The 50 Best-Selling Musicians Of All Time

By on September 25, 2017 in ArticlesEntertainment

When you consider the most successful musician or bands of all time, who comes to mind? The Beatles? Michael Jackson? Elvis Presley? You might be surprised to learn that ranking the most successful musicians and bands of all time produces some surprising results. For instance, who do you think has sold more albums – Kenny G or Prince? If you answered Prince, you're wrong. How about Garth Brooks and Michael Jackson? Here's a hint, it isn't Michael Jackson. In fact, Garth Brooks has sold more albums than everyone except The Beatles. This list does tend to favor acts that have been around longer, so there's no Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, or Taylor Swift to be found. However, Britney Spears, The Backstreet Boys, and one lone rapper did make the top 50.

We put together a list of the most successful acts in music based on their total album sales in the U.S., including streaming. Did your favorite band make the cut? There are a lot of surprises in this list, so enjoy!

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#50. Phil Collins – 33.5 million

#49. Britney Spears – 34 million

#48. Bon Jovi – 34.5 million

#47. Queen – 34.5 million

#46. Def Leppard – 35 million

#45. Bob Dylan – 36 million

#44. Tupac Shakur – 36.5 million

#43. Prince – 36.5 million

#42. Backstreet Boys – 37 million

#41. Tim McGraw – 37.5 million

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#40. Foreigner – 37.5 million

#39. Rod Stewart – 38.5 million

#38. Simon & Garfunkel – 38.5 million

#37. Chicago – 38.5 million

#36. Eric Clapton – 40 million

#35. Reba McEntire – 41 million

#34. Santana – 43.5 million

#33. Alan Jackson – 43.5 million

#32. Eminem – 44.5 million

#31. Guns N' Roses – 44.5 million

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#30. Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band – 44.5 million

#29. Alabama – 45.5 million

#28. Kenny Rogers – 47.5 million

#27. Shania Twain – 48 million

#26. Kenny G – 48 million

#25. Journey – 48 million

#24. Neil Diamond – 48.5 million

#23. Fleetwood Mac – 49.5 million

#22. Celine Dion – 50 million

#21. U2 – 52 million

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#20. Van Halen – 56.5 million

#19. Whitney Houston – 57 million

#18. Metallica – 63 million

#17. Mariah Carey – 64 million

#16. Madonna – 64.5 million

#15. Bruce Springsteen – 65.5 million

#14. Aerosmith – 66.5 million

#13. The Rolling Stones – 66.5 million

#12. Barbra Streisand – 68.5 million

#11. George Strait – 69 million

Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

#10.  AC/DC – 72 million

#9. Pink Floyd – 75 million

#8. Elton John – 78 million

#7. Michael Jackson – 81 million

#6. Billy Joel – 82.5 million

#5. Eagles – 101 million

#4. Led Zeppelin – 111.5 million

#3. Elvis Presley – 136 million

#2. Tie – Garth Brooks / Abba  150 million

#1. The Beatles – 178 million

Articles Written by Amy Lamare
Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer covering business, technology, entertainment, philanthropy, and pop culture. She spent 8 1/2 years covering the entertainment industry for www.hsx.com. She attended the University of Southern California where she majored in Creative Writing. An avid long distance runner, weekends she can be found running the streets of Los Angeles training for 1/2 and full marathons. Follow her on Facebook.
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