List of best-selling music artists | artists by reputed sales

Artists by reputed sales

250 million or more records

  • To ensure the highest level of fact checking and editorial control, this list sources sales figures to news organizations and highly regarded music industry related organizations such as MTV, VH1, Billboard and Rolling Stone.
  • The figures of total certified units within the table below are based on certified units of albums, singles (including digital downloads) and videos.
  • Markets' order within the table is based on Retail Value: each market generates respectively, the largest market at the top and smallest at the bottom. [8] [9]
Artist Country / Market Period active Release year of first charted record Genre Total certified units
( from available markets) [b]
Claimed sales
The Beatles United Kingdom 1960–1970 [10] 1962 [10] Rock / Pop [10] 600 million [36] [37]
500 million [38]
Elvis Presley United States 1954–1977 [39] 1954 [39] Rock and roll / Pop / Country [39] 600 million [48] [49]
500 million [50]
Michael Jackson United States 1964–2009 [51] 1971 [51] Pop / Rock / Dance / Soul / R&B [51] 350 million [62] [63]
300 million [64] [65]
Madonna United States 1979–present [66] 1982 [66] Pop / Dance / Electronica [66] 300 million [73] [74]
275 million [75]
Elton John United Kingdom 1964–present [76] 1969 [76] Pop / Rock [76] 300 million [78] [79]
250 million [80] [81]
Led Zeppelin United Kingdom 1968–1980 [82] 1969 [82] Hard rock / Blues rock / Folk rock [82] 300 million [86] [87]
200 million [88] [89]
Pink Floyd United Kingdom 1965–1996, 2014 [90] [91] 1967 [90] Progressive rock / Psychedelic rock [90] 250 million [93] [94]
200 million [95] [96]
  • The column for certified sales above includes markets, the databases of which contain certifications representing figures of 100,000 and more.

200 million to 249 million records

  • To ensure the highest level of fact checking and editorial control, this list sources sales figures to news organizations and highly regarded music industry related organizations such as MTV, VH1, Billboard and Rolling Stone.
  • The figures of total certified units within the table below are based on certified units of albums, singles (including digital downloads) and videos.
  • Markets' order within the table is based on Retail Value each market generates respectively, the largest market at the top and the smallest at the bottom. [8] [9]
Artist Country / Market Period active Release-year of first charted record Genre Total certified units
( from available markets) [b]
Claimed sales
Rihanna Barbados
United States
2005–present [97] 2005 [97] R&B / Pop / Dance / Hip-hop [97] 230 million [103] [104]
Mariah Carey United States 1988–present [105] 1990 [105] R&B / Pop / Soul / Hip-hop [105] 200 million [109] [110]
175 million [111] [112]
Celine Dion Canada 1981–present [113] 1981 [113] Pop [113] 200 million [119] [120]
175 million [121] [122]
AC/DC Australia 1973–present [123] 1975 [123] Hard rock / Blues rock / Rock and roll [123] 200 million [125] [126]
150 million [127] [128]
Whitney Houston United States 1977–2012 [129] 1984 [129] R&B / Soul / Pop [129] 200 million [132] [133]
170 million [134] [135]
Queen United Kingdom 1971–present [136] 1973 [136] Rock [136] 200 million [138] [139]
150 million [140]
The Rolling Stones United Kingdom 1962–present [141] 1963 [141] Rock / Blues rock [141] 200 million [142] [143]
ABBA Sweden 1972–1982 [144] 1972 [144] Pop / Disco [144] 200 million [153] [154]
100 million [155] [156]
  • The column for certified sales above includes markets, the databases of which contain certifications representing figures of 100,000 and more.

120 million to 199 million records

  • To ensure the highest level of fact checking and editorial control, this list sources sales figures to news organizations and highly regarded music industry related organizations such as MTV, VH1, Billboard and Rolling Stone.
  • The figures of total certified units within the table below are based on certified units of albums, singles (including digital downloads) and videos.
  • Markets' order within the table is based on Retail Value each market generates respectively, the largest market at the top and the smallest at the bottom. [8] [9]
Artist Country / Market Period active Release-year of first charted record Genre Total certified units
( from available markets) [b]
Claimed sales
Taylor Swift United States 2006–present [157] 2006 [157] Country / Country pop / Pop / Pop-rock [157] 170 million [158]
Garth Brooks United States 1989–present [159] 1989 [159] Country [159] 160 million [160]
Eminem United States 1996–present [161] 1999 [161] Hip-hop [161] 155 million [163]
Eagles United States 1971–1980, 1994–present [164] 1972 [164] Rock [164] 150 million [166]
U2 Ireland 1976–present [167] 1980 [167] Rock [167] 150 million [170]
Billy Joel United States 1964–present [171] 1971 [171] Pop / Rock [171] 150 million [173]
Phil Collins United Kingdom 1980–2011, 2015–present [174] 1981 [174] Rock / Progressive rock / Adult contemporary [174] 150 million [175]
Aerosmith United States 1970–present [176] 1973 [176] Hard rock [176] 150 million [178]
Frank Sinatra United States 1935–1995 [179] 1939 [179] Pop / Swing [179] 150 million [180]
Barbra Streisand United States 1960–present [181] 1963 [181] Pop / Adult contemporary [181] 145 million [182]
Bruno Mars United States 2004–present [183] 2010 [183] Pop rock / R&B [183] 130 million [186]
Kanye West United States 1996–present [187] 2004 [187] Hip-hop / Electronic / Pop rock [187] 121 million [190]
Bruce Springsteen United States 1972–present [191] 1973 [191] Rock [191] 120 million [193]
Bee Gees United Kingdom
Australia [194] [195]
1963–2003
2009–2012 [196]
1963 [196] Pop / Disco [196] 120 million [199]
  • The column for certified sales above includes markets, the databases of which contain certifications representing figures of 100,000 and more.

100 million to 119 million records

  • To ensure the high level of fact checking and editorial control, this list sources sales figures to news organizations and highly regarded music industry related organizations such as MTV, VH1, Billboard and Rolling Stone.
  • The figures of total certified units within the table below are based on certified units of albums, singles (including digital downloads) and videos.
  • Markets' order within the table is based on Retail Value each market generates respectively, the largest market at the top and the smallest at the bottom. [8] [9]


Artist Country / Market Period active Release-year of first charted record Genre Total certified units
( from available markets) [b]
Claimed sales
Lady Gaga United States 2005–present [200] 2008 [200] Pop / Dance / Electronic [200] 114 million [201]
Metallica United States 1981–present [202] 1983 [202] Heavy metal / Thrash metal [202] 110 million [204]
Justin Bieber Canada
United States
2008–present [205] 2009 [205] Pop / Teen pop, Dance pop [205] 100 million [206]
Katy Perry United States 2001–present [207] 2008 [207] Pop [207] 100 million [208]
Adele United Kingdom 2006–present [209] 2008 [209] Pop, soul [209] 100 million [210]
Jay-Z United States 1996–present [211] 1996 [211] Hip-hop [211] 100 million [212]
Bon Jovi United States 1983–present [213] 1983 [213] Hard rock / Glam metal [213] 100 million [216]
Lil Wayne United States 1996–present [217] 1999 [217] Hip-hop [217] 100 million [218]
Linkin Park United States 1996–present [219] 2000 [219] Alternative rock / Nu metal / Rap rock [219] 100 million [220]
Beyoncé United States 1997–present [221] 2002 [221] [222] R&B / Pop [221] 100 million [226]
Britney Spears United States 1998–present [227] 1998 [227] Pop / Dance / Dance-pop [227] 100 million [230]
Rod Stewart United Kingdom 1964–present [231] 1969 [231] Rock / Pop [231] 100 million [232]
Fleetwood Mac United Kingdom
United States
1967–present [233] 1968 [233] Rock / Pop [233] 100 million [236]
Guns N' Roses United States 1985–present [237] 1987 [237] Hard rock / Heavy metal [237] 100 million [238]
George Strait United States 1981–present [239] 1984 [239] Country [239] 100 million [240]
Backstreet Boys United States 1993–present [241] 1995 [241] Pop [241] 100 million [243]
Neil Diamond United States 1966–present [244] 1966 [244] Pop / Rock [244] 100 million [245]
Prince United States 1976–2016 [246] 1978 [246] Funk / R&B / Pop / Soul / Rock [246] 100 million [247]
Kenny Rogers United States 1958–present [248] 1975 [248] Country / Pop [248] 100 million [252]
Paul McCartney United Kingdom 1960–present [253] 1970 [253] Rock [253] 100 million [256]
Janet Jackson United States 1982–present [257] 1982 [257] R&B / Pop [257] 100 million [258]
Julio Iglesias Spain 1968–present [259] 1968 [259] Latin [259] 100 million [261]
Chicago United States 1967–present [262] 1969 [262] Rock / Pop [262] 100 million [264]
The Carpenters United States 1969–1983 [265] 1969 [265] Pop [265] 100 million [267]
Bob Dylan United States 1959–present [268] 1963 [268] Folk / Rock [268] 100 million [269]
Dire Straits United Kingdom 1977–1995 [270] 1978 [270] Rock [270] 100 million [271]
Bryan Adams Canada 1979–present [272] 1979 [272] Rock [272] 100 million [274]
Def Leppard United Kingdom 1977–present [275] 1979 [275] Hard rock / Heavy metal [275] 100 million [277]
Cher United States 1964–present [278] 1965 [278] Pop / Rock / Dance / Folk [278] 100 million [283]
Lionel Richie United States 1968–present [284] 1981 [284] Pop / R&B [284] 100 million [286]
Genesis United Kingdom 1967–1999
2006–present [287]
1969 [287] Progressive rock / Pop rock [287] 100 million [288]
James Taylor United States 1968–present [289] 1970 [289] Rock / Pop [289] 100 million [290]
Olivia Newton-John Australia 1966–present [291] 1966 [291] Pop [291] 100 million [292]
Stevie Wonder United States 1961–present [293] 1962 [293] Funk / R&B / Soul [293] 100 million [294]
Tina Turner United States 1955–present [295] 1975 [295] Rock / Pop [295] 100 million [296]
Linda Ronstadt United States 1967–present [297] 1968 [297] Rock / Folk / Country [297] 100 million [298]
Donna Summer United States 1968–2012 [299] 1974 [299] Pop / Disco / R&B [299] 100 million [300]
The Beach Boys United States 1961–present [301] 1962 [301] Rock / Pop / Surf Rock [301] 100 million [302]
David Bowie United Kingdom 1962–2016 [303] 1967 [303] Art rock / Glam rock / Pop [303] 100 million [304]
The Who United Kingdom 1964–present [305] 1965 [305] Rock / Hard rock [305] 100 million [306]
Barry White United States 1972–2003 [307] 1973 [307] R&B / Soul [307] 100 million [308]
  • The column for certified sales above includes markets, the databases of which contain certifications representing figures of 100,000 and more.

80 million to 99 million records

  • To ensure the highest level of fact checking and editorial control, this list sources sales figures to news organizations and highly regarded music industry related organizations such as MTV, VH1, Billboard and Rolling Stone.
  • The figures of total certified units within the table below are based on certified units of albums, singles (including digital downloads) and videos.
  • Markets' order within the table is based on Retail Value each market generates respectively, the largest market at the top and the smallest at the bottom. [8] [9]


Artist Country / Market Period active Release-year of first charted record Genre Total certified units
( from available markets) [b]
Claimed sales
Coldplay United Kingdom 1996–present [309] 1999 [309] Alternative rock, Pop rock, Pop [309] 90 million [310]
Shania Twain Canada 1993–present [311] 1993 [311] Country pop [311] 90 million [312]
Santana United States 1966–present [313] 1969 [313] Rock [313] 90 million [314]
Earth, Wind & Fire United States 1969–present [315] 1971 [315] Funk / R&B / Soul [315] 90 million [318]
Johnny Cash United States 1954–2003 [319] 1956 [319] Country/ Rock and roll/ Gospel [319] 90 million [320]
B'z Japan 1988–present [321] 1988 [321] Rock / Pop rock / Hard rock [321] 86 million [322]
Nicki Minaj United States 2008–present [323] 2010 [323] Hip hop, Pop [323] 85 million [324]
R.E.M. United States 1980–2011 [325] 1983 [325] Alternative rock [325] 85 million [326]
Flo Rida United States 2007–present [327] 2007 [327] Hip-hop, Hip house, EDM [327] 80 million [328]
Ayumi Hamasaki Japan 1998–present [329] 1998 [329] J-pop / Pop / dance / electronic [329] 80 million [330] [331]
Van Halen United States 1978–present [332] 1978 [332] Hard rock / Heavy metal [332] 80 million [333]
Red Hot Chili Peppers United States 1983–present [334] 1987 [334] Funk rock / Alternative rock [334] 80 million [336]
Foreigner United States
United Kingdom
1976–present [337] 1977 [337] Rock / Hard Rock [337] 80 million [338]
The Doors United States 1965–1973 [339] 1967 [339] Psychedelic rock [339] 80 million [340]
George Michael United Kingdom 1981–2016 [341] 1984 [341] Pop [341] 80 million [343]
Reba McEntire United States 1975–present [344] 1987 [344] Country / Country Pop [344] 80 million [345]
Meat Loaf United States 1968–present [346] 1977 [346] Rock / Hard rock [346] 80 million [347]
Barry Manilow United States 1973–present [348] 1973 [348] Pop / Soft rock [348] 80 million [349]
Tom Petty United States 1976–2017 [350] 1977 [350] Rock [350] 80 million [351]
Johnny Hallyday France 1957–present [352] 1960 [352] Rock / Pop [352] 80 million [354]
  • The column for certified sales above includes markets, the databases of which contain certifications representing figures of 100,000 and more.

75 million to 79 million records

  • To ensure the highest level of fact checking and editorial control, this list sources sales figures to news organizations and highly regarded music industry related organizations such as MTV, VH1, Billboard and Rolling Stone.
  • The figures of total certified units within the table below are based on certified units of albums, singles (including digital downloads) and videos.
  • Markets' order within the table is based on Retail Value each market generates respectively, the largest market at the top and the smallest at the bottom. [8] [9]


Artist Country / Market Period active Release-year of first charted record Genre Total certified units
( from available markets) [b]
Claimed sales
The Black Eyed Peas United States 1995–present [355] 1998 [355] Hip-hop / R&B / Dance [355] 76 million [358]
Journey United States 1973–present [359] 1975 [359] Rock / Soft rock [359] 75 million [361]
Maroon 5 United States 1994–present [362] 2002 [362] Pop rock / Funk rock / Dance-pop [362] 75 million [363]
Kenny G United States 1982–present [364] 1984 [364] Smooth jazz [364] 75 million [365]
Usher United States 1991–present [366] 1994 [366] R&B / Pop [366] 75 million [367]
Tupac Shakur United States 1991–1996 [368] 1991 [368] Hip hop [368] 75 million [369]
Robbie Williams United Kingdom 1990–present [370] 1996 [370] Pop rock [370] 75 million [371]
Enya Ireland 1982–present [372] 1987 [372] New-age / Celtic [372] 75 million [376]
Alabama United States 1972–present [377] 1980 [377] Country / Pop rock [377] 75 million [378]
Nirvana United States 1987–1994 [379] 1989 [379] Grunge / Alternative rock [379] 75 million [381]
Bob Marley Jamaica 1962–1981 [382] 1975 [382] Reggae [382] 75 million [385]
The Police United Kingdom 1977–1986
2007–2008 [386]
1978 [386] Pop / Rock [386] 75 million [390]
Kiss United States 1972–present [391] 1974 [391] Hard rock / Heavy metal [391] 75 million [393]
Aretha Franklin United States 1956–present [394] 1961 [394] Soul / Jazz / Blues / R&B [394] 75 million [395]
  • The column for certified sales above includes markets, the databases of which contain certifications representing figures of 100,000 and more.
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