Data Collector – Biggest Digital Singles Sellers

Things I like: Rihanna

One week ago, the CSPC analysis of Ed Sheeran has been published. We saw that he makes wonders in several formats, including digital sales. How big is his success compared to the like Rihanna, Eminem or Drake? You will find the answer in the list below!

Please keep in mind some artists with strong results in this format haven’t been studied so far, e.g. Nicki Minaj or Kanye West. All figures reflect the value as collected at the time of the artist’s respective articles.

A lot of lists like this one are available in the Data Collector, so feel free to read them to gauge how your favorite artist ranked in it.

Reminder of the formula:

Equivalent Albums Sales (EAS) = 0.15 * Digital Single Sales

Artists Ranking – Digital Singles SAles

1. Rihanna251,130,000 units (37,670,000 EAS)
2. Eminem157,350,000 units (23,603,000 EAS)
3. Taylor Swift149,820,000 units (22,473,000 EAS)
4. Bruno Mars149,490,000 units (22,423,000 EAS)
5. Beyoncé144,200,000 units (21,630,000 EAS)
6. Drake137,310,000 units (20,596,000 EAS)
7. Maroon 5129,900,000 units (19,485,000 EAS)
8. Katy Perry122,700,000 units (18,405,000 EAS)
9. Lady Gaga111,200,000 units (16,680,000 EAS)
10. Black Eyed Peas103,960,000 units (15,594,000 EAS)
11. Usher93,610,000 units (14,041,000 EAS)
12. Coldplay93,080,000 units (13,962,000 EAS)
13. Justin Bieber87,850,000 units (13,178,000 EAS)
14. P!nk81,150,000 units (12,173,000 EAS)
15. Britney Spears80,270,000 units (12,040,000 EAS)
16. Michael Jackson79,930,000 units (11,990,000 EAS)
17. Adele75,300,000 units (11,295,000 EAS)
18. Linkin Park73,710,000 units (11,056,000 EAS)
19. Miley Cyrus70,300,000 units (10,545,000 EAS)
20. Christina Aguilera69,950,000 units (10,493,000 EAS)
21. Ed Sheeran69,770,000 units (10,466,000 EAS)
22. Queen58,370,000 units (8,755,000 EAS)
23. Alicia Keys57,750,000 units (8,663,000 EAS)
24. Nickelback57,280,000 units (8,592,000 EAS)
25. One Direction57,000,000 units (8,550,000 EAS)

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Adele is at 100 million. Update please


When google how many sales Kanye has it brings 115 says he’s the 7th in the world so idk what your on your shits biased


the article literally states that not all artists have been studied. Can you not read?


If someone downloads an entire album from say iTunes is that recorded as multiple single sales based on the number of tracks on the album or is that counted as an album sale?


Hi Lance,

If you buy an album on iTunes, it counts for albums. If you download like 3 singles, then press “Complete My Album” on iTunes, it will count for 1 album and sales of the 3 singles get removed (in the US – they will be double-counted in other markets, still have no solution for that issue). If you download all songs one by one without ever completing the album, each song will be one single sale.


What are Beyonce’s US digital single sales? That 144M number for WW looks a little… inflated.


It’s about 85 million. She was a GREAT ringtone seller.


Her digital sales internationally are stellar. Beyonce doesn’t need top 10 hits in every major market to sell 2 million copies of a record world wide. For example, Best Thing I Never Had was a strong R&B hit in 2011 but a top 20 hit on the pop charts and charted moderately in other markets. Yet, that record was able to sell almost 4 million digital copies because of her strong popularity in Asian and Latin America markets. Not to mention strong sales in the US and UK.


can y’all study nicki minaj please


Michael Jackson has an almost 50/50 split in his single stats between digital and physical sales. Truly remarkable to have nearly 80M of each.


Rihanna will have sold 100 million albums in three or four years. Other artists will need ten more years of career and another three albums of success at least.

The Dude

*Checks the sales total of Linkin Park on this site*

Woah, if you add the amount of albums and digital singles they sold worldwide – It’s almost a total of 156 million and they’re (or maybe were) one of a very few bands who have/had a real success in this era of music for almost two decades. This list needs an expansion.


No. Britney was overtaken by Beyoncé in overall sales according Chartmasters.

Album Sales: 34 million
Single Sales: 150 million
Other Sales (Inc. GH, Remixes, Dvd’s, etc): 4.5 million

Total Sales: 188.5 million

Britney Spears
Album Sales: 69 million
Single Sales: 100 million
Other Sales: 11.3 million

Total Sales: 180.3 million

Beyoncé sold 8 million more than Britney and her career has longevity. Britney is slowed down and don’t sell like before. The gap between Beyoncé and Britney will increase.