Best Selling Music Artists of All-Time

The list of best selling music artists includes artists with claims of 75 million or more record sales in multiple third-party reliable sources. The claimed sales figures and the total certified sales figures (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. The artists in the following tables are listed with both their claimed and certified sales figures and are ranked in descending order, with the highest claimed sales at the top. Artists with the same claimed sales are then ranked by certified units. Sales figures, such as those from Soundscan, which are sometimes published by Billboard magazine, have not been included in the certified units column. Currently, The Beatles are listed at the top of the list as they are considered the highest-selling band based both on sales claims and certified units. Elvis Presley, who is listed the second on the list is considered the highest-selling individual artist based both on sales claims and certified units.

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 RichardDiana RossCharles AznavourBing CrosbyNana MouskouriDeep PurpleIron MaidenTom JonesThe Jackson 5Dionne WarwickThe Andrews Sisters,Luciano Pavarotti and others have not been included on this list. The percentage amount of certified sales needed increases the newer the artist is, meaning, artists such as Rihanna are expected to have their claimed figures supported by over 60% 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 requirements of certified sales are designed to avoid inflated sales figures, which are frequently practiced by record companies for promotional purposes.

The claimed figures are sourced to articles that use the term records (singles, albums, videos) and not albums. However, if all available sources for an artist/band say albums, such sources can only be used if the certified album units of the said artist meet the required percentage amount. Note that this list uses claimed figures that are closer to artists’ available certified sales. In other words, inflated claimed figures that will meet the required certified sales amount but are unrealistically high from available certified sales, will not be used.

Best Selling Music Artists of All-Time

  • The Beatles Best Selling Music Artists of All-Time with Rhode Island Wedding DJ

    The Beatles

The Beatles United Kingdom 1960–1974
Rock / Pop

600 million
Michael Jackson Best Selling Music Artists of All-Time with Rhode Island Wedding DJ

Michael Jackson


Michael Jackson
United States 1964–2009
Pop / Rock / Dance /R&B

400 million
350 million
300 million
  • Madonna Best Selling Music Artists of All-Time with Rhode Island Wedding DJ


Madonna United States 1979–present
Pop / Rock / Dance

300 million
275 million
  • Led Zeppelin Best Selling Music Artists of All-Time with Rhode Island Wedding DJ

    Led Zeppelin

    Led Zeppelin United Kingdom 1968–1980
    Hard rock / Heavy metal

    300 million
    200 million

    I am not surprised The Beatles are #1 but am a bit so that Elvis Presley is ahead of Michael Jackson, due to Michael Jackson’s global appeal. It is somewhat amazing that Led Zeppelin can be this high on Best Selling Music Artists of All-Time without a long history of hit singles, based solely on the strength of their album sales. These have been the most consistent hit producers of Pop Music and deserve their ranking. All are great artists for any professional Wedding DJ or Party DJ.

    is there any artist(s) that you thought would be in the top five Best Selling Music Artists of All-Time that did not reach this level of sales?

    DJ Mystical Michael New jersey DJ & Boston DJ


DJ Lists Most #1 Hits on The Billboard HOT 100 All-Time By Artist

Time to look at Billboard’s 50th Anniversary List of Top #1 Hits by Artist
20 – The Beatles First No. 1: “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1964)

18 – Mariah Carey First No. 1: “Vision of Love” (1990)

13 – Michael Jackson First No. 1: “Ben” (1972)

12 – Madonna First No. 1: “Like a Virgin” (1984)

12 – The Supremes First No. 1: “Where Did Our Love Go” (1964)

11 – Whitney Houston First No. 1: “Saving All My Love for You” (1985)

10 – Janet Jackson First No. 1: “When I Think of You” (1986)

10 – Stevie Wonder First No. 1: “Fingertips – Pt. 2” (1963)

9 – Bee Gees First No. 1: “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” (1971)

9 – Elton John First No. 1: “Crocodile Rock” (1973)

9 – Paul McCartney & Wings First No. 1: “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” (1973)

8 – The Rolling Stones First No. 1: “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965)

8 – Usher First No. 1: “Nice and Slow” (1998)

I am not surprised The Beatles are on top, Michael Jackson #3 or Madonna  #4 but was not expecting Mariah Carey to be #2, 18 #1 hits is incredible! Really the rest of the list are all legends except Usher. Artists known throughout the world among many ages, genres and cultures.  If you integrate The Beatles, Paul McCartney & Wings, solo and other collaborations Paul’s collective accomplishments, he is totaling 33 #1 hits. I remember my father bringing home the ’45’ of “I Want To Hold Your Hand”.  The B side in The UK was “This Boy” but in The USA it was “I Saw Her Standing There”, the copy I quickly ruined through overplay and youthful exuberance..


Half the top 8 were Motown artists; Michael & Janet Jackson, The Supremes and Stevie Wonder. It is interesting to view The Bee Gees as one recording artist since they experienced two completely separate ‘careers’ starting with the Folk Rock Hits beginning with “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” and reformed in the late 70’s with their Disco hits like “Night Fever” and Stayin’ Alive”.


It never would have occurred to me “Crocodile Rock” was Elton’s first #1 Billboard hit. I did some research and Honkey Chateau made it #1 in the album charts but no #1 single till “Crocodile Rock”.


Where is Elvis you ask? Good question! Elvis had 20 #1 hits but Billboard was celebrating their 50th Anniversary of The HOT 100, which was established in 1958, and he had 13 of those #1’s before The HOT 100 existed.

Which artists are you surprised are on the list and which did you think would be but aren’t?

DJ Mystical Michael Rhode Island DJ & NY DJ