This list includes music artists with claims of 75 million or more record sales. The artists in the following tables are listed with both their claimed sales figure along with their total of certified units and are ranked in descending order, with the artist with the highest amount of claimed sales at the top. If two or more artists have the same claimed sales, they are then ranked by certified units. The claimed sales figure and the total of certified units (for each country) within the provided sources include sales of albums, singles, compilation-albums, music videos as well as downloads of singles and full-length albums. Sales figures, such as those from Soundscan, which are sometimes published by Billboard magazine, have not been included in the certified units column. Currently, based on both sales claims and certified units, The Beatles are considered the highest-selling band and Elvis Presley is considered the highest-selling individual artist.

What's required to be on this list?

All artists included on this list, which have begun charting on official albums/singles charts have their available claimed figure(s) supported by at least 20% in certified units. That is why Cliff Richard, Diana Ross, Scorpions, Charles Aznavour, Bing Crosby, Gloria Estefan, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Tom Jones, The Jackson 5, Dionne Warwick, the Spice Girls, Luciano Pavarotti, Dolly Parton, Ozzy Osbourne, Andrea Bocelli and others have not been included on this list. The more recent the artist, the higher the required percentage of certified units, so artists such as Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Flo Rida, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Adele, Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars are expected to have their claimed figures supported by over 75% in certified units. The certified units are sourced from available online databases of local music industry associations. Note that all certified units are converted from Gold/Platinum/Diamond certification awards based on criteria provided by certifying bodies. The details of how much certified sales each artist should have based on the first year they appear on charts, can be found in the second box from the top on article's talk page.

What is the purpose of having certified sales?

The requirements of certified sales are designed to avoid inflated sales figures, which are frequently practiced by record companies for promotional purposes.

Claimed figures

The claimed figures are referenced from online articles created by highly reliable sources. For clarity, the sources used, say the term "records" (singles, albums, videos) and not "albums". However, if all available sources for an artist/band say "albums", such sources are only used if the certified album units of the said artist meet the required percentage amount.

Why higher claimed figures are often avoided?

Note that this list uses claimed figures that are closest to artists' available certified units. Inflated claimed figures that meet the required certified units amount but are unrealistically high, are not used.

When are the claimed figures upgraded?

The claimed figures are upgraded only when there is a significant progress in artists' certified sales. In other words, the available certified sales for each artist should get relatively closer to already listed claimed figure in order for higher figures to replace the listed ones. It is highly recommended that editors discuss sales figures on the talk page before making any changes.

How streaming may affect the certified sales

Note that the certified sales of the newer artists may sometimes be higher than their listed claimed figures. That is because Recording Industry Association of America and almost all other certifying bodies count streaming towards Gold and Platinum thresholds required for Digital Single Award certification. For this reason, some singles and even albums get over certified by hundreds of thousands of units. The over certified figures, however, often times are in millions of units for RIAA certifications.

Artists by reputed sales

250 million or more records

  • To ensure the highest level of fact checking and editorial control, this list sources sales figures to news organizations and highly regarded music industry related organizations such as MTV, VH1, Billboard and Rolling Stone.
  • The figures of total certified units within the table below are based on certified units of albums, singles (including digital downloads) and videos.
  • Markets' order within the table is based on Retail Value: each market generates respectively, the largest market at the top and smallest at the bottom.
ArtistCountry of originPeriod activeRelease-year of first charted recordGenreTotal certified units
(from available markets)
Claimed sales
The BeatlesUnited Kingdom1960–19701962Rock / Pop600 million
500 million
Elvis PresleyUnited States1954–19771954Rock and roll / Pop / Country600 million
500 million
Michael JacksonUnited States1964–20091971Pop / Rock / Dance / Soul / R&B350 million
300 million
MadonnaUnited States1979–present1982Pop / Dance / Electronica300 million
275 million
Elton JohnUnited Kingdom1964–present1969Pop / Rock300 million
250 million
Led ZeppelinUnited Kingdom1968–19801969Hard rock / Blues rock / Folk rock300 million
200 million
Pink FloydUnited Kingdom1965–1996, 20141967Progressive rock / Psychedelic rock250 million
200 million
  • The column for certified sales above includes markets, the databases of which contain certifications representing figures of 100,000 and more.

200 million to 249 million records

  • To ensure the highest level of fact checking and editorial control, this list sources sales figures to news organizations and highly regarded music industry related organizations such as MTV, VH1, Billboard and Rolling Stone.
  • The figures of total certified units within the table below are based on certified units of albums, singles (including digital downloads) and videos.
  • Markets' order within the table is based on Retail Value each market generates respectively, the largest market at the top and the smallest at the bottom.
ArtistCountry of originPeriod activeRelease-year of first charted recordGenreTotal certified units
(from available markets)
Claimed sales
RihannaBarbados
United States
2005–present2005R&B / Pop / Dance / Hip-hop200 million
Mariah CareyUnited States1988–present1990R&B / Pop / Soul / Hip-hop200 million
175 million
Celine DionCanada1981–present1981Pop200 million
175 million
AC/DCAustralia1973–present1975Hard rock / Blues rock / Rock and roll200 million
150 million
Whitney HoustonUnited States1977–20121984R&B / Soul / Pop200 million
170 million
QueenUnited Kingdom1971–present1973Rock200 million
150 million
The Rolling StonesUnited Kingdom1962–present1963Rock / Blues rock / Pop 200 million
ABBASweden1972–19821972Pop / Disco200 million
100 million
  • The column for certified sales above includes markets, the databases of which contain certifications representing figures of 100,000 and more.

120 million to 199 million records

  • To ensure the highest level of fact checking and editorial control, this list sources sales figures to news organizations and highly regarded music industry related organizations such as MTV, VH1, Billboard and Rolling Stone.
  • The figures of total certified units within the table below are based on certified units of albums, singles (including digital downloads) and videos.
  • Markets' order within the table is based on Retail Value each market generates respectively, the largest market at the top and the smallest at the bottom.
ArtistCountry of originPeriod activeRelease-year of first charted recordGenreTotal certified units
(from available markets)
Claimed sales
Taylor SwiftUnited States2006–present2006Country / Country pop / Pop / Pop-rock170 million
EminemUnited States1996–present1999Hip-hop155 million
Garth BrooksUnited States1989–present1989Country150 million
EaglesUnited States1971–present1972Rock150 million
U2Ireland1976–present1980Rock150 million
Billy JoelUnited States1964–present1971Pop / Rock150 million
Phil CollinsUnited Kingdom1980–2011,

2015–present

1981Rock / Progressive rock / Adult contemporary150 million
AerosmithUnited States1970–present1973Hard rock150 million
Frank SinatraUnited States1935–19951939Pop / Swing150 million
Barbra StreisandUnited States1960–present1963Pop / Adult contemporary145 million

Bon Jovi

United States1983-present1984Hard rock, Glam metal130 million
Kanye WestUnited States1996–present2004Hip-hop / Electronic / Pop rock121 million
Bruce SpringsteenUnited States1972–present1973Rock120 million
Bee GeesUnited Kingdom
Australia
1963–2003
2009–2012
1963Pop / Disco120 million
  • The column for certified sales above includes markets, the databases of which contain certifications representing figures of 100,000 and more.

100 million to 119 million records

  • To ensure the high level of fact checking and editorial control, this list sources sales figures to news organizations and highly regarded music industry related organizations such as MTV, VH1, Billboard and Rolling Stone.
  • The figures of total certified units within the table below are based on certified units of albums, singles (including digital downloads) and videos.
  • Markets' order within the table is based on Retail Value each market generates respectively, the largest market at the top and the smallest at the bottom.
ArtistCountry of originPeriod activeRelease-year of first charted recordGenreTotal certified units
(from available markets)
Claimed sales
Lady GagaUnited States2005–present2008Pop / Dance / Electronic114 million
MetallicaUnited States1981–present1983Heavy metal / Thrash metal110 million
Bruno MarsUnited States2004–present2010Pop rock / R&B100 million
AdeleUnited Kingdom2006–present2008Pop, soul100 million
Justin BieberCanada
United States
2008–present2009Pop / Teen pop, Dance pop100 million
Jay ZUnited States1996–present1996Hip-hop100 million
Lil WayneUnited States1996–present1999Hip-hop100 million
Rod StewartUnited Kingdom1964–present1969Rock / Pop100 million
Britney SpearsUnited States1998–present1998Pop / Dance / Dance-pop100 million
Fleetwood MacUnited Kingdom
United States
1967–present1968Rock / Pop100 million
Guns N' RosesUnited States1985–present1987Hard rock / Heavy metal100 million
George StraitUnited States1981–present1984Country100 million
Backstreet BoysUnited States1993–present1995Pop100 million
Neil DiamondUnited States1966–present1966Pop / Rock100 million
PrinceUnited States1976–20161978Funk / R&B / Pop / Soul / Rock100 million
Paul McCartneyUnited Kingdom1960–present1970Rock100 million
Kenny RogersUnited States1958–present1975Country / Pop100 million
Janet JacksonUnited States1982–present1982R&B / Pop100 million
Julio IglesiasSpain1968–present1968Latin100 million
ChicagoUnited States1967–present1969Rock / Pop100 million
The CarpentersUnited States1969–19831969Pop100 million
Bob DylanUnited States1959–present1963Folk / Rock100 million
Dire StraitsUnited Kingdom1977–19951978Rock 100 million
Bryan AdamsCanada1979–present1979Rock100 million
Def LeppardUnited Kingdom1977–present1979Hard rock / Heavy metal100 million
CherUnited States1964–present1965Pop / Rock / Dance / Folk100 million
Lionel RichieUnited States1968–present1981Pop / R&B100 million
GenesisUnited Kingdom1967–1999
2006–present
1969Progressive rock / Pop rock100 million
James TaylorUnited States1968–present1970Rock / Pop100 million
Olivia Newton-JohnAustralia1966–present1966Pop100 million
Stevie WonderUnited States1961–present1962Funk / R&B / Soul100 million
Linda RonstadtUnited States1967–present1968Rock / Folk / Country100 million
Tina TurnerUnited States1955–present1975Rock / Pop100 million
Donna SummerUnited States1968–20121974Pop / Disco / R&B100 million
The Beach BoysUnited States1961–present1962Rock / Pop / Surf Rock100 million
David BowieUnited Kingdom1962–20161967Art rock / Glam rock / Pop100 million
The WhoUnited Kingdom1964–present1965Rock / Hard rock100 million
Barry WhiteUnited States1972–20031973R&B / Soul100 million
  • The column for certified sales above includes markets, the databases of which contain certifications representing figures of 100,000 and more.

80 million to 99 million records

  • To ensure the highest level of fact checking and editorial control, this list sources sales figures to news organizations and highly regarded music industry related organizations such as MTV, VH1, Billboard and Rolling Stone.
  • The figures of total certified units within the table below are based on certified units of albums, singles (including digital downloads) and videos.
  • Markets' order within the table is based on Retail Value each market generates respectively, the largest market at the top and the smallest at the bottom.
ArtistCountry of originPeriod activeRelease-year of first charted recordGenreTotal certified units
(from available markets)
Claimed sales
Katy PerryUnited States2001–present2008Pop92 million
SantanaUnited States1966–present1969Rock90 million
Earth, Wind & FireUnited States1969–present1971Funk / R&B / Soul90 million
Johnny CashUnited States1954-20031956Country/ Rock and roll/ Gospel90 million
B'zJapan1988–present1988Rock / Pop rock / Hard rock86 million
BeyoncéUnited States1997–present2002R&B / Pop85 million
Shania TwainCanada1993–present1993Country pop85 million
R.E.M.United States1980–20111983Alternative rock85 million
Flo RidaUnited States2007–present2007Hip-hop, Hip house, EDM80 million
Van HalenUnited States1978–present1978Hard rock / Heavy metal80 million
ColdplayUnited Kingdom1996–present1999Alternative rock, Pop rock, Pop80 million
Red Hot Chili PeppersUnited States1983–present1987Funk rock / Alternative rock80 million
ForeignerUnited States
United Kingdom
1976–present1977Rock / Hard Rock80 million
The DoorsUnited States1965–19731967Psychedelic rock80 million
George MichaelUnited Kingdom1981–present1984Pop80 million
Reba McEntireUnited States1975–present1987Country / Country Pop80 million
Meat LoafUnited States1968–present1977Rock / Hard rock80 million
Barry ManilowUnited States1973–present1973Pop / Soft rock80 million
Tom PettyUnited States1976–present1977Rock80 million
Johnny HallydayFrance1957–present1960Rock / Pop80 million
  • The column for certified sales above includes markets, the databases of which contain certifications representing figures of 100,000 and more.

75 million to 79 million records

  • To ensure the highest level of fact checking and editorial control, this list sources sales figures to news organizations and highly regarded music industry related organizations such as MTV, VH1, Billboard and Rolling Stone.
  • The figures of total certified units within the table below are based on certified units of albums, singles (including digital downloads) and videos.
  • Markets' order within the table is based on Retail Value each market generates respectively, the largest market at the top and the smallest at the bottom.
ArtistCountry of originPeriod activeRelease-year of first charted recordGenreTotal certified units
(from available markets)
Claimed sales
The Black Eyed PeasUnited States1995–present1998Hip-hop / R&B / Dance76 million
JourneyUnited States1973–present1975Rock / Soft rock75 million
Kenny GUnited States1982–present1984Smooth jazz75 million
EnyaIreland1982–present1987New-age / Celtic75 million
UsherUnited States1991–present1994R&B / Pop75 million
Robbie WilliamsUnited Kingdom1990–present1996Pop rock75 million
AlabamaUnited States1972–present1980Country / Pop rock75 million
NirvanaUnited States1987–19941989Grunge / Alternative rock75 million
The PoliceUnited Kingdom1977–1986
2007–2008
1978Pop / Rock75 million
Bob MarleyJamaica1962–19811975Reggae75 million
KissUnited States1972–present1974Hard rock / Heavy metal75 million
Aretha FranklinUnited States1956–present1961Soul / Jazz / Blues / R&B75 million
  • The column for certified sales above includes markets, the databases of which contain certifications representing figures of 100,000 and more.