List of best-selling music artists
This list includes music artists with claims of 75 million or more record sales. The artists in the following tables are listed with both their claimed sales figure along with their total of certified units and are ranked in descending order, with the artist with the highest amount of claimed sales at the top. If two or more artists have the same claimed sales, they are then ranked by certified units. The claimed sales figure and the total of certified units (for each country) within the provided sources include sales of albums, singles, compilation-albums, music videos as well as downloads of singles and full-length albums. Sales figures, such as those from
All artists included on this list, which have begun charting on official albums or singles charts have their available claimed figures supported by at least 20% in
The requirements of certified units are designed to avoid inflated sales figures, which are frequently practiced by record companies for promotional purposes. The claimed figures are referenced from online articles created by highly reliable sources. For clarity, the sources used, say the term "records" (singles, albums, videos) and not "albums". However, if all available sources for an artist or band say "albums", such sources are only used if the certified album units of the said artist meet the required percentage amount. This list uses claimed figures that are closest to artists' available certified units: inflated claimed figures that meet the required certified units amount but are unrealistically high, are not used.
The claimed figures are upgraded only when there is a significant progress in artists' certified units. In other words, the available certified units for each artist should get relatively closer to already listed claimed figure in order for higher figures to replace the listed ones.
The certified units of the newer artists may sometimes be higher than their listed claimed figures. This is because
The certified units for some artists/bands who have multi-disc albums can be higher than their listed claimed figures due to Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) counting each unit within set as one unit toward certification.
Issued certifications for songs which have been recorded by multiple artists including featured artists are added to each artist's total amount of certified units, as all the artists would have played a significant part in a song. For example "