Best selling artists, albums and singles of all-time

https://flic.kr/p/JvDEcn

Tracks Ranking – Raw sales – Physical singles

This list is about physical single sales only. If a single has been released several times, all the sales coming from all the releases are added. The figures given here are units sold.

Please keep in mind that some artists are missing, because their analysis has not been done yet. The complete list is available here. All figures reflect the value as collected at the time of the artist’s respective articles.

1. 1997 – Elton John for The Diana FoundationCandle in the Wind [Orphan]29,730,000
2. 1992 – Whitney HoustonI Will Always Love You [The Bodyguard]10,560,000
3. 1978 – John Travolta & Olivia Newton-JohnYou’re the One That I Want [Grease]10,400,000
4. 1968 – The BeatlesHey Jude [Orphan]8,200,000
5. 1991 – Bryan Adams(Everything I Do) I Do It for You [Waking Up the Neighbours / Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves]7,960,000
6. 1963 – The BeatlesI Want to Hold Your Hand [Meet The Beatles!]7,800,000
7. 1984 – Stevie WonderI Just Called to Say I Love You [The Woman in Red]7,400,000
8. 1998 – CherBelieve [Believe]7,020,000
9. 1997 – Céline DionMy Heart Will Go On [Titanic / Let’s Talk About Love]6,910,000
10. 1977 – Bee GeesStayin’ Alive [Saturday Night Fever]6,470,000
11. 1984 – George MichaelCareless Whisper [Make It Big]6,290,000
12. 1980 – Barbra StreisandWoman in Love [Guilty]6,260,000
13. 1978 – Rod StewartDa Ya Think I’m Sexy? [Blondes Have More Fun]6,250,000
14. 1983 – Irene CaraFlashdance… What a Feeling [Flashdance / What a Feelin’]6,240,000
15. 1975 – QueenBohemian Rhapsody [A Night at the Opera]6,180,000
16. 1979 – Pink FloydAnother Brick in the Wall (Part II) [The Wall]5,750,000
17. 1978 – Bee GeesToo Much Heaven [Spirits Having Flown]5,640,000
18. 1977 – Bee GeesNight Fever [Saturday Night Fever]5,520,000
19. 1983 – David BowieLet’s Dance [Let’s Dance]5,500,000
20. 1960 – Elvis PresleyIt’s Now Or Never [Orphan]5,420,000
21. 1963 – The BeatlesShe Loves You [Orphan]5,400,000
22. 1956 – Elvis PresleyDon’t Be Cruel [Orphan]5,390,000
23. 1976 – ABBADancing Queen [Arrival]5,350,000
24. 1998 – Britney Spears…Baby One More Time […Baby One More Time]5,330,000
25. 1969 – The BeatlesGet Back [Let It Be]5,300,000
26. 1980 – QueenAnother One Bites the Dust [The Game]5,270,000
27. 1965 – The Rolling Stones(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction [Out Of Our Heads]5,200,000
28. 1977 – QueenWe Are the Champions [News of the World]5,190,000
29. 1996 – Spice GirlsWannabe [Spice]5,050,000
29. 1979 – Bee GeesTragedy [Spirits Having Flown]5,050,000
31. 1984 – Wham!Last Christmas [Music from the Edge of Heaven]4,980,000
32. 1964 – The BeatlesI Feel Fine [Beatles ’65]4,900,000
32. 1978 – John Travolta & Olivia Newton-JohnSummer Nights [Grease]4,900,000
34. 1977 – Bee GeesHow Deep Is Your Love [Saturday Night Fever]4,890,000
35. 1982 – Michael JacksonBillie Jean [Thriller]4,870,000
36. 1971 – John LennonImagine [Imagine]4,840,000
37. 1970 – The BeatlesLet It Be [Let It Be]4,750,000
38. 1982 – Paul McCartney & Stevie WonderEbony And Ivory [Tug Of War]4,740,000
39. 1983 – Paul McCartney & Michael JacksonSay Say Say [Pipes of Peace]4,570,000
40. 1960 – Elvis PresleyAre You Lonesome Tonight? [Orphan]4,450,000
41. 1975 – Elton John & Kiki DeeDon’t Go Breaking My Heart [Rock of the Westies]4,420,000
42. 1982 – Michael JacksonBeat It [Thriller]4,410,000
43. 1965 – The BeatlesHelp! [Help!]4,400,000
44. 1984 – MadonnaLike A Virgin [Like A Virgin]4,360,000
45. 1967 – The BeatlesHello, Goodbye [Magical Mystery Tour]4,300,000
45. 1964 – The BeatlesCan’t Buy Me Love [A Hard Day’s Night]4,300,000
47. 1977 – WingsMull of Kintyre [Orphan]4,250,000
48. 1970 – Simon & GarfunkelBridge Over Troubled Water [Bridge over Troubled Water]4,160,000
49. 1993 – Meat Loaf ft. Lorraine CrosbyI’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) [Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell]4,110,000
50. 1976 – ABBAFernando [Greatest Hits]4,100,000
50. 1978 – Frankie ValliGrease [Grease]4,100,000

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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

Jaz

Isn’t music sold in China a lot cheaper because their pay, housing and everything else is also a lot cheaper so its actually fair to be sold at that 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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