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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Has streaming been around long enough to tell if it will effect artists longevity? Given digital platforms will highlight artists you have shown a interest in in the past, might that get people to listen to music from albums they would not have physically bought in the past?


Numbers of R.E.M. aren’t updated after a search. Cheers!


Fast as always! Thanks!


I want to ask if you are considering an annual update of the biggest performers in the net sales of studio albums in the near future? Thank you in advance for your answer.


Would it be possible please to extend the Top 300 singles of all-time to a Top 500 just like for albums?

Last edited 10 months ago by worldcitizen

And updating the numbers like with the albums…


What is going on with Justin Bieber’s numbers on the “Top CSPC – the best
selling artists of all-time” page ? From 88 mil to 94 mil within a few days .


his total is always glitching I don’t get it


thats why I think they should update his streaming master page bcz his Spotify streams are not clear


I’m not sure on how these numbers compare to this site but according to chartsinfrance, these are the top selling female albums artists in USA. (Special thanks to Choley from UKMix) • Barbra Streisand – 95 million • Mariah Carey – 72.65 million • Madonna – 72.3 million • Celine Dion – 62.3 million • Whitney Houston – 60.3 million • Reba Mcentire – 55.2 million • Linda Ronstadt – 45.5 million • Shania Twain – 45.5 million • Janet Jackson – 43.5 million • Britney Spears – 40.7 million • Taylor Swift – 38 million • Dixie Chicks –… Read more »


No way Reba and Linda sold that much. Impossible


Linda and Reba could have definitely sold that much in US. Country music is different. Artists can sell millions and you’d never hear anything about them.


It looks like someone took MJD’s estimates and modified them in some way… His last estimates for Reba and Linda were 54.7m and 45.4m.


Hi! U can update Madonna´s figure? Thank u!


Where’s cheek to cheek on the bestseller list in pure sales of 2014? Sold +1.3 million copies worldwide!


the cutoff is 2m


This is the best time to update Mariah Carey’s figures. Hoping you give her time and thank you in advance!! I can’t waitttt!!! Happy New Year <3


Earlier on the week David Bowie sold catalogue rights to Warner company. He did not own his master recordings . Surpise. Bowie got 250$ million +. Artist has three types rights for sale. The publishing rights and master recordings + artists rights. Maybe by the end of week the Sting will complete its own business. Startin price, 250 $ million. Sting own his publishing rights and the master recordings. He sales not all. Annually he get 12-13 $ dollars. I quess that Sting worth is lot more. 300-400 dollar i believe. Usually artist want to keep the master tapes. Prince… Read more »

Speed of Life

The Bowie estate still own his master recordings.They are only leased to Warner Bros.
Can’t believe Springsteen sold everything there must be a catch!

Speed of Life

i believe there are two things for sale – publishing rights and master recordings -selling publishing rights means songs can be used for adds,films etc but not the artists version of the songs without permission – you sell master recording then the artists version can be used.Also the exact details of these deals has not been released so very difficult to compare.


Yes, it’s hard to know what was sold and what doesnt ‘t. I agree Bowie numbers isn’t competent. He is more important, his popularity is global, and his music is used more movies, about 780 times, only Lennon/Maccartney and Dylan are above. Lennon..1130 times, Dylan 860 times. Bad thing, Bowie himself was’t in the negotiations.

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