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.

4.3 51 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

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

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Jimi Hendrix’s all along the watchtower’s surpassed “Hey Jude” as 1968’s biggest hit. In october ’68, the track reached no. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The Beatles “Hey Jude” which topped the charts fot the two months straight in late’68, reigned as the years biggest hit when Billboard crunched the numbers. But decades later, Billboard named Hendrix’s “All along the watchtower” as the biggest hit to come out of’68. In its 2014 “Revisionist History” series, Billboard rejiggered its top hits from the years prior to 2004. The idea was bring in the digital sales data that became relevant… Read more »


Great track from Hendrix. Best guitarist probably? But Dylan is no way best songwriter, there are many others that would be ahead of him.


Eric Clapton was asked, what it feel like to be the best guitarist in the world? Clapton replied, ask Prince.
It is general konsensus, that has defined Bob Dylan as the best songwriter. In my case it is a subjective opinion.


I’m hoping you guys can add Luis Miguel to this list. He’s a legacy artist with over 4.5 billion streams on Spotify which is insane.




Shakira is the latest superstar singer-songwriter to sell her copyright-publishment catalogue. Shakira sold 100% of her rights to Hipgnosis Songs Fund limited. The sales comprises 145 songs including global smashes like “Whenever, whenever”, “Hips dont lie”. Being a songwriter is an accomplishment that i consider equal to and perhaps even greater than being singer and an artist. Calvin Harris sold all his songwiting and publishment rights for 90 million dollar. About 400 artists has sold their songs to private investment group. Half dozen or so companies who are buing up to catalogues of successful artists (songwriters). The artist gets a… Read more »


This means that BTS has sold 50M of albums worldwide???? 50M album units worldwide?


Please do blackpink


Please calculate Ricky Martin’s sales


‘Greatest Hits’ Tops 2020 Catalogue Chart In USAMore good news for Queen’s ‘Greatest Hits’! The 1981 compilation album was the biggest selling catalogue album in the US for 2020, outselling Fleetwood Mac, Bob Marley and The Beatles!


Streaming services currently make some songwriters rich. Most recently Neil Young sold 50 % of his songwritings and publishment rights for $150 m. Stevie Nicks sold her rights for $100 million to Private Wave investment firm like Young. Catalogue prizes have risen maybe 3‐5 times in recent years. “It’s no secret that the art of songwriting is fundamental key to the all great music”, said Universal Music CEO Lucian Grainge. It’s rare today, that one person do everything, songs, publishment, singing, produce.. It’s usual that4 or 5 person make songwriting and many people is doing another parts of music. It… Read more »


The four big pictures should be The Beatles, Elvis, Jakson, and Queen.



Would love your thoughts, please comment.x