Skip to content
Home > TIPS

50 Best Selling Music Artists

  • Aditya 
  • 29 min read
best selling music artists 

In the world of music, some artists have risen to extraordinary heights, captivating audiences with their amazing lyrics and rhythmic tunes. They have not only created classic melodies but also achieved remarkable success in terms of record sales. In this article, we will look at the best selling music artists, discovering their net worth and the influence they have on global music culture.

Best Selling Music Artists

The journey of best-selling music artists is a fascinating exploration of talent, dedication, and the universal appeal of their melodies. From chart-topping hits to albums that have left a lasting impact, these artists have become household names across the globe. Their popularity goes beyond borders, reaching people of diverse backgrounds and cultures.

1. The Beatles

The Beatles - Don't Let Me Down
  • Number of Units Sold: 183 million
  • Net Worth: $2.8 billion

The Beatles, formed in Liverpool in 1960, with members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, are hailed as the most influential band in history. Their impact on 1960s counterculture and the elevation of popular music as an art form is profound. Originating from skiffle, beat, and 1950s rock ‘n’ roll, their innovative sound fused classical and pop. The Beatles delved into diverse genres like folk, Indian music, psychedelia, and hard rock. Pioneers in recording, songwriting, and presentation, they revolutionized the music industry, epitomizing the youth and sociocultural movements of their era. They are some of the best selling music artists.

2. Garth Brooks

  • Number of Units Sold: 156 million
  • Net Worth: $430 million

Troyal Garth Brooks, a prominent American country singer and songwriter, has garnered immense popularity by seamlessly blending pop and rock elements into the country genre. His chart-topping success on both country music and mainstream pop charts, along with multi-platinum records and record-breaking live performances, sets him apart. Brooks holds the unique distinction of being the only artist with nine Diamond-certified albums by the Recording Industry Association of America. Since 1989, he has released a prolific 23 records, including 13 studio albums, two live albums, three compilations, three Christmas albums, and four box sets, accompanied by 77 singles. He is one of the best selling artists of all time worldwide.

3. Elvis Presley

  • Number of Units Sold: 146.5 million
  • Net Worth: $20 million

Elvis Presley, often called the “King of Rock and Roll,” was a groundbreaking American singer and actor. His dynamic performances and blend of influences transcending racial boundaries made him a cultural icon. The 1956 release of his RCA debut, “Heartbreak Hotel,” quickly soared to number one, selling ten million singles within a year. Through hit records and televised appearances, Presley swiftly rose to prominence, becoming the face of the burgeoning rock and roll genre. His unique style and controversial persona defined a transformative period in cultural and musical history. He’s considered one of the top solo artists.

Also Read: Top 50 Richest People in the World

4. Eagles

  • Number of Units Sold: 120 million
  • Net Worth: $4.9 billion

Formed in Los Angeles in 1971, the Eagles are a legendary American rock band, boasting a string of successes in the 1970s. With hits like “Take It Easy” and “Witchy Woman,” their debut album in 1972 set the stage for a remarkable career. The album “One of These Nights” marked their first US number-one in 1975. Comprising Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner, initially brought together by Linda Ronstadt, they later soared to fame on David Geffen’s Asylum Records. With six Grammy Awards and five American Music Awards, the Eagles left an indelible mark on music history. No doubt they are included among best selling music artists.

5. Led Zeppelin

  • Number of Units Sold: 111.5 million
  • Net Worth: $900 million

Led Zeppelin, the English rock band formed in London in 1968, consisted of Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham. Pioneers of hard rock and heavy metal, their guitar-driven sound drew from blues and folk. Despite initial criticism, they shaped the music industry, influencing album-oriented rock and stadium performances. Over a decade, they released eight successful studio albums, starting with their 1969 debut, “Led Zeppelin,” featuring hits like “Good Times Bad Times” and “Dazed and Confused.” Their impact endures, marking a transformative era in rock history. These are some of the most popular artists of all time.

6. Billy Joel

Billy Joel - Piano Man (Official HD Video)
  • Number of Units Sold: 84.5 million
  • Net Worth: $225 million

William Martin Joel, an acclaimed American singer and pianist, earned the moniker “Piano Man” from his iconic 1973 song. With a flourishing solo career since the 1970s, he released twelve diverse studio albums spanning pop and rock. In 2001, he delved into classical compositions with a unique album. Joel ranks among the top-selling music artists globally, securing the fourth spot for solo artists in the U.S., with over 160 million records sold worldwide. His 1985 compilation, “Greatest Hits – Volume I & Volume II,” stands as one of the U.S.’s best-selling albums. He is one of the best selling music artists.

7. Michael Jackson

  • Number of Units Sold: 84 million
  • Net Worth: $2.4 billion

Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop,” was an iconic American singer, songwriter, and dancer who left an indelible mark on 20th-century culture. Over four decades, he shaped music, dance, and fashion, becoming a global pop culture icon. Jackson’s influence transcended genres, and his innovative performances introduced iconic moves like the moonwalk and the robot. Beyond his artistic contributions, his publicized personal life added to his legendary status. A philanthropist as well, Jackson’s impact on the world remains profound, solidifying his legacy as a multifaceted and significant cultural figure. He is one of the best selling artists of all time worldwide.

8. Elton John

  • Number of Units Sold: 79 million
  • Net Worth: $550 million

Elton John, born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, is a revered British singer, pianist, and composer. Widely praised for his impactful contributions to music, particularly in the 1970s, his collaboration with lyricist Bernie Taupin stands among the most successful in music history. Experiencing critical acclaim during the ’70s with chart-topping albums like “Honky Château” (1972) and “Rock of the Westies” (1975), John’s influence persisted into the 1980s and 1990s. His enduring career encompasses numerous hit singles and albums in both decades, solidifying his legacy as a prolific and influential figure in popular music. He’s considered one of the top solo artists.

9. AC/DC

  • Number of Units Sold: 75 million
  • Net Worth: $400 million

AC/DC, formed in 1973 by Australian brothers Angus and Malcolm Young, is a iconic rock band. The current lineup includes Angus Young, Cliff Williams, Phil Rudd, Brian Johnson, and Stevie Young. Their music, often labeled as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal, is simply termed “rock and roll” by the band. AC/DC has had a significant influence on the new wave of British heavy metal, with bands like Iron Maiden and Saxon citing them as formative. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, AC/DC remains a powerhouse in the world of rock music. No doubt they are included among best selling music artists.

10. Pink Floyd

  • Number of Units Sold: 75 million
  • Net Worth: $800 million

Formed in London in 1965, Pink Floyd, an iconic English rock band, quickly gained recognition as pioneers of British psychedelic music. Renowned for extended compositions, experimental sound, and profound lyrics, they became a progressive rock powerhouse. Syd Barrett (guitar, vocals), Nick Mason (drums), Roger Waters (bass, vocals), and Richard Wright (keyboards, vocals) founded the band. Under Barrett’s leadership, they produced hits like “Arnold Layne” and “See Emily Play” and the acclaimed debut album, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” (1967). Pink Floyd stands as a cornerstone in the history of progressive rock, with a lasting impact on music. These are some of the most popular artists of all time.

11. George Strait

George Strait - Troubadour (Official Music Video - Closed Captioned)
  • Number of Units Sold: 69 million
  • Net Worth: $300 million

George Strait is an iconic American country music figure, renowned for his pivotal role in shaping neotraditional country in the 1980s. Recognized as the “King of Country Music,” Strait’s authentic cowboy persona and roots-focused sound stood out in an era dominated by country-pop crossovers. His influence is profound, earning him accolades for pioneering the genre. Notably, he holds the record for the most ‘number one’ songs across all music charts, solidifying his legacy as a singer, songwriter, actor, and music producer. He is one of the best selling music artists.

Also Read: Richest Rappers in the World with Net Worth

12. Barbra Streisand

  • Number of Units Sold: 68.5 million
  • Net Worth: $400 million

Barbra Streisand is an iconic American singer and actress with a career spanning six decades. Renowned for her versatility, she holds the rare distinction of achieving an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT). Streisand initially gained fame in the early 1960s through nightclub and Broadway performances. Over the years, she dominated the US Billboard 200 chart with 11 albums, a record for women until 2023, and secured five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Expanding into film in the late ’60s, Streisand continues to be a celebrated figure in the entertainment industry. She’s considered one of the top solo artists.

13. Aerosmith

  • Number of Units Sold: 66.5 million
  • Net Worth: $530 million

Formed in Boston in 1970, Aerosmith, comprising Steven Tyler (lead vocals, harmonica, piano), Joe Perry (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass), Joey Kramer (drums), and Brad Whitford (guitar), is celebrated for their blues-infused hard rock style. Their sound blends elements of pop rock, heavy metal, glam metal, and rhythm and blues, influencing numerous rock artists. Often dubbed “the Bad Boys from Boston” and hailed as “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band,” the songwriting duo of Tyler and Perry, known as the “Toxic Twins,” has left an indelible mark on the rock music scene. These are some of the best selling artists of all time worldwide.

14. Mariah Carey

  • Number of Units Sold: 66.5 million
  • Net Worth: $340 million

Mariah Carey is an American singer, songwriter, producer, and actress. Known as the “Songbird Supreme” by Guinness World Records, she’s celebrated for her songwriting, expansive vocal range, melismatic style, and the use of the whistle register. A trailblazer in popular music, Carey fused hip-hop with pop, shaping contemporary vocal styles and popularizing remixes. Recognized as the “Queen of Christmas,” her 1994 hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You” remains the best-selling holiday song by a female artist, solidifying her festive legacy. No doubt she is included among best selling music artists.

15. The Rolling Stones

  • Number of Units Sold: 66.5 million
  • Net Worth: $1.45 billion

Formed in London in 1962, The Rolling Stones are an iconic rock band that has spanned seven decades, earning them lasting popularity. Pioneering the gritty, rhythm-driven sound of hard rock in the early ’60s, the original lineup featured Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts. Jones initially led the band until manager Andrew Loog Oldham’s influence prompted them to start writing their own songs in 1963. With a dynamic mix of talent, they’ve become one of the enduring legends of the rock era. These are some of the most popular artists of all time.

16. Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen - Dancing In the Dark (Official Video)
  • Number of Units Sold: 65.5 million
  • Net Worth: $650 million

Bruce Springsteen is an iconic American rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist, affectionately known as “The Boss.” Over six decades, he’s launched 21 studio albums with his renowned backing group, the E Street Band, shaping the heartland rock genre. This style blends mainstream rock with socially conscious, poetic lyrics focusing on working-class American experiences. Springsteen’s dynamic concerts, lasting over four hours, showcase his vivid storytelling and passionate performances, defining his enduring influence on the music scene. He is one of the best selling music artists.

17. Madonna

  • Number of Units Sold: 64.5 million
  • Net Worth: $1.2 billion

Madonna Louise Ciccone is an iconic American singer, songwriter, and actress, often hailed as the “Queen of Pop.” Renowned for her constant evolution and versatility in music, songwriting, and visual presentation, Madonna has pushed artistic boundaries in mainstream music while maintaining full control of her career. A cultural figure spanning the 20th and 21st centuries, Madonna is extensively studied in various scholarly reviews and even has a dedicated academic subdiscipline known as Madonna studies. She’s considered one of the top solo artists.

18. Metallica

  • Number of Units Sold: 63 million
  • Net Worth: $1 billion

Metallica, an American heavy metal band formed in 1981 in Los Angeles by vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, has been primarily based in San Francisco. Recognized as part of the thrash metal “big four” alongside Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer, the band’s aggressive musicianship and fast tempos defined the genre. The current lineup includes founders Hetfield and Ulrich, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, and bassist Robert Trujillo. Notable former members are guitarist Dave Mustaine, who later formed Megadeth, and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton, and Jason Newsted. These are some of the best selling artists of all time worldwide.

19. Whitney Houston

  • Number of Units Sold: 59 million
  • Net Worth: $250 million (at the peak of her career)

Whitney Houston, dubbed “the Voice,” was a renowned American singer and actress. With over 220 million records sold globally, she ranks among the best-selling artists ever. In 2023, Rolling Stone honored her as the second-greatest singer of all time. Houston’s impact on popular music is evident in her powerful vocals, soulful style, and adept use of gospel techniques in pop. Boasting 11 Billboard Hot 100 chart-toppers, she remains the only artist with seven consecutive number-one singles. Her influence on fellow musicians is enduring, solidifying her legacy in the music industry. No doubt she is included among best selling music artists.

Also Read: Top 20 Richest Country Singers in the World

20. Van Halen

  • Number of Units Sold: 56.5 million
  • Net Worth: $350 million

Formed in 1973 in Pasadena, California, Van Halen revitalized hard rock, celebrated for their dynamic live shows and the unparalleled guitar skills of Eddie Van Halen. The band, comprising Eddie, drummer Alex Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, and bassist Michael Anthony, earned induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Their 1978 self-titled debut album soared to No. 19 on the US Billboard charts, achieving Diamond certification with over 10 million copies sold. This lineup thrived until 1985, leaving an enduring legacy in the annals of rock history. These are some of the most popular artists of all time.

21. Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac - Gypsy (Official Music Video)
  • Number of Units Sold: 54.5 million
  • Net Worth: $551 million

Formed in 1967 by guitarist and singer Peter Green in London, Fleetwood Mac evolved with members like Mick Fleetwood, Jeremy Spencer, and Bob Brunning. John McVie replaced Brunning shortly after their debut. Danny Kirwan joined in 1968, and Christine Perfect became an official member in 1970 after Green’s departure, adopting the name Christine McVie upon marrying John McVie. The band, with over 120 million global record sales, received a Hollywood Walk of Fame star in 1979, solidifying their status as one of the best-selling bands worldwide. They are some of the best selling music artists.

22. U2

  • Number of Units Sold: 52 million
  • Net Worth: $1.8 billion

Formed in Dublin in 1976, U2 is an iconic Irish rock band comprising Bono (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), the Edge (lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen Jr. (drums). Initially rooted in post-punk, their musical evolution maintains an anthemic quality, driven by Bono’s expressive vocals and the Edge’s effects-laden guitar. Bono’s lyrics, rich in spiritual imagery, explore personal and sociopolitical themes. Renowned for dynamic live performances, U2 has embarked on elaborate tours throughout their illustrious career. These are some of the best selling artists of all time worldwide.

23. Céline Dion

  • Number of Units Sold: 50 million
  • Net Worth: $480 million

Céline Dion, the renowned Canadian singer known as the “Queen of Power Ballads,” is celebrated for her commanding vocals spanning genres like pop, rock, R&B, gospel, and classical music. Fluent in multiple languages, including English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Latin, Japanese, and Chinese, Dion’s 1990 debut album, Unison, marked her as a prominent pop artist in North America. However, it was The Colour of My Love in 1993 that catapulted her to global superstardom. The iconic “My Heart Will Go On,” the theme for the 1997 film Titanic, further solidified her widespread acclaim. She’s considered one of the top solo artists.

24. Neil Diamond

  • Number of Units Sold: 49.5 million
  • Net Worth: $300 million

Neil Diamond, an iconic American singer-songwriter, boasts over 130 million global record sales, ranking among the best-selling artists ever. With ten No. 1 hits on both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts, Diamond’s impact is undeniable. Notably, “Sweet Caroline” is one of his 38 songs to reach the Billboard Adult Contemporary top 10. Beyond music, he ventured into acting, debuting in the 1980 film “The Jazz Singer.” He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. No doubt he is included among best selling music artists.

25. Journey

  • Number of Units Sold: 48 million
  • Net Worth: $128 million

Formed in 1973 in San Francisco, Journey, a rock band comprised of former members of Santana, Steve Miller Band, and Frumious Bandersnatch, achieved peak commercial success between 1978 and 1987 with lead vocalist Steve Perry. During this period, hits like “Don’t Stop Believin'” (1981) solidified their status. As of 2021, the lineup includes guitarist/vocalist Neal Schon, keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Cain, keyboardist/vocalist Jason Derlatka, drummer/vocalist Deen Castronovo, bassist Todd Jensen, and lead vocalist Arnel Pineda. The band’s iTunes history was marked by the 2009 success of “Don’t Stop Believin’.” These are some of the most popular artists of all time.

26. Kenny G

Kenny G - The Moment (Official Video)
  • Number of Units Sold: 48 million
  • Net Worth: $100 million

Kenny G, born Kenneth Bruce Gorelick, is an acclaimed American smooth jazz saxophonist, composer, and producer, boasting over 75 million global record sales. In the 1980s, his career soared with the release of “Duotones,” featuring the iconic track “Songbird.” The album catapulted him to mainstream success, making him a household name. Renowned for his soulful melodies and smooth improvisations, Kenny G’s distinctive style resonates beyond jazz circles, captivating audiences across diverse musical genres. He is one of the best selling music artists.

27. Shania Twain

  • Number of Units Sold: 48 million
  • Net Worth: $400 million

Shania Twain, born Eilleen Regina Edwards, is a Canadian singer-songwriter and the best-selling female artist in country music history. Renowned as the “Queen of Country Pop,” she has sold over 100 million records, solidifying her status as one of the top-selling music artists. Billboard recognized her as the leader among ’90s country-pop crossover stars. Twain’s success and influence make her an iconic figure in the music industry, with a remarkable legacy as a trailblazer in the genre. She is one of the best selling artists of all time worldwide.

Also Read: Top 30 Richest Families in the World

28. Kenny Rogers

  • Number of Units Sold: 47.5 million
  • Net Worth: $270 million

Kenneth Ray Rogers Sr., an acclaimed American singer and songwriter, gained induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013. Renowned for his country appeal, he notched over 120 hit singles across diverse genres, dominating both country and pop album charts for over 200 weeks in the U.S. alone. With sales exceeding 100 million records worldwide, Rogers stands among the top-selling artists. His versatile career spanned jazz, folk, pop, rock, and country, solidifying his status as a remarkably successful cross-over artist. He’s considered one of the top solo artists.

29. Alabama

  • Number of Units Sold: 46.5 million
  • Net Worth: $1.6 billion

Formed in 1969 in Fort Payne, Alabama, the country music band Alabama, led by Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry, gained prominence in the 1980s. Originally known as Wildcountry, the group changed their name in 1977 after chart-topping success. With hits like 27 number ones and seven multi-platinum albums, Alabama became a country music powerhouse, earning accolades and a recording deal with RCA Records. The trio’s chart success, especially in the ’80s, solidified their place as one of the genre’s most successful acts. No doubt they are included among best selling music artists.

30. Eminem

  • Number of Units Sold: 46.5 million
  • Net Worth: $250 million

Eminem, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is an influential American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. Credited with bringing hip hop to Middle America, he’s widely considered one of the greatest rappers, breaking racial barriers for white artists in the genre. Despite controversy in the late ’90s and early 2000s, Eminem became a symbol of American underclass angst, influencing artists across genres. His global success and acclaimed works have left a lasting impact, making him a pivotal figure in the evolution of popular music. He is one of the most popular artists of all time.

31. Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift - Blank Space
  • Number of Units Sold: 45 million
  • Net Worth: $1.1 billion

Taylor Swift, an influential American singer-songwriter, is celebrated for her songwriting, musical prowess, and cultural impact. With over 200 million records sold worldwide, she’s among the top-selling musicians. Swift holds records as the most-streamed woman on Spotify and Apple Music and the highest-grossing female performer, making her the first music billionaire. Her achievements include 12 Grammys, 40 American Music Awards, and numerous other accolades. Recognized by Rolling Stone, Billboard, Time, and Forbes, Swift is not only an artist but also an advocate for artists’ rights and women’s empowerment. She is one of the best selling music artists.

32. Bob Seger

  • Number of Units Sold: 44.5 million
  • Net Worth: $60 million

Robert Clark Seger is a retired American singer-songwriter. Starting as Bob Seger and the Last Heard, he gained local success in Detroit in the 1960s. His breakthrough came in 1969 with the album “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.” Dropping the ‘System’ in the early 1970s, he formed the Silver Bullet Band in 1973, achieving national success with “Live Bullet” in 1976. The studio album “Night Moves” in 1976 marked a significant breakthrough. Seger collaborated with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section on many of his best-selling singles and albums. He’s considered one of the top solo artists.

33. Guns N’ Roses

  • Number of Units Sold: 44.5 million
  • Net Worth: $450 million

Formed in March 1985 from the merger of Hollywood Rose and L.A. Guns, Guns N’ Roses is a hard rock band from Los Angeles, California. Their classic lineup, featuring Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, and Steven Adler, signed with Geffen Records in 1986. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, they’ve sold over 100 million records worldwide, with 45 million in the U.S. The current lineup includes Rose, Slash, McKagan, Richard Fortus, Frank Ferrer, Dizzy Reed, and Melissa Reese, solidifying their status as one of history’s best-selling acts. These are some of the best selling artists of all time worldwide.

34. Alan Jackson

  • Number of Units Sold: 43.5 million
  • Net Worth: $150 million

Alan Eugene Jackson, the acclaimed American singer-songwriter, is celebrated for his neotraditional country style and prolific songwriting. With 21 studio albums, including Christmas and gospel records, plus three greatest-hits albums, Jackson has left an indelible mark. Boasting over 75 million global record sales, 44 million in the U.S. alone, he stands as one of the best-selling artists. His impressive track record includes 66 entries on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, with 35 hitting number one and 38 securing top-five positions. No doubt he is included among best selling music artists.

35. Santana

  • Number of Units Sold: 43.5 million
  • Net Worth: $120 million

Formed in 1966 by Mexican guitarist Carlos Santana in San Francisco, the American rock band Santana gained fame with their iconic Woodstock Festival performance in 1969. The group, led consistently by Santana, signed with Columbia Records and achieved commercial success with albums like Santana (1969), Abraxas (1970), and Santana III (1971). With over 47 million certified albums sold in the US and an estimated 100 million worldwide, Santana is among the best-selling bands. Their discography includes 25 studio albums, with 14 reaching the US top 10. These are some of the most popular artists of all time.

Also Read: Top 10 Richest Women in India

36. Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire - Fancy (Official Music Video)
  • Number of Units Sold: 41 million
  • Net Worth: $95 million

Reba McEntire is an iconic American country singer and actress, often hailed as “the Queen of Country.” With a global record sales exceeding 75 million, she’s a chart-topping artist with over 100 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, 25 of which claimed the top spot. Beyond music, Reba is renowned for her six-season TV series “Reba,” and she’s a successful entrepreneur, owning businesses, including a clothing line. Her 1984 album, “My Kind of Country,” marked a turning point in her career, solidifying her traditional musical style. She is one of the best selling music artists.

37. Eric Clapton

  • Number of Units Sold: 40 million
  • Net Worth: $470 million

Eric Patrick Clapton is a highly influential English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Renowned as one of the greatest guitarists in rock history, he secured second place on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and fourth on Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists.” In 2023, he was recognized as the 35th best guitarist. With 18 Grammy Awards and a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, Clapton received a CBE in 2004. Time magazine also acknowledged him as the fifth best electric guitar player in 2009. He’s considered one of the top solo artists.

38. Chicago

  • Number of Units Sold: 38.5 million
  • Net Worth: $2.18 billion

Formed in 1967 in Chicago, the band initially dubbed themselves the Chicago Transit Authority, later shortening it. Described as a “rock and roll band with horns,” Chicago blended rock, jazz, classical, R&B, and pop influences. Billboard ranked them 13th for Hot 100 singles chart success in 2008 and 15th in 2015. Additionally, they were ninth on the list of the 100 greatest artists based on Billboard 200 album chart success. With over 100 million records sold, Chicago stands as one of the longest-running and most successful rock groups globally. These are some of the best selling artists of all time worldwide.

39. Simon & Garfunkel

  • Number of Units Sold: 38.5 million
  • Net Worth: $297 million

Simon & Garfunkel, the renowned American folk rock duo comprising Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, achieved 1960s music greatness with hits like “The Sound of Silence,” “Mrs. Robinson,” and “Bridge over Troubled Water.” Winning seven Grammys and earning a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, they’re hailed as the most successful folk-rock duo of their era. With over 100 million records sold worldwide, they secured the 40th spot on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” in 2010 and ranked third among the greatest duos. No doubt they are included among best selling music artists.

40. Foreigner

  • Number of Units Sold: 38 million
  • Net Worth: $3.73 billion

Formed in 1976 in NYC, Foreigner, a British-American rock band, features Mick Jones, Lou Gramm, Dennis Elliott, Al Greenwood, Ed Gagliardi, and Ian McDonald, an original King Crimson member. Renowned globally, they’ve sold over 80 million records, 37.5 million in the US alone. Their 1977 self-titled debut album, a chart success, marked the beginning of four consecutive 5× platinum-certified albums. Foreigner’s impact extends with top 10 hits and millions of sales, solidifying their status as one of the best-selling bands worldwide. These are some of the most popular artists of all time.

41. Rod Stewart

I Don't Want To Talk About It (from One Night Only! Rod Stewart Live at Royal Albert Hall)
  • Number of Units Sold: 38 million
  • Net Worth: $300 million

Roderick David Stewart is a renowned British rock and pop singer-songwriter. Hailing from London with Scottish and English roots, Stewart’s gravelly voice has propelled him to one of the best-selling artists, exceeding 120 million records globally. Boasting 10 number-one albums and 31 top-ten UK singles, he also clinched 16 top-ten singles in the US, with four hitting number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honors, Stewart is celebrated for his contributions to music and charity. He is one of the best selling music artists.

42. Tim McGraw

  • Number of Units Sold: 37.5 million
  • Net Worth: $200 million

Tim McGraw, the American country artist, boasts 16 studio albums, 10 of which topped the Top Country Albums charts. His 1994 breakthrough, “Not a Moment Too Soon,” claimed the top country album of the year. Overall, McGraw has delivered 65 singles, with 25 hitting number one on the Hot Country Songs or Country Airplay charts. His diverse career includes roles as a singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor, spanning labels like Curb Records, Big Machine Records, and Arista Nashville. He’s considered one of the top solo artists.

43. Backstreet Boys

  • Number of Units Sold: 37 million
  • Net Worth: $200 million

The Backstreet Boys, often abbreviated as BSB, formed in Orlando, Florida, in 1993. The vocal group, comprising Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, AJ McLean, and cousins Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson, gained international fame with their debut album, “Backstreet Boys” (1996). The subsequent year saw the release of their second international album, “Backstreet’s Back” (1997), and the U.S. debut, “Backstreet Boys” (1997). Celebrating their 20th anniversary, they received a Hollywood Walk of Fame star on April 22, 2013. These are some of the best selling artists of all time worldwide.

Also Read: 50 Richest Athletes in the World

44. Tupac Shakur

  • Number of Units Sold: 36.5 million
  • Net Worth: $105 million

Tupac Amaru Shakur, known as 2Pac and Makaveli, remains a pivotal figure in rap, renowned for his influence and sales exceeding 75 million records worldwide. Addressing societal issues, his music resonates, earning him induction into the Hip-Hop and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame in 2002 and 2017, respectively. Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list features Shakur. In 2023, he posthumously received a Hollywood Walk of Fame star, solidifying his enduring impact on the music industry. No doubt he is included among best selling music artists.

45. Bob Dylan

  • Number of Units Sold: 36 million
  • Net Worth: $500 million

Bob Dylan, a revered American singer-songwriter, has left an indelible mark on popular culture throughout his six-decade career. His pinnacle in the 1960s produced iconic anthems like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” which resonated with the civil rights and antiwar movements. Dylan’s unconventional lyrics drew from political, social, philosophical, and literary realms, defying pop music norms and captivating the emerging counterculture. His impact on music and society endures as a testament to his unparalleled artistry and influence. He is one of the most popular artists of all time.

46. Def Leppard

  • Number of Units Sold: 35.5 million
  • Net Worth: $220 million

Formed in Sheffield in 1976, Def Leppard, an English rock band, achieved prominence in the early 1980s as part of the new wave of British heavy metal. The lineup since 1992 includes Rick Savage, Joe Elliott, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, and Vivian Campbell. With over 100 million records sold worldwide, they boast RIAA diamond certifications for Pyromania and Hysteria. Def Leppard, honored in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019, holds a unique status as one of five rock bands with two studio albums each surpassing 10 million US sales. They are some of the best selling music artists.

47. Queen

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (Official Video Remastered)
  • Number of Units Sold: 35 million
  • Net Worth: $600 million

Formed in London in 1970, Queen, led by Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon, initially embraced progressive rock and heavy metal. Evolving over the years, they incorporated arena rock and pop, becoming a global cultural icon. With estimated sales of 250-300 million records, they’re among the top-selling artists. In 1990, Queen earned the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, solidifying their lasting impact on the music scene for over 50 years. These are some of the best selling artists of all time worldwide.

48. Bon Jovi

  • Number of Units Sold: 34.5 million
  • Net Worth: $410 million

Formed in 1983 in Sayreville, New Jersey, Bon Jovi comprises Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, Tico Torres, Phil X, and Hugh McDonald. Noteworthy departures include Alec John Such in 1994 and Richie Sambora in 2013. Bridging heavy metal, rock, and pop seamlessly, they’ve released 15 studio albums, five compilations, and three live albums, amassing over 120 million global sales. Boasting 2,700 concerts across 50 countries for 34 million fans, they entered the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. No doubt they are included among best selling music artists.

49. Britney Spears

  • Number of Units Sold: 34.5 million
  • Net Worth: $60 million

Britney Spears, known as the “Princess of Pop,” played a key role in the late ’90s and early 2000s teen pop resurgence. With over 150 million records sold worldwide, 70 million in the US, she ranks among the top-selling artists. In the Nielsen SoundScan era, she’s the fourth best-selling female album artist in the US and the 2000s’ best-selling female artist. Billboard placed her eighth among the biggest artists of the 2000s. Spears boasts six Billboard 200 chart-topping albums and five number-one singles on the Hot 100. She’s considered one of the top solo artists.

50. Dave Matthews Band

  • Number of Units Sold: 34.5 million
  • Net Worth: $300 million

Formed in 1991 in Charlottesville, Virginia, Dave Matthews Band (DMB) consists of Dave Matthews, Stefan Lessard, and Carter Beauford as the sole remaining founding members. Their 1994 debut, “Under the Table and Dreaming,” went platinum six times. By 2018, they sold over 25 million concert tickets and 39 million CDs/DVDs. “Come Tomorrow” (2018) debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking their seventh consecutive chart-topping studio album. DMB won the 1996 Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance for “So Much to Say.” These are some of the most popular artists of all time.

Also Read: 50 Richest Cricketers in the World

With this, we come to the end of the list of most popular artists of all time. They have enriched the world of music with their contributions and achievements. Through their huge popularity and record-breaking sales, they have left a lasting impact across multiple generations.

Source: The 50 best-selling music artists of all time

Aditya Farrad

Aditya Farrad

Aditya is a seasoned business expert and the founder of Moneymint. He became a self-made millionaire at a young age thanks to his various online businesses. With years of experience running his own successful businesses, Aditya understands the unique challenges and opportunities that come with entrepreneurship.

Share this post on social

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *