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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Hej. MJD did a comprehensive analysis of Bob Dylan’s sales 20/10.2016, week after Dylan won the Nobel literature prize, background work had probably been done over the years.
The Nobel is the prestigious award in the world. Dylan climbed in one fell swoop with Faulkner, Heminway, Steinbeck, into heavy weight series.
Dylan is said to have earned royalties up to $20 million per year, much from cover versions, Feel my love, Watchtower, Heavens door..

It would be nice to have an estimate of Dylan own current sales.
In “Discogs” Dylan is “most collected” artist before Beatles and David Bowie.

Isn’t this his sales?
I don’t think it would’ve changed by a significant amount since 2016. Especially coz streams are automatically updated.


That gets $ 15-20 million royalties per year, needs to sell quite nicely. Dylan made biggest deal ever 12/2020, amount was 400 $ million only publishing rights. Premium-rate stuff. Hardly record company charity does.


“Update Bob Dylan” is better than “Update Ariana Grande”, that said I don’t see why he should be a priority over The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd…etc.


I think an update on legacy acts should be done when an artist’s total rises enough to ensure a rise of a couple of places (or just 1 in the top 10) on the all-time best sellers list or a significant rise for a huge album. That would allow Fleetwood Mac (Rumours!), AC/DC, Bob Marley or maybe Nirvana or Oasis to be updated sooner than Beatles, Floyd or Zep, although I would like to see them be updated as well


Let me tell you one thing. Led Zeppelin royalties 2011-2016 was 58,5 dollars to 12 million per year. That is 5 year. Dylan royalties was up to 20 million per year. Many of the bands you mentions are dead. Dylan “Rough ways” realisead last year and was number one in USA, UK, Germany.. really global success. Dylan still going strong.


I’m not denying this (haven’t said anything about Dylan), but in absolute numbers, he’s not increasing that much and doesn’t have really big albums to be updated, that’s all


So he had one album last year that sold, what, 300k ? Who cares, albums like Dark Side Of The Moon, Abbey Road or Rumours sell more than that every year, not to mention their massive streaming numbers.

And Led Zeppelin’s catalog is obviously much more popular than Dylan’s. Those “$58.5m in royalties” have to do with Stairway To Heaven, and as you said yourself Dylan’s royalties have a lot to do with covers (Adele, Hendrix, Guns N Roses…etc.).


wayyy too wrong. Dark Horse sold less than Hot N Cold and I Kissed a Girl 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 Adele with the best-selling single, even digitally, in 2017 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂


Actually no. Dark horse is bigger than hot n cold as per this website. Also Dark Horse is still growing faster than Hot N Cold and it will only move further and bigger than Hot N Cold. Plus, according to Youtube views. I Kissed A Girl total official video youtube views all 220 million while Hot N Cold are at 1 billion already. So if anybody is wrong here it is u.

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