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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Taylor is already higher than Coldplay with her pure sales and Chinese DL up to date seems like nothing is standing in the way of her being the first artist getting to the 100m club sine Britney


Well yes but you have to remember that neither Coldplay or Rihanna have up to date sales either. They are about two years old. So we will never really know exactly when an artist passes another artist…


drake being higher than adele doesn’t sit right with my spirit….


Well, he’s certainly more prolific than her 😆 But yeah, his biggest album sold 3m and hers sold 30m so it’s a little weird to see him above…


in physical format yes, but drake is a streaming monster and view and scorpion are massive. besides only has 3 albums

Last edited 2 months ago by ojd

he’s not more prolific than her in any way shape or form…. he needed +10 album releases and hundreds of singles and features to surpass her… while she only has 3 studio albums and less than 15 singles.


(prəlɪfɪk )

1. adjective
A prolific writer, artist, or composer produces a large number of works.

“She is a prolific writer of novels and short stories.”
“…one of the most prolific composers for TV and film.”

Synonyms: productive, creative, fertile, inventive

Last edited 2 months ago by Analord

He is, he is way, way more prolific than her, its not even up for debate.

I think you’ve either misconstrued what was meant by prolific or don’t understand what prolific actually means.


maybe because not everyone’s first language is english <3 and no his music is utter shit


Yes, I’d presumed that, given that he is ridiculously more prolific than Adele.

Can’t say I’m a fan either, I really struggle to understand how his music is so outstandingly popular, I just don’t get it!

Mika Koskinen

Adele is amazing talent, really. One of the best female artist ever. Adele adds beauty to the world with her music, said one critic. Her voice and power.


I mean I agree that he shouldnt be as popular as he is but “nice for what” kinda slaps


I’m not saying he shouldn’t be as popular as he is, people clearly love his stuff and stream him like no one else, just that I personally, having listen to some of his stuff, struggle to even find glimpses of what it is that makes him so popular!

I don’t understand what you mean by “nice for what” kinda slaps.


as in his song nice for what is really good- like if hits the right place


Bee Gees physical single sales are so impressive. They seemed to have had less hits than some artists but they still sold near Madonna and Michael.


I imagine Neil Young at the same level of Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, talkin’ about sales

Mika Koskinen

When i have been following charts and sales, i would say that Wonder has sold more albums in US than Neil Young. But in Europe Neil is bigger, little.
Neil Young has been popular in Japan and Asia throughout his career, but so is Wonder.
But single sales, fysical and digital is massive in Wonder.
Bur Neil Young’s talent as a songwriter and his cultural value is almost priceless. He sold 50 % from his songs to Hipgnosis for $ 150 million.


I did my own estimation of the closest acts to 100m if their pure albums and singles sales were up to date

Taylor Swift 95,500,000
Coldplay 99,385,000
Rihanna 99,190,000

if my estimations are true Taylor Swift should pass the 100M mark in less than 25 Days. Coldplay in 80 Days and Rihanna in 90 Days.


Do you guys think that BTS Map of the Soul: 7 will remain the #1 album of 2020 or will an album like After Hours or Future Nostalgia will surpass it due to them getting much higher daily streams?

Shubham shah

Please update taylor swift albums sales

Shubham shah

Please update ariana grande album and single sales


Please do an analysis on Utada Hikaru’s career as well. Her career is on par with Ayumi Hamasaki, and she was a bigger international figure compared to her.


Please, add Jhené Aiko. Thank you.

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