated for record of the year, song of the year, and best rap song. It went 8x multi-Platinum on June 29, 2018.
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