Crosby's was among the most popular and successful musical acts of the 20th century. Although Billboard magazine operated under different methodologies for the bulk of Crosby's career, his chart numbers remain astonishing: 396 chart singles, including 41 No. 1 hits. If the multiple times "White Christmas" charted are counted, that would bring that number up to 43 – more than The Beatles and Elvis combined. Crosby had separate charting singles in every calendar year between 1931 and 1954; the annual re-release of "White Christmas" extended that streak to 1957. He had 24 separate popular singles in 1939 alone. Crosby may have been the best selling recording artist ever, with up to 1 billion units sold. Statistician Joel Whitburn at Billboard determined that Crosby was America's most successful recording act of the 1930s and again in the 1940s.
For 15 years (1934, 1937, 1940, 1943–1954), Crosby was among the top 10 in box-office drawing power, and for five of those years (1944–1948) he topped the world. He sang four Academy Award-winning songs – "Sweet Leilani" (1937), "White Christmas" (1942), "Swinging on a Star" (1944), "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" (1951) – and won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Going My Way (1944).
A survey in 2000 found that with 1,077,900,000 movie tickets sold, Crosby was the third most popular actor of all time, behind Clark Gable (1,168,300,000) and John Wayne (1,114,000,000). The International Motion Picture Almanac lists him in a tie for second on the "All Time Number One Stars List" with Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, and Burt Reynolds. His most popular film, White Christmas, grossed $30 million in 1954 ($273 million in current value).
He received 23 gold and platinum records, according to the book Million Selling Records. The Recording Industry Association of America did not institute its gold record certification program until 1958, by which point Crosby's record sales were barely a blip. Before that, gold records were awarded by an artist's own record company. Universal Music, current owner of Crosby's Decca catalog, has never requested RIAA certification for any of his hit singles.
Crosby charted 23 Billboard hits from 47 recorded songs with the Andrews Sisters, whose Decca record sales were second only to Crosby's throughout the 1940s. Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne were his most frequent collaborators on disc from 1939 to 1952—a partnership that produced four million-selling singles: "Pistol Packin' Mama", "Jingle Bells", "Don't Fence Me In", and "South America, Take it Away". They made one film appearance together in Road to Rio singing "You Don't Have to Know the Language", and sang together countless times on radio shows throughout the 1940s and 1950s. They appeared as guests on each other's shows quite often, as well as on many shows for the Armed Forces Radio Service during and after World War II. The quartet's Top-10 Billboard hits from 1943 to 1945 including "The Vict'ry Polka", "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Town of Berlin (When the Yanks Go Marching In)", and "Is You Is or Is You Ain't (Ma' Baby?)" were major morale-boosters for the American public during the war years.
In 1962, Crosby was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been inducted into the halls of fame for both radio and popular music. In 2007 Crosby was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame, and in 2008 into the Western Music Hall of Fame.