Top 20 biggest selling music artists of all time

gopies1981

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A website www.chartmasters.org has released very detailed list of artists sales. Below I have posted the top 20 biggest selling artists of all time in terms of equivalent album sales (physical sales + digital sales plus streaming (1,500 listens on e.g Spotify of an album equals one album sale) her is the top 20 biggest music acts of all time

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For the full list go to chartmasters website for full list of album sales, single sales, digital sales and streaming.

Out of the top 20 is their anyone you are surprised is on the list?

Is anyone too high on the list?

Should an artist be higher?

Keen for your thoughts
 
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gopies1981

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For me it’s interesting that Michael Jackson is higher then Elvis tho I believe in the 50’s and 60’s albums were not big sellers but single sale were and elvis is the biggest singles seller of all time.

Also interesting is that Madonna is the only female artist in the top 10!! And abba only being at no.18 where their record company which like a lot of record companies overinflat artists record sales I though they would be well over 200 million in album sales. But abba never really had much success in the states.

Interesting the top 5 biggest bands of all time are;

1. The Beatles
2. Queen
3. Rolling Stones
4. Pink Floyd
5. Led Zeppelin

Top 5 highest selling male artists

1. Michael Jackson
2. Elvis
3. Elton John
4. Bruce Springsteen
5. Eminem (shocked with that one)

Top 5 highest selling female artists

1. Madonna
2. Celine Dion
3. Mariah Carey
4. Barbara Streisand
5. Whitney Houston (21st highest selling artist with 151 million equivalent album sales)
 

Roobs321

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#3
Queen in 5th (at least before 2018) was slightly surprising to me on first impression, although I get the feeling they were popular literally anywhere on the planet, maybe moreso than some other artists. Plus their regular revivals and seeming indiscriminate appeal across demographics.

Eminem in 5th for male artists does feel weird. Top 10 maybe, but top 5!

Celine Dion at 11th overall also feels odd from an Australian standpoint. I get that she was massive in the second half of the 90s for 2 or 3 albums, but her presence ever since has felt more diffuse, so it is easy to overlook how popular she might remain in some parts of the world.
 

gopies1981

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Queen in 5th (at least before 2018) was slightly surprising to me on first impression, although I get the feeling they were popular literally anywhere on the planet, maybe moreso than some other artists. Plus their regular revivals and seeming indiscriminate appeal across demographics.

Eminem in 5th for male artists does feel weird. Top 10 maybe, but top 5!

Celine Dion at 11th overall also feels odd from an Australian standpoint. I get that she was massive in the second half of the 90s for 2 or 3 albums, but her presence ever since has felt more diffuse, so it is easy to overlook how popular she might remain in some parts of the world.
Remember with celine her biggest music market is in Europe. She is actually the second biggest female singer in Europe selling over 54 million albums. Madonna is no.1 in Europe with over 75 million albums sold.
 

gopies1981

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Queen in 5th (at least before 2018) was slightly surprising to me on first impression, although I get the feeling they were popular literally anywhere on the planet, maybe moreso than some other artists. Plus their regular revivals and seeming indiscriminate appeal across demographics.

Eminem in 5th for male artists does feel weird. Top 10 maybe, but top 5!

Celine Dion at 11th overall also feels odd from an Australian standpoint. I get that she was massive in the second half of the 90s for 2 or 3 albums, but her presence ever since has felt more diffuse, so it is easy to overlook how popular she might remain in some parts of the world.
Also this also does not include singles sales. Is the total included singles sales Elvis will be higher the Michael. Elton would be in 5th place above queen, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.

This only includes equivalent album sales. Physical sales + digital album sales + streaming (1,500 listeners equals 1 sale)

* streaming for singles is 150 listeners equal 1 sale.

sad for new artists that even digital sales are now starting to become obsolete in the last 3 years with streaming now taking over.

Records that will never be broken are;

Highest selling artist;

The Beatles

Highest selling album artist

The Beatles

Highest selling singles artist

Elvis

Highest selling album ( physical sales)

Thriller - Michael Jackson 66 million

Highest selling single

Can in the wind Elton John - 29 million

Highest selling digital download artist

Rhianna
 
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Roobs321

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#6
Remember with celine her biggest music market is in Europe. She is actually the second biggest female singer in Europe selling over 54 million albums. Madonna is no.1 in Europe with over 75 million albums sold.
That is why I said "in other parts of the world".

So it looks like Europe matches up exactly with your overall results.
 

QuietB

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Also this also does not include singles sales. Is the total included singles sales Elvis will be higher the Michael. Elton would be in 5th place above queen, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.

This only includes equivalent album sales. Physical sales + digital album sales + streaming (1,500 listeners equals 1 sale)

* streaming for singles is 150 listeners equal 1 sale.

sad for new artists that even digital sales are now starting to become obsolete in the last 3 years with streaming now taking over.

Records that will never be broken are;

Highest selling artist;

The Beatles

Highest selling album artist

The Beatles

Highest selling singles artist

The Beatles

Highest selling album ( physical sales)

Thriller - Michael Jackson 66 million

Highest selling singles

Can in the wind Elton John - 29 million

Highest selling digital download artist

Rhianna
1,500 listeners = 1 sale is a bit ridiculous
 

gopies1981

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1,500 listeners = 1 sale is a bit ridiculous
Yes I agree. And 150 listens to 1 song equals 1 sale. No wonder the only way to make money for new artists is to tour and find other avenues to make money like perfumes and clothes ect.

That is the reason why artists like U2, Rolling Stones and Madonna tour now. They use their new music as a platform to tour. The highest selling album last year sold 5.4 million copared to the 80’s and 90’s where the top selling album would sell 20-25 million

2018 sales world wide as per mediatraffic

5388197E-FD29-410B-8CA2-0EC9A0FB4F78.jpeg
 

gopies1981

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Most successful artists as per singles on the United world chart (totel sales from 23 of the biggest music markets in the world)

1. Madonna (22 no.1 hits, 47 top 10 hits)
2. Elvis (22 no.1 hits, 43 top 10 hits)
3. The Beatles ( 21 No.1 hits, 38 top 10 hits)
4. Michael Jackson ( 13 no.1 hits, 34 top 10 hits)
5. Rolling Stones ( 12 no.1 hits)
6. Elton John ( 27 top 10 hits)
7. Bee gees (9 no.1 hits)
8. Mariah Carey ( 28 top 10 hits)
9. Rihanna ( 12. No.1 hits, 28 top 10 hits)
10. Stevie Wonder

www.mediatraffic.de
 
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gopies1981

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In my opinion what these sales shows that the Beatles are by far the biggest band of all time with over twice as many in sales as the next biggest band queen and the Rolling Stones.

Not much of a difference between the most successful male artists in Michael Jackson and Elvis. In saying that Elvis just pips out MJ due to
His huge single sales which were huge in the 50’s and 60’s as per the United world chart.

Madonna is my far the most successful female artist of all times with over 100 million more sales as celine and 150 million more then Mariah. If you look at Madonna in terms of singles sales and success she has as many hits as Elvis and the Beatles but has had more hits then MJ tho MJ was a bigger album seller
 
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