Data Collector – Biggest Physical Singles Sellers


Yesterday, a list of the Biggest Digital Single Sellers has been published. We saw that Rihanna easily dominates this ranking but there is no suspense, she does not appear among Best Physical Single Sellers. It is becausethe physical single market was dead a long time before she has released her first record. So, who leads this category? Are there well ranked artists in the two formats? 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. Elton John, Elvis Presley or Diana Ross. 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) = 0.3 * Physical Single Sales

Artists Ranking – Physical Singles SAles

1. Beatles116,080,000 units (34,823,000 EAS)
2. Michael Jackson79,350,000 units (23,805,000 EAS)
3. Madonna75,210,000 units (22,563,000 EAS)
4. Bee Gees72,790,000 units (21,837,000 EAS)
5. Rolling Stones72,770,000 units (21,832,000 EAS)
6. ABBA54,400,000 units (16,320,000 EAS)
7. George Michael & Wham!49,880,000 units (14,964,000 EAS)
8. Whitney Houston49,520,000 units (14,857,000 EAS)
9. Queen47,100,000 units (14,131,000 EAS)
10. Cher46,220,000 units (13,866,000 EAS)
11. David Bowie44,200,000 units (13,261,000 EAS)
12. Johnny Hallyday43,740,000 units (13,121,000 EAS)
13. Janet Jackson40,640,000 units (12,191,000 EAS)
14. Céline Dion39,290,000 units (11,787,000 EAS)
15. Billy Joel36,900,000 units (11,070,000 EAS)
16. Mariah Carey36,890,000 units (11,067,000 EAS)
17. Jackson 5 & The Jacksons31,160,000 units (9,348,000 EAS)
18. Bon Jovi27,980,000 units (8,394,000 EAS)
19. Fleetwood Mac26,060,000 units (7,817,000 EAS)
20. U222,550,000 units (6,765,000 EAS)
21. Bruce Springsteen21,010,000 units (6,302,000 EAS)
22. Spice Girls20,020,000 units (6,006,000 EAS)
23. Britney Spears18,600,000 units (5,580,000 EAS)
24. Backstreet Boys18,010,000 units (5,403,000 EAS)
25. Eminem17,970,000 units (5,391,000 EAS)

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You guys need to make a list of the biggest selling compilation albums–you guys do a great job.,

Hernán Lopez

We are back to the old “Most of Queen’s music was meticulously calculated show-biz stuff”.

Sounds like George Starostin’s old review hasn’t been kind to Queen’s legacy, at least in the eyes of some people, hehe.


Reminds me of the Rolling Stone review of Uriah Heep’s debut album, saying “If this group makes it I’ll have to commit suicide”. I wonder if she kept her word.


Impressive sales by Ms. Janet Jackson. Legendary

Stephon Jackson

Shocked to see Janet Jackson sold more physical singles than Mariah and Celine Dion. Mariah overall sold the most singles with digital/physical combined tho.


Not really considering that Janet started earlier than them, is a sibling of Michael Jackson and usually releases more than 5 singles on every album.


Well, due all the disrespect she used to suffer being considered just a Michael’s sister and how people try discredit her all the time, like RLMAAJR do sometimes…Yes, is impressive how Janet managed to sold more physical singles than Celine Dion and Mariah even more if we considerate how the two late has more impact worldwide.
You don’t need put other act down to value your faves. I thought you had learned this. XOXO


And to add, the total physical singles sales gap between Janet and Celine is just about a million and about 4 million only between Janet and Mariah, despite of Mariah selling more than 80 million more albums than Janet and Celine selling more than 110 million albums more than Janet.