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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amielgabriel0

Where is BLACKPINK THE ALBUM in 2020?

obro

so with the streams of olivia rodrigo’s album at just under 4 mil and the total in the best selling list is over 4 mil, where does the extra come from

MJD

Hi Obro! In the streaming page, it extrapolates only the Spotify-related part of the formula, meaning Spotify streams *310/207. It ignores eventual streams in Asian platforms as well as YouTube. The CSPC lists are built using 3 ratio cases: – case 1: the album has been covered by a CSPC article. The ratio used from Spotify to full streaming EAS is the one verified during the article for this specific album. – case 2: the artist has been studied by a CSPC article but the concerned album wasn’t included at that point. The artist career ratio average is applied to… Read more »

obro

oh okay cool, thank you!

Antonio

Hello MJD and chartmasters.org staff !!

This means that artists who were analyzed in 2016 such as Led Zeppelin, U2, Celine Dion, Rolling Stones, Beatles due to the lack of youtube streams and Asian platforms means that if they were analyzed today their total streams would be higher.
I hope some of you answer me.

Sonique

I am not sure but I think streams, both audio and video, are updated daily. We need MJD or Martin to confirm this 🙂

justiceforglory

Hey!

On this list Britney is at 104.8M CSPC units but if we go to her article and add up the newly updated numbers generated by the new auto update system, we get 106.3M. What’s the reason behind this difference and which one is correct? Thank you for your answer!

MJD

Hi Justiceforglory! It’s incredible how you guys can spot these things! I checked the new album numbers and everything seemed to be fine. Both scripts are based on looking at the former Spotify streams total, the former artist/album EAS total, and get the new EAS total by doing new Spotify streams / old Spotify streams * old EAS total. It’s possible totals aren’t the same if the albums gaining the most streams were the ones with the largest extrapolation (if, for example, it had strong songs on YouTube), but the gap still seemed too big. So I checked the artist… Read more »

L145

seems like Taylor and Rihanna have to wait a little longer to move up lmao

Martin

Go Britney! Adding millions to her total in a matter of seconds! lol

Last edited 29 days ago by Martin
Drewwwwww

It’s such a coincidence to see 21 in the 21st place

king

EXO sold 13 million of albums already. at least post some of the best selling korean groups too not just one group

Drewwwwww

I think EXO is still being studied

diabloverde

Please, Birdy

L145

that 300m figure most likely combines her pure albums and singles sales

210m Albums + 75m Physical Singles + 45m Digital singles = 330m

Sonique

I think that figure is from claimed sales, the same thing with The Beatles who were claimed to have sold more than a billion records.

césar

i’m not referring to sales but to the revitalizing of madonna’s catalog 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️🏃‍♂️

Martin

I’m sure it will give it a little boost, but I can’t see it significantly revitalising her career. I could be wrong, really depends on what Warners have planned but I think the only thing that will, is her death!

The Madame X film, really sounds like something that will only appeal to hardcore fans. If the general public are not that interested in her or music currently, I can’t see a tour video, of a pretty poorly received album doing much for her.

L145

i mean there’s an upcoming biopic for her, that can definitely do a lot of good to her

Jazz

I think her upcoming biopic, if done really well could give a big boost to her. Wouldnt be surprise if she drop an album soon after the movie as we all know she knows how to use all her opportunities she have abd turned it into gold. But the success of the movie should be a key determinant .

Nick

Yes, I don’t think her streams will surge until her death. As a fan, I will say I don’t think her spotify streams are awful, but they could be so much better.

I think the fact that she doesn’t realize she’s a legacy act is what hurts her the most. The past 10 years have done nothing to improve her legacy. A part of me admires her continuing attempts to experiment with new sounds, but a bigger part of me wishes she would have stopped around 2008.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nick
Martin

I could be wrong Nick, but I’ve always felt she’s the actual problem, not so much her music. How she acts, how she comes across, what she says, just her personality in general, seems so off putting and dislikable. I also think trying to look as risque as she does, at her age, just doesn’t do much for anyone or sit well with people. At the end of the day though, she can do what she wants, it’s her life and she can live it however she wants. I actually think her Spotify streams are not too good, considering how… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Martin
Nick

I agree 100%. I’ve seen a lot of youtube videos of kids watching Madonna’s classic videos/songs and they are all blown away and basically all go “where is THIS Madonna??”. They only know Madonna now, they have no idea of what she was at her peak. With MJ and The Beatles, I don’t think they ever made the mistake of trying to distance themselves from their classic older hits the way she does.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nick
Martin

The Beatles did to an extent, they did change and move away from their love obsessed, 2 minute pop songs that helped create their careers and become more creative, I mean within a few years they’d went from I Want To Hold Your Hand to I Am The Walrus. What happened with Madge? When and why did she become so seemingly bitter, dour and kind of awkward. I watched an interview in the UK she done on the Graham Norton show a few years ago and it was like pulling teeth, she was just so reticent, difficult and awkward, it… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Martin
Nick

I think Guy Ritchie’s divorce really messed her up in a way she did not see coming. She always pictured that she would (at some point) be happilly married forever with children in a traditional household (as much as Madonna is acclaimed by more liberal-leaning theorists, she wants pretty traditional things in life). When Guy Ritchie divorced her, she was already in her 50s and I think that pushed her over the edge. I saw the Graham Norton interview, that was excruciating to watch. Her instagram just adds fuel to the fire. I saw an interview she did in 2005… Read more »

Last edited 30 days ago by Nick
Mika Koskinen

The Beatles were taught by Bob Dylan how to write song. Knowledge of music history would be good.

Martin

Yes, truthful history, not some made up nonsense, like Dylan taught the Beatles how to write songs!

Strange how he taught them, yet they’d managed to release 3 UK albums, 5 US albums and numerous singles, before they even met him in August 1964.

Mika Koskinen

The Beatles became asquainted for the first time in France 1964 and got Dylan’s Freewheeling album. They listed to it for three weeks in the tube. Before it was she loves you, jee jee. Listen music a Beatles after 1965. Oddly enough when you didn’t know that general thing. Let me tell you one thing yet. Do you know that Jimmy Page heard first time Dylan in the Uk in 1965, it was life changing thing to his. Thing was Dylans voice and power. This isn’t chart thing. It is music history. It is hard write in that my phone.… Read more »

Martin

It’s not music history, it’s lies.

You’re overstating everything, making out that The Beatles went to some kind of Bob Dylan School of Songwriting and couldn’t write songs until they did.

I’m not saying that they didn’t take some inspiration and influence from him and his songwriting and adapt it into their songwriting but please don’t try to tell us he taught them how to write songs!

Mika Koskinen

It is music history. It is not a lie. You overstating. You haven’t done your homework.

Martin

They changed their sound on 1965s Rubber Soul, which was their 6th UK album and 9th in the US. By this point, they are already 3 years, many albums and over a hundred songs into their 8 year recording career. Their change in sound was part attributed to Lennon incorporating US folk rock influences, such as Dylan and The Byrds, mainly through his guitar sound and lyrical styling and being introduced to Pot, also by Dylan, If I remember correctly. The band as a whole though, including Lennon, were also starting to incorporate other musical styles such as Soul music,… Read more »

Last edited 29 days ago by Martin
Mika Koskinen

I help you. Type in the words of Google. ” Dylan Beatles”.

Analord

Sorry but I find it hilarious that a Bob Dylan fan can’t even write in decent english, isn’t Dylan’s main appeal his lyrics ? 😆

And you’re right, he taught the Beatles how to write songs. Also, Madonna taught Michael Jackson how to moonwalk (true story).

Mika Koskinen

Täällä Suomessa puhutaan kahta kieltä virallisesti, Suomea ja Ruotsia. 60 vuotta sitten Englannin opetus täällä Suomessa oli vielä lapsenkengissään. Oppi ei kaatanut ojaan.
Jag sa precis att svenskunder visningen i Finland var begränsad.
I only told about Finnish lauguage culture. I am crappy in the languases, you are right. I don’t understand shit, but a good mood is important.

Martin

You’re doing great Mika. I fully understand what you’re saying, I just don’t agree with it!

Last edited 28 days ago by Martin
Mikko

Thanks Martin.

Martin

No you don’t, you’re just being a prick, especially when you know Mika doesn’t have English as his first language. I’d like to see you try and get your head around Finnish.

Last edited 28 days ago by Martin
Analord

Jos oletat, että englanti on ensimmäinen kieleni, olet väärässä.

That means : if you’re assuming English is my first language, you’re wrong.

I didn’t mean to be rude, it’s just that Dylan’s lyrics are the main reason people like him, so I think it’s weird/funny that such a fan of his would have such a poor English (as he admits himself).

Last edited 28 days ago by Analord
Martin

I was probably a bit harsh last night, Analord, sorry.

Mika Koskinen

I think i’m too old for this site. After old, they are immature
people, …….ok, ok .. hard word, say they are little undersized people….i hope my child knows how to behave……was how it was. I am not a masochist, it’s time to stop following this channel. Life is short.

Mika Koskinen

After old ? This phone to change my words ! ” After all”, should be.

Kris

It sounds like it will be new deluxe editions of her older albums with some unreleased tracks, and maybe a “rarities” type release for each decade or something along the lines of that. This is the kind of thing that appeals to existing fans of her music so I can’t see it “revitalizing” her back catalogue, as in her old music gaining new traction with the younger generation. I think it’s a smart move to maximize sales and streams to people that already like Madonna though.

Armyforever

BTS crossed 35 million on gaon and oricon combined! ( even though it includes singles albums ). And 6 million of that came this year. A proper studio album at fall this year, they can end with 12 million plus for this year alone!

borderwolf

Over 1.3k posts in this topic: 700 “X sold more than Y” and 400 “update this or that” without the magic word “please”. It’s very sad…

QueenBey

How is it possible that Beyoncé is not on this list? She is the best selling female artist and has sold way more than Britney for example

Molly

Buyonce appears on the list if you check properly, because she’s been studied. Of course, she hasn’t sold more than Britney Spears at all though. That’s a laughable thought.

Analord

Beyoncé sold way more than Britney if you include Destiny’s Child, even if you only include 50% of their sales she’s still above Britney… So it’s certainly not a “laughable thought”, you might say it’s “debatable”.

Drewwwwww

But its weird to put her career with Destiny’s Child to Britney. Especially considering that there’s like 3 more members

noct1

Even if destiny’s child had sold more than the beatles, those sales don’t count for beyonces tally so I don’t even see the point of bringing it up. Britney sold more

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