Most successful artists by decade

Most Successful Artists By Decade

Since the summer of 2016 dozens of artists have been analyzed using the CSPC method.

Some of them destroyed the competition during a short time thanks to only one album, while others have proven longevity through the years.

In the end though, who has really dominated each of the last six decades? Is it the former or the latter kind of artists? You will find the answer in the list below!

The figures written here are not the equivalent album sales during the decade, but the equivalent album sales up to date from all the material released during that decade by an artist.

Please keep in mind some artists with strong results in several decades haven’t been studied so far, e.g. Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys or Nicki Minaj. All figures reflect the value as collected at the time of the artist’s respective articles. The list of studied artists is available here.

A lot of lists like this one are available inside the Data Collector, so feel free to read them to gauge how your favorite artist charts within it!

Most successful artists by decade (as of May 2021)

1950s
1. Elvis Presley127,149,000

1960s
1. The Beatles376,924,000
2. Elvis Presley131,658,000
3. The Rolling Stones110,801,000
4. Simon & Garfunkel89,796,000
5. Bob Dylan72,934,000
6. The Doors72,455,000
7. Led Zeppelin57,592,000
8. Creedence Clearwater Revival52,246,000
9. Barbra Streisand31,384,000
10. Johnny Hallyday29,793,000
11. Bee Gees27,358,000
12. Pink Floyd21,773,000
13. Stevie Wonder17,580,000
14. Santana16,834,000
15. Cher14,854,000
16. Cher14,854,000
17. Fleetwood Mac14,807,000
18. Jackson 5 & The Jacksons13,281,000
19. Buffalo Springfield11,061,000
20. David Bowie8,481,000

1970s
1. Pink Floyd171,695,000
2. Eagles163,422,000
3. Led Zeppelin138,828,000
4. Queen129,623,000
5. Elton John129,344,000
6. Abba125,972,000
7. Rod Stewart & Faces108,674,000
8. Bob Marley107,997,000
9. Bee Gees104,914,000
10. Fleetwood Mac95,398,000
11. Santana75,660,000
12. The Rolling Stones73,368,000
13. Billy Joel72,103,000
14. David Bowie68,914,000
15. AC/DC67,824,000
16. Paul McCartney65,482,000
17. Stevie Wonder63,036,000
18. Black Sabbath62,946,000
19. Aerosmith60,765,000
20. Supertramp58,979,000
21. Barbra Streisand57,359,000
22. Elvis Presley54,499,000
23. Neil Young53,662,000
24. John Lennon47,679,000
25. Michael Jackson46,469,000

1980s
1. Michael Jackson181,681,000
2. Madonna131,613,000
3. Phil Collins119,105,000
4. U2111,861,000
5. Queen107,789,000
6. Prince93,149,000
7. AC/DC84,857,000
8. Bruce Springsteen82,382,000
9. Bon Jovi79,146,000
10. George Michael & Wham!69,617,000
11. Dire Straits67,720,000
12. The Police64,978,000
13. Metallica64,948,000
14. Billy Joel62,280,000
15. Journey61,102,000
16. Van Halen60,076,000
17. Guns N’ Roses58,419,000
18. Whitney Houston56,494,000
19. Sade46,991,000
20. Bryan Adams46,495,000
21. Barbra Streisand43,186,000
22. The Rolling Stones37,912,000
23. Elton John37,330,000
24. Stevie Wonder36,782,000
25. David Bowie35,564,000

1990s
1. Céline Dion160,090,000
2. Mariah Carey144,462,000
3. Garth Brooks108,309,000
4. Whitney Houston88,381,000
5. Nirvana80,179,000
6. Michael Jackson78,755,000
7. Metallica75,261,000
8. Backstreet Boys74,905,000
9. Madonna66,562,000
10. Shania Twain65,863,000
11. Guns N’ Roses56,524,000
12. Red Hot Chili Peppers55,552,000
13. Alanis Morissette50,237,000
14. Oasis47,347,000
15. Spice Girls47,339,000
16. Green Day44,616,000
17. The Cranberries42,810,000
18. U242,021,000
19. TLC38,447,000
20. Sting37,855,000
21. Bon Jovi37,185,000
22. Bryan Adams36,037,000
23. Aerosmith35,248,000
24. Santana33,069,000
25. Enya31,849,000

2000s
1. Eminem123,624,000
2. Linkin Park67,608,000
3. Coldplay66,326,000
4. Britney Spears62,135,000
5. Beyoncé50,503,000
6. P!nk48,326,000
7. Norah Jones48,153,000
8. Robbie Williams47,775,000
9. Nickelback46,375,000
10. Black Eyed Peas45,631,000
11. Alicia Keys43,142,000
12. Michael Bublé42,346,000
13. Ayumi Hamasaki40,263,000
14. U238,338,000
15. Madonna37,931,000
16. Avril Lavigne36,931,000
17. Rihanna36,818,000
18. Lady Gaga35,949,000
19. Usher34,775,000
20. Shakira34,227,000
21. Justin Timberlake33,379,000
22. Green Day32,386,000
23. Taylor Swift29,445,000
24. Miley Cyrus28,856,000
25. Evanescence28,339,000

2010s
1. Adele73,356,000
2. Justin Bieber66,066,000
3. Taylor Swift64,282,000
4. Ed Sheeran61,066,000
5. Rihanna55,886,000
6. BTS55,749,000
7. Bruno Mars52,339,000
8. Drake52,256,000
9. One Direction44,466,000
10. Eminem38,691,000
11. Maroon 537,803,000
12. Katy Perry35,012,000
13. The Weeknd34,942,000
14. Ariana Grande33,108,000
15. Lady Gaga30,122,000
16. Post Malone28,844,000
17. Coldplay28,500,000
18. Kendrick Lamar26,660,000
19. Imagine Dragons24,676,000
20. Selena Gomez23,749,000
21. Beyoncé23,194,000
22. Michael Bublé19,821,000
23. Shawn Mendes17,365,000
24. Billie Eilish16,709,000
25. Sam Smith16,045,000

2020s
1. BTS16,701,000
2. Taylor Swift7,851,000
3. The Weeknd4,070,000
4. Justin Bieber3,462,000
5. Dua Lipa2,884,000
6. Lady Gaga2,249,000
7. Selena Gomez1,958,000

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KRIS

Hey MJD , can u update this list please cause BTS have now over 35m physical sales alone and after Dynamite and Butter thier digital sales have increased too. In the best selling artist of all time thier cspc is 74m ,so I guess they might be on top in the 2010s decade now along with 2020s. Thanks

Gabriel

why Britney didn’t appear in the 90s, when the Baby One More Time era sold +32 million as you announced?

Edgar Moreno Castillo

Don’t count 2020s, it’s shite!!

Fanofpop

Hey MJD
Once the automatic updates are done, would you consider updating this section?
I feel like there’ll be a lot of interesting changes.

Drake number one, seeing how Ed, Taylor, Bruno and Rihanna perform would also be interesting. I think all are gaining on Adele.

BTS might also be closing in on Rihanna.
It would be the first time all the big 2010s artists were all updated on the same date so it would definitely be interesting.

Last edited 1 month ago by Fanofpop
Fanofpop

Hey MJD
Do you think now that most of the automatic updates are done it might be possible to update this?
Or would it be better to wait for more legacy artists first to update the other decades?

MJD

Well, we added 134 new albums (those between 1m to 2m CSPC) to the automatic updates today so we aren’t completely done 🙂 And yes! There are several all-time that I’ll update once everything makes it possible. This artist list may be tricky as all songs haven’t come out at the same time as the album, and because of the absence of orphan songs, I’ll see what can be done. In the meantime the all-time albums’ list has been updated smoothly yesterday, the load time went from 9 seconds to 1.7 seconds! Also the bug leading to albums randomly missing… Read more »

Trumry

Where does Britney stand in the 2010s? She has been getting huge streams this past year, and re-released her album Glory, as well as Vinyl versions.

apokont 2011

Just by comparing the 1960s-70s…lists with the 2010s-2020s up until now, you can see that the world is going through a cultural crisis with just a few exceptions…

Larry L Watson

i read the list first and the first thing that stood out was no Beach Boys on the list, then i read where they hadn’t been studied by this group

Eminemfan

BTS must be over 20 million now and gonna end year at 25 million plus. At same time , their 2010s catalog jumped to 55 million from 43 million in 20 months. They can enter top 5 for 2010s decade, but top 5 has added too. Anyways still amazing for a group who got big in 2016 and world domination started in 2017 and 2018 was the one where they fully came in power.

Last edited 2 months ago by Eminemfan
Neveup

This is not updated right!?

Drewwwwww

Some of the artists are outdated mostly the older gen ones because they don’t sell much anymore

ShaunMendazFannnnn

WHERES SHAUN MENDAZ

obro

if you referring to shawn mendes:

https://chartmasters.org/2019/10/shawn-mendes-albums-and-songs-sales/

his sales as of october 2019

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