The Beatles were apparently really nervous when they met their idol, Elvis Presley. Perhaps John and Paul would have been less "shook up" if they knew someday they would have a song on the top 11 best selling singles list along with The King. So, what is the biggest selling single of all time? Let's count 'em down, music lovers:
11. ABBA – "Fernando" – 10 million copies sold
Swedish pop group ABBA has their 1st non-album single with the song "Fernando," which became ABBA's biggest selling single of all time. ABBA's "Fernando" sold 6,000,000 copies in 1976 alone. The single also appeared on a number of ABBA's Greatest Hits albums.
10. The Beatles – "I Want to Hold Your Hand" – 12 million copies sold
The song "I Want to Hold Your Hand" was written by songwriting duo John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the first Beatles record to make use of four-track equipment. Manager Brian Epstein instructed Lennon and McCartney to write a song with the American market in mind, resulting in "I Want to Hold Your Hand." The single eventually became The Beatles' best-selling single worldwide.
9. Baccara – "Yes Sir, I Can Boogie" – 18 million copies sold
This song made it big internationally but did not chart in the United States. "Yes Sir, I Can Boogie" is a hit single recorded by the Spanish vocal duo Baccara with a distinct flavor of disco. The single became a major hit across Europe.
8. The Ink Spots – "If I Didn't Care" – 19 million copies sold
Songwriter Jack Lawrence received negative feedback after letting his friends listen to "If I Didn't Care," prior to it being recorded. Lawrence persevered and The Ink Spots recorded the hit song in 1939. The Platters, The Hilltoppers, David Cassidy and Connie Francis recorded other covers of the song.
7. Zager and Evans – "In the Year 2525" – 20 million copies sold
The song caught the interest during the late 60's with its theme of a world doomed by its overdependence on dehumanizing current and future technologies. Zager and Evans remain the only act with a number one hit but no other chart single on both the U.S. and UK singles charts. Authors of the book "The Worst Rock and Roll Records of All Time" places the song "In the Year 2525" at number six on their list of the 50 worst rock-and-roll singles. "Best-selling" doesn't always mean "good."
6. USA for Africa – "We Are the World" – 20 million copies sold
"We Are the World" was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie as a charity single to raise funds for African famine relief. The idea of the single came from activist Harry Belafonte and fundraiser Ken Kragen. An impressive group of musical stars gathered to record the record and this was the only single released from the album. "We Are the World" is the fastest-selling American pop single in history.
5. Elvis Presley – "It's Now or Never" – 25 million copies sold
Elvis Presley heard the song "There's No Tomorrow," recorded by singer Tony Martin, while stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army. Presley commissioned songwriters Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold to rewrite the lyrics of the song for him. "It's Now or Never" was released in 1960 and became a number-one record in the U.S. and the UK, spending nine weeks at the top of the charts – thankyouverymuch.
4. Bill Haley & His Comets – "Rock Around the Clock" – 25 million copies sold
Bill Haley did not write "Rock Around the Clock." The song was written by Max C. Freedman and James E. Myers, with Haley's version the most popular version recorded. Songwriter Myers claimed the song had been written for Haley, but Haley was unable to record the song himself until April 1954.
3 & 2. Bing Crosby – "Silent Night" and "White Christmas" – 30 million copies sold
The popular Christmas carol "Silent Night" went to new fame when Bing Crosby recorded it. The Crosby version of this beloved Christmas carol has maintained its popularity for years, and has been recorded by over 300 artists including Crosby, Mahalia Jackson, Enya, Stevie Nicks, Andrea Bocelli, Susan Boyle and an instrumental version by Mannheim Steamroller. "White Christmas," ironically written by famed Jewish songwriter Irving Berlin, became one of Crosby's signature hits.