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

  • The best-selling musicians of all time include pop sensations like Taylor Swift, rock legends like Metallica, and rap stars like Eminem.
  • We ranked the best-selling musicians of all time based on their total certified album units sold in the US according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

 

Six weeks after Taylor Swift dropped her surprise album “Folklore,” it’s still No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. It’s the longest streak for an album since Drake’s “Views” in 2016.

It shows Swift’s popularity with audiences, but the pop star isn’t the highest-selling music artist ever. We turned to the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) list to find out who is. The list is based on total certified album units sold in the US (including streaming figures).

Swift has, however, jumped ahead of Bob Seger and Guns n’ Roses since “Folklore” debuted.

England’s greatest rock band holds the top spot on this all-time ranking of best-selling artists by album sales, and it looks untouchable on a list filled with a number of surprising appearances.

It’s somewhat shocking to find out, for instance, that smooth-jazz saxophonist Kenny G has sold more albums than Eminem, and that country star Garth Brooks has sold more than Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. 

John Lynch contributed to a previous version of this post. 

Check out the 50 best-selling music artists of all time by album sales: 

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