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 tables below are based on certified units of albums, singles (including digital downloads) and videos.
  • Markets' order within the tables 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) [c]
Claimed sales
The Beatles United Kingdom 1960–1970 [10] 1962 [10] Rock / Pop [10]

Total available certified units: 271.1 million
600 million [36] [37]
500 million [38]
Elvis Presley United States 1954–1977 [39] 1954 [39] Rock and roll / Pop / Country [39]

Total available certified units: 212.5 million
600 million [47] [48]
500 million [49]
Michael Jackson United States 1964–2009 [50] 1971 [50] Pop / Rock / Dance / Soul / R&B [50]

Total available certified units: 185 million
350 million [61] [62]
300 million [63] [64]
Madonna United States 1979–present [65] 1982 [65] Pop / Dance / Electronica [65]

Total available certified units: 170.6 million
300 million [72] [73]
275 million [74]
Elton John United Kingdom 1964–present [75] 1969 [75] Pop / Rock [75]

Total available certified units: 169.2 million
300 million [77] [78]
250 million [79] [80]
Led Zeppelin United Kingdom 1968–1980 [81] 1969 [81] Hard rock / Blues rock / Folk rock [81]

Total available certified units: 139.8 million
300 million [85] [86]
200 million [87] [88]
Pink Floyd United Kingdom 1965–1996, 2014 [89] [90] 1967 [89] Progressive rock / Psychedelic rock [89]

Total available certified units: 118.9 million
250 million [92] [93]
200 million [94]
  • The column for certified sales includes markets, the databases of which contain certifications representing figures of 100,000 and more.

200 million to 249 million records

Artist Country / Market Period active Release-year of first charted record Genre Total certified units
( from available markets) [c]
Claimed sales
Rihanna Barbados
United States
2005–present [95] 2005 [95] R&B / Pop / Dance / Hip-hop [95]

Total available certified units: 230.8 million
230 million [101] [102]
Mariah Carey United States 1988–present [103] 1990 [103] R&B / Pop / Soul / Hip-hop [103]

Total available certified units: 137.1 million
200 million [107] [108]
175 million [109] [110]
Celine Dion Canada 1981–present [111] 1981 [111] Pop [111]

Total available certified units: 125.1 million
200 million [117] [118]
175 million [119] [120]
Queen United Kingdom 1971–present [121] 1973 [121] Rock [121]

Total available certified units: 121.1 million
200 million [123]
170 million [124]
Whitney Houston United States 1977–2012 [125] 1984 [125] R&B / Soul / Pop [125]

Total available certified units: 114.9 million
200 million [128] [129]
170 million [130] [131]
AC/DC Australia 1973–present [132] 1975 [132] Hard rock / Blues rock / Rock and roll [132]

Total available certified units: 113.8 million
200 million [134] [135]
150 million [136] [137]
The Rolling Stones United Kingdom 1962–present [138] 1963 [138] Rock / Blues rock [138]

Total available certified units: 97.2 million
200 million [139] [140]
ABBA Sweden 1972–1982 [141] 1972 [141] Pop / Disco [141]

Total available certified units: 60.7 million
200 million [150] [151]
100 million [152]

120 million to 199 million records

Artist Country / Market Period active Release-year of first charted record Genre Total certified units
( from available markets) [c]
Claimed sales
Taylor Swift United States 2006–present [153] 2006 [153] Country / Country pop / Pop / Pop-rock [153]

Total available certified units: 181.88 million
175 million [154]
Garth Brooks United States 1989–present [155] 1989 [155] Country [155]

Total available certified units: 156 million
160 million [156]
Eminem United States 1996–present [157] 1999 [157] Hip-hop [157]

Total available certified units: 133.9 million
155 million [159]
Eagles United States 1971–1980, 1994–present [160] 1972 [160] Rock [160]

Total available certified units: 129.4 million
150 million [162]
U2 Ireland 1976–present [163] 1980 [163] Rock [163]

Total available certified units: 107.1 million
150 million [166]
Billy Joel United States 1964–present [167] 1971 [167] Pop / Rock [167]

Total available certified units: 102.6 million
150 million [169]
Phil Collins United Kingdom 1980–2011, 2015–present [170] 1981 [170] Rock / Progressive rock / Adult contemporary [170]

Total available certified units: 87.8 million
150 million [171]
Aerosmith United States 1970–present [172] 1973 [172] Hard rock [172]

Total available certified units: 84.7 million
150 million [174]
Frank Sinatra United States 1935–1995 [175] 1939 [175] Pop / Swing [175]

Total available certified units: 37.3 million
150 million [176]
Barbra Streisand United States 1960–present [177] 1963 [177] Pop / Adult contemporary [177]

Total available certified units: 97.4 million
145 million [178]
Justin Bieber Canada
United States
2008–present [179] 2009 [179] Pop / Teen pop, Dance pop [179]

Total available certified units: 143.6 million
140 million [180]
Bruno Mars United States 2004–present [181] 2010 [181] Pop rock / R&B [181]

Total available certified units: 123.1 million
130 million [185]
Kanye West United States 1996–present [186] 2004 [186] Hip-hop / Electronic / Pop rock [186]

Total available certified units: 102 million
121 million [189]
Bruce Springsteen United States 1972–present [190] 1973 [190] Rock [190]

Total available certified units: 101.5 million
120 million [192]
Bee Gees United Kingdom
Australia [193] [194]
1963–2003
2009–2012 [195]
1963 [195] Pop / Disco [195]

Total available certified units: 68.3 million
120 million [198]

100 million to 119 million records

Artist Country / Market Period active Release-year of first charted record Genre Total certified units
( from available markets) [c]
Claimed sales
Lady Gaga United States 2005–present [199] 2008 [199] Pop / Dance / Electronic [199]

Total available certified units: 100.3 million
114 million [200]
Metallica United States 1981–present [201] 1983 [201] Heavy metal / Thrash metal [201]

Total available certified units: 94.5 million
110 million [203]
Katy Perry United States 2001–present [204] 2008 [204] Pop [204]

Total available certified units: 136.2 million
100 million [205]
Adele United Kingdom 2006–present [206] 2008 [206] Pop, soul [206]

Total available certified units: 105.2 million
100 million [207]
Jay-Z United States 1996–present [208] 1996 [208] Hip-hop [208]

Total available certified units: 99.1 million
100 million [209]
B'z Japan 1988–present [210] 1988 [210] Rock / Pop rock / Hard rock [210]

Total available certified units: 85.7 million
100 million [211]
Bon Jovi United States 1983–present [212] 1983 [212] Hard rock / Glam metal [212]

Total available certified units: 84.1 million
100 million [215]
Linkin Park United States 1996–present [216] 2000 [216] Alternative rock / Nu metal / Rap rock [216]

Total available certified units: 82.5 million
100 million [217]
Beyoncé United States 1997–present [218] 2002 [218] [219] R&B / Pop [218]

Total available certified units: 81.2 million
100 million [223]
Lil Wayne United States 1996–present [224] 1999 [224] Hip-hop [224]

Total available certified units: 79.9 million
  • US: 77.7 million [11]
  • UK: 1.460 million [13]
  • CAN: 280,000 [17]
  • AUS: 525,000 [18]
100 million [225]
Britney Spears United States 1998–present [226] 1998 [226] Pop / Dance / Dance-pop [226]

Total available certified units: 78.8 million
100 million [229]
Rod Stewart United Kingdom 1964–present [230] 1969 [230] Rock / Pop [230]

Total available certified units: 78.1 million
100 million [231]
Fleetwood Mac United Kingdom
United States
1967–present [232] 1968 [232] Rock / Pop [232]

Total available certified units: 76.3 million
100 million [235]
Guns N' Roses United States 1985–present [236] 1987 [236] Hard rock / Heavy metal [236]

Total available certified units: 74.3 million
100 million [237]
George Strait United States 1981–present [238] 1984 [238] Country [238]

Total available certified units: 72.8 million
  • US: 72.150 million [11]
  • CAN: 705,000 [17]
100 million [239]
Backstreet Boys United States 1993–present [240] 1995 [240] Pop [240]

Total available certified units: 72 million
100 million [242]
Neil Diamond United States 1966–present [243] 1966 [243] Pop / Rock [243]

Total available certified units: 68.5 million
100 million [244]
Santana United States 1966–present [245] 1969 [245] Rock [245]

Total available certified units: 64.6 million
100 million [246]
Prince United States 1976–2016 [247] 1978 [247] Funk / R&B / Pop / Soul / Rock [247]

Total available certified units: 64.2 million
100 million [248]
Kenny Rogers United States 1958–present [249] 1975 [249] Country / Pop [249]

Total available certified units: 61.4 million
100 million [253]
Paul McCartney United Kingdom 1960–present [254] 1970 [254] Rock [254]

Total available certified units: 60.6 million
100 million [257]
Janet Jackson United States 1982–present [258] 1982 [258] R&B / Pop [258]

Total available certified units: 52.1 million
100 million [259]
Julio Iglesias Spain 1968–present [260] 1968 [260] Latin [260]

Total available certified units: 51 million
100 million [262]
Chicago United States 1967–present [263] 1969 [263] Rock / Pop [263]

Total available certified units: 48.3 million
100 million [265]
Bob Dylan United States 1959–present [266] 1963 [266] Folk / Rock [266]

Total available certified units: 45.3 million
100 million [267]
Dire Straits United Kingdom 1977–1995 [268] 1978 [268] Rock [268]

Total available certified units: 45.1 million
100 million [269]
Def Leppard United Kingdom 1977–present [270] 1979 [270] Hard rock / Heavy metal [270]

Total available certified units: 41.8 million
100 million [272]
Cher United States 1964–present [273] 1965 [273] Pop / Rock / Dance / Folk [273]

Total available certified units: 40.6 million
100 million [280]
Genesis United Kingdom 1967–1999
2006–present [281]
1969 [281] Progressive rock / Pop rock [281]

Total available certified units: 39.9 million
100 million [282]
Olivia Newton-John Australia 1966–present [283] 1966 [283] Pop [283]

Total available certified units: 35.7 million
100 million [284]
James Taylor United States 1968–present [285] 1970 [285] Rock / Pop [285]

Total available certified units: 35.5 million
100 million [286]
Stevie Wonder United States 1961–present [287] 1962 [287] Funk / R&B / Soul [287]

Total available certified units: 34.6 million
100 million [288]
Tina Turner United States 1955–present [289] 1975 [289] Rock / Pop [289]

Total available certified units: 32.8 million
100 million [290]
Linda Ronstadt United States 1967–present [291] 1968 [291] Rock / Folk / Country [291]

Total available certified units: 32.5 million
100 million [292]
David Bowie United Kingdom 1962–2016 [293] 1967 [293] Art rock / Glam rock / Pop [293]

Total available certified units: 31.2 million
100 million [294]
Donna Summer United States 1968–2012 [295] 1974 [295] Pop / Disco / R&B [295]

Total available certified units: 30.8 million
100 million [296]
The Beach Boys United States 1961–present [297] 1962 [297] Rock / Pop / Surf Rock [297]

Total available certified units: 30.5 million
100 million [298]
The Who United Kingdom 1964–present [299] 1965 [299] Rock / Hard rock [299]

Total available certified units: 26.9 million
100 million [300]
Barry White United States 1972–2003 [301] 1973 [301] R&B / Soul [301]

Total available certified units: 21.7 million
100 million [302]

80 million to 99 million records

Artist Country / Market Period active Release-year of first charted record Genre Total certified units
( from available markets) [c]
Claimed sales
Coldplay United Kingdom 1996–present [303] 1999 [303] Alternative rock, Pop rock, Pop [303]

Total available certified units: 79.4 million
90 million [304]
Shania Twain Canada 1993–present [305] 1993 [305] Country pop [305]

Total available certified units: 75.9 million
90 million [306]
Pink United States 1995–present [307] 2000 [307] Pop, Pop rock, R&B [307]

Total available certified units: 65 million
90 million [308]
The Carpenters United States 1969–1983 [309] 1969 [309] Pop [309]

Total available certified units: 46 million
90 million [311]
Lionel Richie United States 1968–present [312] 1981 [312] Pop / R&B [312]

Total available certified units: 40.4 million
90 million [314]
Earth, Wind & Fire United States 1969–present [315] 1971 [315] Funk / R&B / Soul [315]

Total available certified units: 35.6 million
90 million [318]
Johnny Cash United States 1954–2003 [319] 1956 [319] Country/ Rock and roll/ Gospel [319]

Total available certified units: 30.8 million
90 million [320]
Justin Timberlake United States 1992–present [321] 2002 [321] Pop, R&B, Neo soul [321]

Total available certified units: 63.1 million
88 million [322]
Nicki Minaj United States 2008–present [323] 2010 [323] Hip hop, Pop [323]

Total available certified units: 75.3 million
85 million [324]
R.E.M. United States 1980–2011 [325] 1983 [325] Alternative rock [325]

Total available certified units: 42.6 million
85 million [326]
Flo Rida United States 2007–present [327] 2007 [327] Hip-hop, Hip house, EDM [327]

Total available certified units: 69.8 million
80 million [328]
Ayumi Hamasaki Japan 1998–present [329] 1998 [329] J-pop / Pop / dance / electronic [329]

Total available certified units: 64.3 million
80 million [330] [331]
Van Halen United States 1978–present [332] 1978 [332] Hard rock / Heavy metal [332]

Total available certified units: 64.3 million
80 million [333]
Red Hot Chili Peppers United States 1983–present [334] 1987 [334] Funk rock / Alternative rock [334]

Total available certified units: 58.3 million
80 million [336]
Foreigner United States
United Kingdom
1976–present [337] 1977 [337] Rock / Hard Rock [337]

Total available certified units: 49.6 million
80 million [338]
The Doors United States 1965–1973 [339] 1967 [339] Psychedelic rock [339]

Total available certified units: 46.9 million
80 million [340]
George Michael United Kingdom 1981–2016 [341] 1984 [341] Pop [341]

Total available certified units: 46.8 million
80 million [343]
Reba McEntire United States 1975–present [344] 1987 [344] Country / Country Pop [344]

Total available certified units: 42.7 million
  • US: 41.9 million [11]
  • CAN: 850,000 [17]
80 million [345]
Meat Loaf United States 1968–present [346] 1977 [346] Rock / Hard rock [346]

Total available certified units: 41.7 million
80 million [347]
Tom Petty United States 1976–2017 [348] 1977 [348] Rock [348]

Total available certified units: 34.6 million
80 million [349]
Johnny Hallyday France 1957–2017 [350] 1960 [350] Rock / Pop [350]

Total available certified units: 24.8 million
80 million [352]

75 million to 79 million records

Artist Country / Market Period active Release-year of first charted record Genre Total certified units
( from available markets) [c]
Claimed sales
The Black Eyed Peas United States 1995–present [353] 1998 [353] Hip-hop / R&B / Dance [353]

Total available certified units: 55.6 million
76 million [356]
Journey United States 1973–present [357] 1975 [357] Rock / Soft rock [357]

Total available certified units: 62 million
75 million [359]
Maroon 5 United States 1994–present [360] 2002 [360] Pop rock / Funk rock / Dance-pop [360]

Total available certified units: 59.5 million
75 million [361]
Kenny G United States 1982–present [362] 1984 [362] Smooth jazz [362]

Total available certified units: 51.9 million
75 million [363]
Usher United States 1991–present [364] 1994 [364] R&B / Pop [364]

Total available certified units: 51.7 million
75 million [365]
Tupac Shakur United States 1991–1996 [366] 1991 [366] Hip hop [366]

Total available certified units: 51.3 million
  • US: 46.2 million [11]
  • UK: 3.435 million [13]
  • GER: 500,000 [14]
  • CAN: 820,000 [17]
  • AUS: 395,000 [18]
75 million [367]
Robbie Williams United Kingdom 1990–present [368] 1996 [368] Pop rock [368]

Total available certified units: 50.7 million
75 million [369]
Enya Ireland 1982–present [370] 1987 [370] New-age / Celtic [370]

Total available certified units: 50 million
75 million [374]
Alabama United States 1972–present [375] 1980 [375] Country / Pop rock [375]

Total available certified units: 48 million
  • US: 46.8 million [11]
  • CAN: 1.2 million [17]
75 million [376]
Nirvana United States 1987–1994 [377] 1989 [377] Grunge / Alternative rock [377]

Total available certified units: 46 million
75 million [379]
Bryan Adams Canada 1979–present [380] 1979 [380] Rock [380]

Total available certified units: 44.6 million
75 million [382]
The Police United Kingdom 1977–1986
2007–2008 [383]
1978 [383] Pop / Rock [383]

Total available certified units: 39.2 million
75 million [387]
Bob Marley Jamaica 1962–1981 [388] 1975 [388] Reggae [388]

Total available certified units: 38.9 million
75 million [391]
Barry Manilow United States 1973–present [392] 1973 [392] Pop / Soft rock [392]

Total available certified units: 36.5 million
75 million [393]
Kiss United States 1972–present [394] 1974 [394] Hard rock / Heavy metal [394]

Total available certified units: 27.8 million
75 million [395]
Aretha Franklin United States 1956–present [396] 1961 [396] Soul / Jazz / Blues / R&B [396]

Total available certified units: 24.7 million
75 million [397]
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