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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Maxmm

it says the total of britney spears is 104 million but when you add the data you provided its actually 187,659,000

MJD

Hi Maxmm!

We do not mix apples and oranges, albums, physicals singles and downloads aren’t added together with no weighting. The value of 104 million reflects the number of equivalent album sales she has once each sale is weighted on par with an album (for example 1 physical single = 0.3 album).

dery22

why lauryn hill is not on the list ???

MJD

She is now! 🙂

ara

are these numbers for the US alone or world wide?

MJD

Hi ara! All numbers unless mentioned are related to global sales / streams!

Steve

Why on earth would they be for the US alone? Americans are so inward looking.

Jamie

i didn’t know where to ask this but, now that xiami is down… how will Chinese streams be estimated?

Shubham shah

Please update ariana grande album and singles sales

Kris

Streams are automatically updated on this top sellers list. And considering Ariana Grande is mostly a streaming artist, her total will stay pretty accurate.

Shubham shah

The last time her album and single sales was updated in 2019

Shubham shah

her album with sps and singles sales hasn’t updated since 2017

Shubham shah

Positions album sales hasn’t updated 😥

ojd

yes but on they meant on the best selling artist leaderboard her Spotify streams are updated on her total almost everyday so her total will be fairly accurate

Steve

I linked this to someone, and they replied with the Wiki Best Selling Artists page. What do you say to that?

Steve

Anyone?

Analord

“We do not mix apples and oranges, albums, physicals singles and downloads aren’t added together with no weighting.”

MJD

Smiley

Congratulations to Elton John on joining the 200 million EAS club!

Kris

Yes but remember that the only part being regularly updated right now is the streaming figure, not traditional sales. Elton’s last sales update was 3 years ago, so he actually would’ve crossed 200M a while ago due to sales of his back catalogue.

And if you look at U2 and Celine Dion, they haven’t had their sales updated in 5 years! I realize that traditional sales formats are nearly dead, but for older acts they would still sell some compilations and traditional sales to an older market who hasn’t switched to streaming yet.

Smiley

Yes, I take your point. You are correct. Undoubtedly he will have passed this mark some months ago. I just thought I’d comment on the milestone as it’s the only marker we have for the moment.

L145

are there any other female artists that haven’t been analyzed that could have a CSPC total higher than Rihanna and Taylor Swift ?

obro

me being the fountain of knowledge I am, I would guess no

Al

Diana Ross possibly, but it depends on what releases you include for her

ojd

would that be with the Supremes. Because I seriously doubt she can beat that just as a solo artist

Al

Yeah, some of their releases goes under “Diana Ross and the Supremes”. I’m not well versed enough in their / her discographies to tell what makes sense to add together though.

Fanofpop

What about Tina Turner, Gloria Estefan. Also could Dolly Parton, Reba and Aretha be past the 50m mark?

Will chartmasters eventually study everyone over 50m? Or probably only the 100m ones.

Al

We’ll most likely get to all 50m+ sellers at some point but there are a whole lot of them left.

Fanofpop

That’s really exciting. A comprehensive list would be super interesting.
Next up is stevie right? Is there a place to see like what’s coming up or is the surprise part of the fun?
curious when he will arrive.

Al

Let me just say, you’ll get an answer to these questions very soon

ojd

i’ve been waiting for Stevie since I discovered this site. He is a musical genius

Last edited 4 months ago by ojd
Fanofpop

Not sure where to ask but any idea if the IFPI methodology changed this year?
Do they weight chinese sales now? Folklore had 1.2m US 1m China but 2m WW and likewise with black pink doing 1.5m WW so it seems strange.

Al

We’re looking into these numbers atm, an article will be out very soon

Fanofpop

Thank you

ojd

if it was me i’d say have diana ross as an article separate to the supremes, and in the supremes article include the supremes, diana ross and the supremes, post-diana ross supremes, but seperate them like you did in the jacksons/jackson 5 article.

as for the diana ross, i’d say everything after her 1970 solo album

Martin
Al

😂

Peppa Pig

How is Dua at 2.8m for 2020 when the article just released has Future Nostalgia at 4.2m? With the Moonlight Edition it’s probably well past 5m.

ojd

what bracket do you think Marvin Gaye would have achieved. 50-80 million? he has some monster tunes and has pretty decent streams

also I’m very excited for Stevie Wonder’s study because I grew up with his music and I’ve recently gotten into the iconic Motown acts (hence why I’m curious about Marvin Gaye’s sales)

Last edited 4 months ago by ojd
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