5 reached number 28 on the Billboard 200 and 18 on the UK Albums Chart. As of March 2008, 5 has sold 3 million units in the US and over 6 million units worldwide, becoming Kravitz's highest-selling studio album. Initially, the album received mediocre reviews by some critics and its rise to commercial success was quite slow until it gained significant success towards the end of 1998 and throughout 1999. The album received multi-platinum certifications in many countries, producing a string of worldwide hits and becoming one of the most successful albums of 1999. Despite paling in comparison in US chart position with Kravitz's other albums, it managed to have a remarkably long chart-life, charting for nearly three years straight on the Billboard 200, two of which were spent in the Top 100.
The album gained Kravitz multiple awards nominations and gave him his first two Grammy Awards in the Best Male Rock Vocal Performance category for the hits "Fly Away" and "American Woman".
In the production of the album, Kravitz worked with digital technology such as synthesizers and tape loops providing the album with a more modern sound. The album contained more of his '70s-inspired songs, funk and soul, mixed with his rock style.