Best selling artists, albums and singles of all-time

1996/1997 - History Tour, Billie Jean

Albums Ranking – Raw sales – Studio albums

This list is about studio albums only. Compilations, lives and box sets are not considered here. 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.

Available Lists

All-Time
1940s1940194119421943194419451946194719481949
1950s1950195119521953195419551956195719581959
1960s1960196119621963196419651966196719681969
1970s1970197119721973197419751976197719781979
1980s1980198119821983198419851986198719881989
1990s1990199119921993199419951996199719981999
2000s2000200120022003200420052006200720082009
2010s2010201120122013201420152016201720182019
2020s202020212022
#YearCoverArtistAlbumAlbum SalesAs Of
11971LedLed ZeppelinLed Zeppelin IV36,800,00009/07/21
21971L.A.The DoorsL.A. Woman10,130,00003/03/19
31971StickyThe Rolling StonesSticky Fingers9,350,00002/10/22
41971ImagineJohn LennonImagine8,220,00010/16/18
51971MeddlePink FloydMeddle7,950,00006/18/17
61971EveryRod StewartEvery Picture Tells A Story7,430,00011/23/19
71971SantanaSantanaSantana III5,440,00008/05/20
81971MasterBlack SabbathMaster of Reality4,810,00003/08/20
91971HunkyDavid BowieHunky Dory4,700,00003/11/22
101971RamPaul McCartney & Linda McCartneyRam3,960,00012/13/18
111971ElvisElvis PresleyElvis sings The Wonderful World of Christmas3,900,00009/01/18
121971FireballDeep PurpleFireball3,565,00008/18/21
131971MadmanElton JohnMadman Across the Water3,270,00002/05/18
141971AFacesA Nod Is As Good As a Wink... to a Blind Horse2,380,00011/23/19
151971StoneyBarbra StreisandStoney End1,380,00003/16/18
161971ColdBilly JoelCold Spring Harbor1,100,00011/03/21
171971Gypsys,CherGypsys, Tramps & Thieves1,000,00008/30/17
181971MaybeJackson 5Maybe Tomorrow975,00009/26/17
191971TrafalgarBee GeesTrafalgar600,00004/09/17

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Jsak

Is Neil Diamond missing on page 17?

ojd

yes, he hasn’t been studied, but he’s definitely sold a lot

Analord

“Please keep in mind that some artists are missing, because their analysis has not been done yet.”

I’m genuinely stunned by the amount of people who comment on articles without having read them, I think it’s literally most of the comments on the “Request Your Artists” page…

Jsak

I remembered it had been studied by confusing it with Neil Young

David

will you be updating michael jackson any time soon?

Mikko

Ajournal a. cross published list about artists who have sold their songs. Latest is Drake, maybe biggest star in world now, priced at 400 $ million and continues to be Universal company. And now Pink Floyd is just selling their songs. Very interesting. Lets say now is bit bad time, war in Ukraine, inflation among others. That’s running list: Bob Dylan 550$ million (400 $ million publishing), Bruce Springsteen 550 $ dollar. And next Drake 400 $ million. Neil Diamond, Sting, Paul Simon all about 300 $ million. Neil Young 150 $ million, David Bowie 250 $ million, only publishing… Read more »

Analord

“As you can see, no Divas.”

No Beatles or Michael Jackson either, so your attempt at trolling is likely to fail. Also, I’m pretty sure Tina Turner and Stevie Nicks qualify as “divas”.

Mikko

Ok, i will add. Madonna made a deal with Warner 2021, but the price had been kept quit. Why?Madonna’s composer partner sold her stake in the same deal.
No has rap music been worthy of investors until now, Drake.
Music business professionals will the help record company add value to the music. It is a auction and the one thats pays the most wins. I only write what i know. That’s it.

RS

I appreciate the work that you guys are doing. I can tell without a doubt that Chartmasters is the most accurate website for music statistics. I’ve read all your articles regarding formulas. All the formulas set are very well-thought. But I humbly disagree with some points that I think is a mistake and I would kindly like to mention them and I hope you will consider them: (1) Featured songs: It’s not correct to give equal value to lead songs and featured songs as only singing a few lines gives them the full value. For the featured artist, either it… Read more »

RS

Oh, another thing about features: In my humble opinion, feature of a singer under a DJ should be considered a lead song for the singer too as the singer sings the whole song in order to know the true popularity of the artist. It doesn’t make any difference when listening to the song whether the DJ is credited as lead, feature or as producer.

MJD

Hi RS! Thanks for the nice words and thanks for the clear and non-partisan views, this is the kind of critics which are pleasing to read! We are constantly thinking about adjustments as the market evolves. For example, I used to consider features were correctly considered, because the featured act gets only CSPC units from singles formats (physical, download, streams), while the lead artist got most of the units from album formats (the studio album, compilations, lives, videos). I often used the example of Love The Way You Lie, where Rihanna effectively had way less units from it than Eminem… Read more »

Lim Hyunjin

Where I live, I have to pay to use Spotify. On the other hand, YouTube allows me to listen to music for free. For this reason, many people will use YouTube instead of Spotify to listen to music. So I think the YouTube view rate and audio streaming rate should be the same. Thank you for your good comments. Whenever I entered Chartmaster, I always felt uncomfortable at the thought that the YouTube view rate was too low. Hopefully it will be improved in a reasonable way.

Last edited 10 days ago by Lim Hyunjin
Smiley

Just out of interest regarding ASR, is the baseline (Michael Jackson) being continually reevaluated as other artists are being updated?

I see, for example, that The Beatles are now up to 928. Is this against the baseline as it is now (May 2022) or from the date when Michael Jackson was first studied/calculated?

Thanks.

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