Let X be a compact complex, not necessarily K¨ahler, manifold of dimension n. We characterize the volume of any holomorphic
line bundle L → X as the supremum R of the Monge-Amp`ere masses X Tn ac over all closed positive currents T in the first Chern class of L, where Tac is the absolutely continuous part of T in its Lebesgue decomposition. This result, new in the non-K¨ahler context, can be seen as holomorphic Morse inequalities for the cohomology of high tensor powers of line bundles endowed with arbitrarily singular Hermitian metrics. It gives, in particular, a new bigness criterion for line bundles in terms of existence of singular Hermitian metrics satisfying positivity conditions. The proof is based on the construction of a new regularization for closed (1, 1)-currents with a control of the Monge-Amp`ere masses of the approximating sequence. To this end, we prove a potential-theoretic result in one complex variable and study the growth of multiplier ideal sheaves associated with increasingly singular metrics.