Best selling artists, albums and singles of all-time

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. 1970 – George HarrisonMy Sweet Lord [All Things Must Pass]7,030,000
9. 1998 – CherBelieve [Believe]7,020,000
10. 1997 – Céline DionMy Heart Will Go On [Titanic / Let’s Talk About Love]6,910,000
11. 1977 – Bee GeesStayin’ Alive [Saturday Night Fever]6,470,000
12. 1984 – George MichaelCareless Whisper [Make It Big]6,290,000
13. 1980 – Barbra StreisandWoman in Love [Guilty]6,260,000
14. 1978 – Rod StewartDa Ya Think I’m Sexy? [Blondes Have More Fun]6,250,000
15. 1983 – Irene CaraFlashdance… What a Feeling [Flashdance / What a Feelin’]6,240,000
16. 1975 – QueenBohemian Rhapsody [A Night at the Opera]6,180,000
17. 1979 – Pink FloydAnother Brick in the Wall (Part II) [The Wall]5,750,000
18. 1978 – Bee GeesToo Much Heaven [Spirits Having Flown]5,640,000
19. 1977 – Bee GeesNight Fever [Saturday Night Fever]5,520,000
20. 1983 – David BowieLet’s Dance [Let’s Dance]5,500,000
21. 1960 – Elvis PresleyIt’s Now Or Never [Orphan]5,420,000
22. 1963 – The BeatlesShe Loves You [Orphan]5,400,000
23. 1956 – Elvis PresleyDon’t Be Cruel [Orphan]5,390,000
24. 1976 – ABBADancing Queen [Arrival]5,350,000
25. 1998 – Britney Spears…Baby One More Time […Baby One More Time]5,330,000
26. 1969 – The BeatlesGet Back [Let It Be]5,300,000
27. 1980 – QueenAnother One Bites the Dust [The Game]5,270,000
28. 1965 – The Rolling Stones(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction [Out Of Our Heads]5,200,000
29. 1977 – QueenWe Are the Champions [News of the World]5,190,000
30. 1979 – Bee GeesTragedy [Spirits Having Flown]5,050,000
30. 1996 – Spice GirlsWannabe [Spice]5,050,000
32. 1984 – Wham!Last Christmas [Music from the Edge of Heaven]4,980,000
33. 1964 – The BeatlesI Feel Fine [Beatles ’65]4,900,000
33. 1978 – John Travolta & Olivia Newton-JohnSummer Nights [Grease]4,900,000
35. 1977 – Bee GeesHow Deep Is Your Love [Saturday Night Fever]4,890,000
36. 1982 – Michael JacksonBillie Jean [Thriller]4,870,000
37. 1971 – John LennonImagine [Imagine]4,840,000
38. 1970 – The BeatlesLet It Be [Let It Be]4,750,000
39. 1982 – Paul McCartney & Stevie WonderEbony And Ivory [Tug Of War]4,740,000
40. 1983 – Paul McCartney & Michael JacksonSay Say Say [Pipes of Peace]4,570,000
41. 1960 – Elvis PresleyAre You Lonesome Tonight? [Orphan]4,450,000
42. 1975 – Elton John & Kiki DeeDon’t Go Breaking My Heart [Rock of the Westies]4,420,000
43. 1982 – Michael JacksonBeat It [Thriller]4,410,000
44. 1965 – The BeatlesHelp! [Help!]4,400,000
45. 1984 – MadonnaLike A Virgin [Like A Virgin]4,360,000
46. 1964 – The BeatlesCan’t Buy Me Love [A Hard Day’s Night]4,300,000
46. 1967 – The BeatlesHello, Goodbye [Magical Mystery Tour]4,300,000
48. 1977 – WingsMull of Kintyre [Orphan]4,250,000
49. 1970 – Simon & GarfunkelBridge Over Troubled Water [Bridge over Troubled Water]4,160,000
50. 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

4 177 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

If the daily gains (Av and LD) are an indicator, and I extrapolate them with rounded figures for the top albums EAS, the top 20 would look something like this in 10 years: 1. Thriller 130 2. Hotel California 76 3. SNF 75 4. Rumours 72 5. Bad 71 6. Nevermind 69 7. Back in Black 68 8. 21 66 9. DSOTM 63 10. IV 62 11. Bodyguard 58 11. Grease 58 11. The Wall 58 11. SWW 58 15. AfD 57 15. Metallica 57 17. Eminem Show 54 18. Joshua Tree 53 18. The Fame / Monster 53 20.… Read more »


It’s nice to see some “newer” albums possibly entering the top spots. Adele top 10, and Lady Gaga and Eminem top 20. The top of the lists are finally changing!


And who knows how close 1989 and Divide will be by then!


1989 will be around 50m or probably higher given tht its doing 8000 daily right now and its rerecording is coming soon


That’s definitely possible, but the LD’S of newer albums are changing more than older albums, so it’s even more speculating to predict their future numbers.


I believe that today there is an error for the daily streaming for The Joshua Tree (U2), yesterday it reported 2,011,000 streams with a daily stream of 1,160 strams and today instead always 2,011,000 streams with a daily stream of only 140, therefore still less than War, The Unforgettable Fire, Rattle And Hum, Achtung Baby and All That You Can’t Leave Behind.


There is an error in today’s stream numbers for …And Justice for All (Metallica)



Can you check the sales for singer Anastacia? Her self-titled album seems to have sold circa 10 M in Europe in 2004, being allegedly the second most successful album behind Usher’s confession.

Thank you!


It’s only 3x platinum in Europe… Her best selling album sold maybe 5 million worldwide, she had zero success in the US which is kinda weird considering she’s American!


In a few hours Nevermind replaces in eighth place current album The Dark side of the moon.


i noticed that maybe there are some errors for physical singles of some artists like Sting & Police, Metallica, U2, so maybe their total of their physical singles in their CSPC articles where there is also streaming might change, check it out I await your reply.


Of the artists studied so far, how many have sold more than 100 million albums (all types) outside the United States?

Off the top of my head there are the obvious candidates like The Beatles, Queen, MJ, Pink Floyd, Madonna, The Stones etc. U2 might sneak it?

Are there any others I’ve missed?



Maybe Celine Dion and Abba have also managed?


Approximately :

The Beatles 170m
MJ 155m
Queen 145m
Madonna 130m
Pink Floyd 125m
ABBA 110m
Céline Dion 110m
Rolling Stones 110m
U2 105m


Cheers! Quite a select group…

Patrik Barta

When will Melanie Martinez be on the list? She definitely has enough sales and streams…


She has sold about 6-7M albums. I doubt she even has enough for a light article.

Patrik Barta

I’m sorry, but there is an article about Zara Larsson who is in the same league as Melanie Martinez. I doubt I deserved the dislike for what I was saying. She deserves to be on the list.


its obvious that Paramore have at least +15million albums sales worldwide….they have like 60 million singles too, why not update??? 😓

1 67 68 69