Best selling artists, albums and singles of all-time

It has been over 2 years since I introduced to you the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept, nicknamed CSPC, in March 2016. This revolutionary concept enables to define accurately the most successful artists ever. During this timeframe I, with the precious help of Hernan Lopez and Anthony Blanchard, studied nearly 100 artists, 1,000 albums plus countless singles and stand-alone tracks worth a gigantic 8,5 billion equivalent album sales combined!

Many of you praised the effort and the ongoing results which really makes us feel great about the website. One recurrent negative feedback though has been the difficulty to navigate the blog. One unique, cross-artist source of data was needed. While I can advise you to use the search function at the top-right, which works really well, an article grouping together the main data is definitely a positive improvement. So, here it is, please say hi to the Data Collector!

This article lists various rankings, with more added frequently, please see the summary on page 2. Top selling singles / albums / artists, per format, per year, per artist type, etc… everything is possible!

Thanks to this Data Collector it isn’t necessary anymore to repeat the comprehensive rankings at the end of each article. It will solve an issue by removing some pages and letting you reach always the same final pages for all acts – CSPC totals, the artist’s singles ranking and their records & achievements. This article will be kept updated which will also prevent us from having lists updated at different moments here and there.

Anthony will handle the updates of this thread from now on and try to answer your questions the best he can. We won’t be answering to lists requests on comments though as it will be impossible to maintain them. Instead, when you request something, and if it is relevant for many people, we will add a page to the article with the said list.

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lover boy

Drake is at 103m+ eas

L145

hey MJD, i heard that China has banned Bulk buying and fan funds on all its Music platforms snd that daily sales figures went down because of it, does that mean Chinese DLs won’t be downweighted anymore?

matt

China sales are downweighted because albums are being sold for less than four dollars, not because of bulk buying

Padilla

the minimum price to Chart in Billboard 200 is 3.49 dollars and a LOT of Elvis albums were sold very cheaply, MJD himself said that bulk buying is the issue not the price

Fanofpop

Chinese sales aren’t really down weighted.
It’s just most albums are sold for different lower price points, depending on if it’s an EP, a four song bundle; or a full album or compilation so CSPC uses 50 yuan as the baseline for an album unit over there because it’s similar to the streaming revenue of 1500 paid streams and albums elsewhere.

Minhyun

When will “Tracks Ranking – CSPC – Overall sales” and other all-time categories be updated? It seems, at least as far as the all-time single sales (EAS) section doesn’t include any songs after 2015, despite some songs having more than enough EAS to make the list.

lover boy

Drake is at 102.6m eas

L145

why does Rihanna’s total keep fluctuating ?

Speed of Life

Hi Guys – will you do a manual update on David Bowie’s streaming figures please.It seems to be missing a load of songs.

Alex

I was wondering when the most successful rappers after Eminem and Drake – Jay-Z, Kanye, and Lil Wayne – are going to be included in these stats?

Analord
obro

If I had to guess I would say 2pac followed by the artist you mentioned but I think potentially Kanye over Jay, I also think Nicki won’t be that far behind Lil Wayne tbh

Analord

I vaguely remember MJD saying that one of the reasons why there hasn’t been many studies of rappers is the fact that, for example, Lil Wayne has 7.5 billion spotify streams as a solo artist and 12 billion as a featured artist… How much of that should he be credited for ?

By the way, the Beastie Boys sold around 40 million albums while Lil Wayne would be more like 20m, and I can think of a few rappers who sold around 30m.

Mar

Jay is more successful than Kanye, his US pure sales are 29.5M (2013) and kanye total US sps units are 24M (2021)

MJD

Hi Mar! Not sure where your numbers come from, but that’s not accurate. Your Jay-Z pure number is comprehensive, from Nielsen Soundscan. For Kanye though, it seems to be total RIAA units from 2020 of his solo albums. He also released Watch The Throne, Kids See Ghosts and Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer, which push his total to 30.5 million. These are split over 12 albums, they are not all at “just” the number certified, if they are mid-way to the next criteria, that’s 5.25 million more sales, 36 million total. Add in the year since these updates,… Read more »

Martin

I wish people didn’t see music sales, chart positions etc like some football table or cup!

Like football, not just one team!

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