Highest Selling Artists Of All Time

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Highest Selling Artists Of All Time

Last updated: January 3, 2014

This data was sourced from here, however, I have not removed artists that may have been removed from the original list. The sales are claimed figures, not actual data – I find that trying to find factual sale data is very difficult, especially considering the record keeping in the early days of recording may not have been very accurate.  If anyone has queries regarding artists that may be missing or sale figures, by all means add a comment below. If you have any references, they would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Artist Period active Release-year of first charted record Genre Claimed sales
Elvis Presley 1954–1977 1954 Rock and roll, pop, country 1 billion – 600 million
The Beatles 1962–1970 1962 Rock, pop 1 billion – 600 million
Michael Jackson 1971–2009 1971 Pop, R&B, rock, dance 750 – 350 million
ABBA 1972–1982 1972 Pop, disco 370 – 300 million
Led Zeppelin 1968–1980 1969 Rock 300 – 200 million
Madonna 1979–present 1982 Pop, rock, dance 300 – 275 million
Queen 1971–present 1973 Rock 300 – 150 million
Elton John 1964–present 1969 Pop / Rock 250 million
Pink Floyd 1965–1996 1967 Progressive rock 250 – 200 million
AC/DC 1973–present 1975 Hard rock/Heavy Metal 200 million
Bee Gees 1963–2003 1963 Pop / Disco 200 – 120 million
Céline Dion 1981–present 1981 Pop 200 million
Mariah Carey 1990–present 1990 Pop / R&B 200 million
The Rolling Stones 1962–present 1963 Rock / Blues rock 200 million
Whitney Houston 1977–2012 1984 Pop / R&B 200 – 170 million
Aerosmith 1970–present 1973 Hard rock 150 million
Billy Joel 1964–present 1971 Pop / Rock 150 million
Eagles 1971–present 1972 Soft rock / Country rock 150 million
Frank Sinatra 1935–1995 1939 Pop / Swing 150 million
Garth Brooks 1989–present 1989 Country 150 million
Phil Collins 1980–2011 1981 Adult contemporary 150 million
Rihanna 2005–present 2005 R&B / Pop / Dance /Hip-hop 150 million
U2 1976–present 1980 Rock 150 million
Barbra Streisand 1960–present 1963 Pop / Adult contemporary 145 million
David Bowie 1964–present 1967 Rock 140 million
Donna Summers 1968–2012 1974 Pop / Disco / R&B 130 million
Genesis 1967–1999
2006–present
1969 Progressive rock / Pop rock 130 million
Neil Diamond 1966–present 1966 Pop / Rock 125 million
Bruce Springsteen 1972–present 1973 Rock 120 million
Dire Straits 1977–1995 1978 Rock / Pop 120 million
Julio Iglesias 1968–present 1968 Latin 120 million
Status Quo 1967–present 1968 Rock 118 million
Metallica 1981–present 1983 Heavy metal / Thrash metal 110 million
Taylor Swift 2006–present 2006 Country Pop 101 million
Backstreet Boys 1993–present 1995 Pop 100 million
Barry White 1972–2003 1973 R&B / Soul 100 million
Bob Dylan 1959–present 1962 Folk / Rock 100 million
Bon Jovi 1983–present 1983 Hard Rock 100 million
Boney M. 1975–present 1975 Disco 100 million
Britney Spears 1998–present 1998 Pop / Dance / Dance-pop 100 million
Bryan Adams 1979–present 1979 Rock 100 million
Cher 1964–present 1965 Pop / Dance 100 million
Chicago 1967–present 1969 Pop rock 100 million
Deep Purple 1968–present 1968 Hard Rock 100 million
Def Leppard 1977–present 1979 Hard rock / heavy metal 100 million
Dolly Parton 1959–present 1965 Country / Pop 100 million
Eminem 1999–present 1999 Hip hop 100 million
Fleetwood Mac 1967–Present 1968 Pop rock 100 million
George Michael 1981–present 1984 Pop 100 million
Guns N’ Roses 1985–present 1987 Hard rock / Heavy Metal 100 million
Janet Jackson 1982–present 1982 R&B / Pop 100 million
Johnny Hallyday 1957–2007 1960 Rock / Pop 100 million
Kenny Rogers 1958–present 1975 Country / Pop 100 million
Kiss 1972–present 1974 Hard Rock / Heavy Metal 100 million
Linda Ronstadt 1967–present 1968 Rock / Folk / Country 100 million
Lionel Richie 1968–present 1981 Pop / R&B 100 million
Luciano Pavarotti 1961–2006 1961 Opera 100 million
Olivia Newton-John 1966–present 1966 Pop 100 million
Paul McCartney 1957–present 1970 Rock 100 million
Prince 1976–Present 1978 Funk / R&B / Pop / Soul / Rock 100 million
Rod Stewart 1962–present 1969 Rock / Pop 100 million
Stevie Wonder 1961–present 1962 R&B / Soul 100 million
The Beach Boys 1961–present 1962 Rock / Pop / Surf Rock 100 million
The Carpenters 1969–1983 1969 Pop 100 million
The Jackson 5 1966–1990 1969 R&B / Soul / Pop / Disco 100 million
The Who 1964–Present 1965 Rock / Hard rock 100 million
Tina Turner 1955–present 1975 Rock and roll, pop 100 million
Carlos Santana 1966–present 1969 Rock 90 million
Gloria Estefan 1977–present 1984 Latin / Dance / Pop 90 million
Iron Maiden 1975–present 1980 Heavy metal 85 million
R.E.M. 1980–present 1983 Alternative rock 85 million
Barry Manilow 1973–present 1973 Pop / Soft rock 80 million
B’z 1988–present 1988 Rock / Pop rock / Hard rock 80 million
Foreigner 1976–present 1977 Rock / Hard Rock 80 million
Lady Gaga 2008–Present 2008 Pop / Dance 80 million
Meat Loaf 1968–present 1977 Rock 80 million
New Kids on the Block 1984–present 1986 Teen pop 80 million
Reba McEntire 1974–present 1976 Country / Country Pop 80 million
Red Hot Chili Peppers 1983–present 1987 Funk rock / alternative rock 80 million
Shania Twain 1993–present 1993 Country Pop 80 million
The Doors 1965–1973 1967 Rock 80 million
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 1976–present 1976 Rock 80 million
Van Halen 1978–present 1978 Hard rock / Heavy Metal 80 million
The Black Eyed Peas 1995–present 1997 Hip-hop / Electro-hop / R&B / Dance 76 million
Alabama 1972–present 1980 Country / Pop rock 75 million
Andrea Bocelli 1994–present 1994 Pop / Classical / Opera 75 million
Aretha Franklin 1956–present 1961 Soul / Jazz/ Blues/ R&B 75 million
B’z 1988–present 1988 Rock / Pop rock / Hard rock 75 million
Beyoncé 2003–present 2003 R&B / Pop 75 million
Bob Marley 1962–1981 1975 Reggae 75 million
Depeche Mode 1980–present 1981 Synth Rock / Electronic 75 million
Enya 1982–present 1987 New age / Celtic 75 million
Eurythmics 1980–2005 1981 New wave 75 million
Green Day 1987–present 1994 Punk Rock / Alternative Rock 75 million
Journey 1973–present 1975 Arena rock 75 million
Kenny G 1982–Present 1982 Smooth jazz 75 million
Luis Miguel 1982–Present 1987 Latin pop /Bolero/ Ballad / Mariachi 75 million
Mötley Crüe 1981–present 1981 Glam metal 75 million
Nirvana 1987–1994 1989 Grunge / alternative rock 75 million
Scorpions 1969–present 1978 Hard rock 75 million
Scorpions 1969–present 1979 Hard rock 75 million
Spice Girls 1996–2000 1996 Pop / Dance-pop 75 million
Tupac Shakur 1988–1996 1991 Hip hop 75 million
Duran Duran 1978–present 1981 New wave / alternative rock 70 million
Jean Michel Jarre 1971–present 1971 New age 70 million
Shakira 1990–present 1995 Latin / Pop Rock 70 million
UB40 1980–Present 1980 Reggae 70 million
George Strait 1981–present 1981 Country 68 million
Kylie Minogue 1987–Present 1987 Dance pop 68 million
Usher 1993–Present 1993 R&B/Soul 65 million
Village People 1977–present 1977 Disco 65 million
Boyz II Men 1990–present 1991 R&B 60 million
Jethro Tull 1968–present 1968 Progressive rock / hard rock 60 million
Pearl Jam 1990–present 1991 Alternative rock / Grunge 60 million
Ricky Martin 1984–present 1991 Pop / Latin Pop / Dance Pop 60 million
Robbie Williams 1996–present 1996 Pop / Pop Rock 60 million
Roxette 1986–present 1986 Pop / Rock 60 million
Glay 1994–present 1994 Rock / Pop 56 million
Dreams Come True 1989–present 1989 Pop / Jazz 55 million
Michael Bolton 1968–present 1983 Pop 53 million
A-ha 1982–2010 1984 Pop / Rock 51 million
Ace of Base 1987–present 1992 Europop 50 million
Alan Jackson 1989–present 1989 Country 50 million
Alice Cooper 1965–present 1969 Hard rock / heavy metal 50 million
Anne Murray 1969–present 1969 Country / Adult contemporary 50 million
Ayumi Hamasaki 1994–present 1998 J-Pop 50 million
Black Sabbath 1968–present 1970 Heavy metal 50 million
Bob Seger 1961–present 1967 Rock 50 million
Christina Aguilera 1999–present 1999 Pop / R&B / soul / dance-pop 50 million
Coldplay 1997–present 1999 Alternative rock / Post-Britpop 50 million
Destiny’s Child 1997–2005 1997 R&B / Pop 50 million
Electric Light Orchestra 1970–2001 1971 Rock / Progressive rock 50 million
Hikaru Utada 1993–present 1993 J-pop / Pop / Dance 50 million
James Last 1963–present 1963 Instrumental / Classical 50 million
Jay-Z 1996–present 1996 Hip hop 50 million
Jennifer Lopez 1999–present 1999 Latin pop / R&B / pop 50 million
Johnny Cash 1955–2003 1955 Country / rock and roll 50 million
Linkin Park 2000–present 2000 Nu metal / Alternative rock / rapcore 50 million
Mary J. Blige 1990–present 1992 R&B / Soul / Hip hop 50 million
MC Hammer 1986–present 1988 Hip hop / Rap / Gospel / Dance 50 million
Mr.Children 1989–present 1992 Pop rock 50 million
Nat King Cole 1936–1965 1944 Vocal jazz 50 million
Oasis 1991–2009 1994 Britpop / Rock 50 million
Pet Shop Boys 1981–present 1984 Synthpop 50 million
Ray Conniff 1956–2002 1956 Pop / Easy listening 50 million
Sade 1983–present 1984 R&B / Sold / Jazz / Soft Rock 50 million
The Police 1977–2008 1977 Pop rock / New Wave 50 million
Tony Bennett 1949–present 1951 Traditional pop / Jazz 50 million
Vicente Fernández 1965–present 1967 Latin / Mariachi 50 million
Willie Nelson 1956–present 1962 Country 50 million

There are some interesting bands in here, some results are unexpected, and some I have not heard of! Will have to check them out.

Submeg

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