Best-Selling Solo Artists of All Time, World

Best-Selling Solo Artists of All Time, World
(Primary sources: RIAA, Wikipedia, BBC, Billboard – compiled in January 2010)

Artist Country Period Genre Sales (M)
Elvis Presley USA 50s-70s Rock&Roll/R&B/Gospel 1,000
Michael Jackson USA 60s-00s R&B/Pop/New jack swing/ Soul/Gospel/Disco/Rock 750
Frank Sinatra USA 30s-90s Pop/Swing 600
Alla Pugacheva Russia 60s-00s Pop/Rock/Folk 250
Cliff Richard

UK
50s-00s Pop/Rock 250
Elton John

UK
60s-00s Rock/Pop/Adult Contemporary 250
Julio Iglesias Spain 60s-00s Pop/Latin 250
Madonna USA 80s-00s Pop/Dance/Electronica 250
Nana Mouskouri Greece 50s-00s Pop/Folk/Jazz 250
Tino Rossi

France
30s-80s Pop/Swing 250
Bob Dylan USA 60s-00s Folk/Rock 190
Barbra Streisand USA 60s-00s Pop/Adult Contemporary/Classical/ Easy listening/Showtunes 160
Celine Dion Canada 80s-00s Pop/Rock 150
Mariah Carey USA 90s-00s Pop/R&B 150
Stevie Wonder USA 60s-00s R&B/Pop/Soul/Funk 150
Bryan Adams Canada 80s-00s Rock/Soft Rock 120
Neil Diamond USA 60s-00s Pop/Rock 120
Prince USA 70s-00s R&B/Rock/Pop 120
Whitney Houston USA 80s-00s Pop/R&B/Adult Contemporary/Soul/Gospel 120
A. R. Rahman India 90s-00s Film score/Soundtrack/World Music 100
Barry White USA 70s-00s Pop/R&B/Disco 100
Billy Joel USA 70s-00s Pop/Rock 100
Brenda Lee USA 50s-00s Country/Pop 100
Bruce Springsteen USA 70s-00s Rock 100
Charles Aznavour

France
30s-00s Pop/Chanson 100
Cher USA 60s-00s Pop/Rock/Disco/Country 100
Dalida France / Italy 50s-80s Pop/Disco 100
David Bowie

UK
60s-00s Avante-Garde Pop 100
Diana Ross USA 60s-00s Pop/R&B/Soul/Disco/Jazz 100
Dionne Warwick USA 60s-00s Pop/R&B/Soul/SoftRock/
Adult Contemporary
100
Dolly Parton USA 50s-00s Country/Pop/Folk/Bluegrass 100
Donna Summer USA 70s-00s Disco/Pop/R&B/Rock 100
Duane Eddy USA 50s-80s Rock 100
Engelbert Humperdinck UK / USA 50s-00s Pop 100
Fats Domino USA 40s-00s Rock/R&B 100
Frankie Laine USA 40s-00s Jazz/Pop/Gospel/Country 100
Garth Brooks USA 80s-00s Country 100
Gene Autry USA 30s-70s Country 100
Gheorghe Zamfir Romania 70s-00s Instrumental 100
Janet Jackson USA 80s-00s Pop/R&B/Soul/Dance/Rock 100
Johnny Hallyday France / Belgium 50s-00s Pop 100
Johnny Mathis USA 50s-00s Pop 100
Joni James USA 50s-60s Pop 100
Kenny Rogers USA 50s-00s Country/Pop 100
Lionel Richie USA 60s-00s Pop/R&B/Soul/SoftRock/ Adult Contemporary 100
Luciano Pavarotti

Italy
60s-00s Opera 100
Mireille Mathieu

France
60s-00s Pop 100
Patti Page USA 40s-00s Country/Pop 100
Perry Como USA 30s-00s Pop/Swing 100
Phil Collins

UK
80s-00s Pop/Rock 100
Ricky Nelson USA 50s-80s Pop 100
Roberto Carlos Brazil 60s-00s Pop/Latin 100
Tina Turner USA 60s-00s R&B/Rock/Pop/Soul/Dance 100
Tom Jones UK 60s-00s Pop 100
Tommy James USA 60s-00s Pop/Rock 100
Wei Wei

China
80s-00s Pop 100
Britney Spears USA 90s-00s Pop 80
2Pac USA 90s-00s Rap 75
Adamo Belgium 60s-00s Pop 75
Adriano Celentano

Italy
60s-00s Pop 75
Barry Manilow USA 70s-00s Pop 75
Bobby Vinton USA 60s-90s Pop 75
Bonnie Tyler

UK
70s-00s Pop/Rock 75
Donny Osmond USA 70s-00s Pop 75
Eddy Arnold USA 40s-00s Country/Pop 75
Gene Austin USA 20s-30s Country/Pop 75
George Michael

UK
80s-00s Pop 75
Hank Snow Canada 30s-90s Country 75
Jean Michel Jarre

France
70s-00s New Age 75
Kenny G USA 80s-00s Instrumental/Pop Jazz 75
Linda Ronstadt USA 60s-00s Country/Pop 75
Victor Silvester

UK
30s-80s Dance/Pop 75
Willie Nelson USA 50s-00s Country/Pop 75
Bob Marley Jamaica 60s-80s Reggae 60
Eminem USA 90s-00s Rap 60
Shania Twain Canada 90s-00s Country/Pop 60
Alanis Morissette Canada 90s-00s Alternative/Folk Rock 50
Andre Kostelanetz USA 40s-70s Easy Listening 50
Andrea Bocelli

Italy
90s-00s Opera/Classical 50
Anne Murray Canada 60s-00s Pop/Country 50
Annie Lennox

UK
90s-00s Pop/Rock/Soul 50
B.J. Thomas USA 60s-00s Country/Pop 50
Bob Seger USA 60s-00s Rock/Pop 50
Camilo Sesto Spain 60s-00s Pop/Latin 50
Cat Stevens

UK
60s-00s Pop/Folk 50
Charlie Daniels USA 70s-00s Country/Rock 50
Christina Aguilera USA 90s-00s R&B/Pop/Soul 50
Don Cornell USA 50s-90s Pop 50
Enya Ireland 80s-00s New Age/Celtic 50
George Strait USA 70s-00s Country 50
Gloria Estefan USA 80s-00s Pop/Latin 50
Hank Thompson USA 40s-00s Country 50
Herb Alpert USA 50s-90s InstrumentalPop/ EasyListening 50
James Last

Germany
60s-00s Instrumental/Classical/Pop 50
John Denver USA 60s-90s Folk/Pop 50
Johnny Cash USA 50s-00s Country 50
Kylie Minogue

Australia
80s-00s Dance/Pop 50
Luis Miguel Mexico 80s-00s Pop/Latin 50
Meat Loaf USA 70s-00s Rock/HardRock/ HeavyMetal 50
Michael Bolton USA 80s-00s Pop 50
Mina Italy 50s-00s Pop 50
Mr. Children Japan 80s-00s Pop/Rock 50
Nat King Cole USA 30s-60s Jazz/Pop 50
Nelson Gonçalves Brazil 40s-90s Pop/Latin 50
Olivia Newton-John

Australia
70s-00s Country/Pop 50
Orhan Gencebay Turkey 60s-00s (1967-) Arabesque/Folk 50
Ozzy Osbourne

UK
70s-00s Heavy Metal/Hard Rock 50
Paul Anka Canada 50s-00s Pop 50
Petula Clark

UK
50s-00s Pop 50
Ray Conniff USA 50s-00s Pop/Easy Listening 50
Reba McEntire USA 70s-00s Country 50
Richard Clayderman France 60s-00s Easy Listening/Instrumental Pop 50
Ricky Martin Puerto Rico 90s-00s Pop/Latin 50
Robbie Williams

UK
90s-00s Pop/Rock 50
Sade

UK
80s-00s Pop/R&B 50
Shakira

Colombia
90s-00s Latin/Pop 50
Tony Bennett USA 50s-00s Pop/Jazz 50
Vernon Dalhart USA 10s-40s Country 50
Vicky Leandros Greece 60s-00s Pop 50

Feel free to set us straight on anything we may have missed or misrepresented. Data on this sort of thing is extremely hard to come by, and when you find it, it’s hard to know how reliable it is. But this is our best shot and we’ll be aiming to improve it with time.

ARTIST COUNTRY PERIOD GENRE SALES (M)

Elvis Presley
USA 50s-70s Rock and Roll/R & B/Gospel 1,000

Michael Jackson
USA 60s-00s R&B / Pop / New jack swing / Soul / Gospel / Disco / Rock 750

Frank Sinatra
USA 30s-90s Pop / Swing 600

Alla Pugacheva
Russia 60s-00s Pop / Rock / Folk 250

Cliff Richard


UK
50s-00s Pop / Rock 250

Elton John


UK
60s-00s Rock / Pop / Adult Contemporary 250

Julio Iglesias
Spain 60s-00s Pop / Latin 250

Madonna
USA 80s-00s Pop / Dance / Electronica 250

Nana Mouskouri
Greece 50s-00s Pop/Folk/Jazz 250

Tino Rossi


France
30s-80s Pop/Swing 250

Bob Dylan
USA 60s-00s Folk / Rock 190

Barbra Streisand
USA 60s-00s Pop / Adult Contemporary / Classical / Easy listening / Showtunes 160

Celine Dion
Canada 80s-00s Pop / Rock 150

Mariah Carey
USA 90s-00s Pop / R&B 150

Stevie Wonder
USA 60s-00s R&B / Pop / Soul / Funk 150

Bryan Adams
Canada 80s-00s Rock / Soft Rock 120

Neil Diamond
USA 60s-00s Pop / Rock 120

Prince
USA 70s-00s R&B / Rock / Pop 120

Whitney Houston
USA 80s-00s Pop / R&B / Adult Contemporary / Soul / Gospel 120

A. R. Rahman
India 90s-00s Film score/Soundtrack/World Music 100

Barry White
USA 70s-00s Pop / R&B / Disco 100

Billy Joel
USA 70s-00s Pop / Rock 100

Brenda Lee
USA 50s-00s Country / Pop 100

Bruce Springsteen
USA 70s-00s Rock 100

Charles Aznavour


France
30s-00s Pop / Chanson 100

Cher
USA 60s-00s Pop / Rock / Disco / Country 100

Dalida
France / Italy 50s-80s Pop / Disco 100

David Bowie


UK
60s-00s Avante-Garde Pop 100

Diana Ross
USA 60s-00s Pop / R&B / Soul / Disco / Jazz 100

Dionne Warwick
USA 60s-00s Pop / R&B /Soul / Soft Rock / Adult Contemporary 100

Dolly Parton
USA 50s-00s Country / Pop / Folk / Bluegrass 100

Donna Summer
USA 70s-00s Disco / Pop / R&B / Rock 100

Duane Eddy
USA 50s-80s Rock 100

Engelbert Humperdinck
UK / USA 50s-00s Pop 100

Fats Domino
USA 40s-00s Rock / R&B 100

Frankie Laine
USA 40s-00s Jazz / Pop / Gospel / Country 100

Garth Brooks
USA 80s-00s Country 100

Gene Autry
USA 30s-70s Country 100

Gheorghe Zamfir
Romania 70s-00s Instrumental 100

Janet Jackson
USA 80s-00s Pop / R&B / Soul / Dance / Rock 100

Johnny Hallyday
France / Belgium 50s-00s Pop 100

Johnny Mathis
USA 50s-00s Pop 100

Joni James
USA 50s-60s Pop 100

Kenny Rogers
USA 50s-00s Country / Pop 100

Lionel Richie
USA 60s-00s Pop / R&B / Soul / Soft Rock / Adult Contemporary 100

Luciano Pavarotti


Italy
60s-00s Opera 100

Mireille Mathieu


France
60s-00s Pop 100

Patti Page
USA 40s-00s Country / Pop 100

Perry Como
USA 30s-00s Pop / Swing 100

Phil Collins


UK
80s-00s Pop / Rock 100

Ricky Nelson
USA 50s-80s Pop 100

Roberto Carlos
Brazil 60s-00s Pop / Latin 100

Tina Turner
USA 60s-00s R&B / Rock / Pop / Soul / Dance 100
Tom Jones UK 60s-00s Pop 100

Tommy James
USA 60s-00s Pop / Rock 100

Wei Wei


China
80s-00s Pop 100

Britney Spears
USA 90s-00s Pop 80

2Pac
USA 90s-00s Rap 75

Adamo
Belgium 60s-00s Pop 75

Adriano Celentano


Italy
60s-00s Pop 75

Barry Manilow
USA 70s-00s Pop 75

Bobby Vinton
USA 60s-90s Pop 75

Bonnie Tyler


UK
70s-00s Pop/Rock 75

Donny Osmond
USA 70s-00s Pop 75

Eddy Arnold
USA 40s-00s Country / Pop 75

Gene Austin
USA 20s-30s Country / Pop 75

George Michael


UK
80s-00s Pop 75

Hank Snow
Canada 30s-90s Country 75

Jean Michel Jarre


France
70s-00s New Age 75

Kenny G
USA 80s-00s Instrumental / Pop Jazz 75

Linda Ronstadt
USA 60s-00s Country / Pop 75

Victor Silvester


UK
30s-80s Dance / Pop 75

Willie Nelson
USA 50s-00s Country / Pop 75

Bob Marley
Jamaica 60s-80s Reggae 60

Eminem
USA 90s-00s Rap 60

Shania Twain
Canada 90s-00s Country / Pop 60

Alanis Morissette
Canada 90s-00s Alternative / Folk Rock 50

Andre Kostelanetz
USA 40s-70s Easy Listening 50

Andrea Bocelli


Italy
90s-00s Opera / Classical 50

Anne Murray
Canada 60s-00s Pop / Country 50

Annie Lennox


UK
90s-00s Pop / Rock / Soul 50

B.J. Thomas
USA 60s-00s Country / Pop 50

Bob Seger
USA 60s-00s Rock / Pop 50

Camilo Sesto
Spain 60s-00s Pop / Latin 50

Cat Stevens


UK
60s-00s Pop / Folk 50

Charlie Daniels
USA 70s-00s Country / Rock 50

Christina Aguilera
USA 90s-00s R&B / Pop / Soul 50

Don Cornell
USA 50s-90s Pop 50

Enya
Ireland 80s-00s New Age / Celtic 50

George Strait
USA 70s-00s Country 50

Gloria Estefan
USA 80s-00s Pop / Latin 50

Hank Thompson
USA 40s-00s Country 50

Herb Alpert
USA 50s-90s Instrumental Pop / Easy Listening 50

James Last


Germany
60s-00s Instrumental / Classical / Pop 50

John Denver
USA 60s-90s Folk / Pop 50

Johnny Cash
USA 50s-00s Country 50

Kylie Minogue


Australia
80s-00s Dance / Pop 50

Luis Miguel
Mexico 80s-00s Pop / Latin 50

Meat Loaf
USA 70s-00s Rock / Hard Rock / Heavy Metal 50

Michael Bolton
USA 80s-00s Pop 50

Mina
Italy 50s-00s Pop 50

Mr. Children
Japan 80s-00s Pop / Rock 50

Nat King Cole
USA 30s-60s Jazz / Pop 50

Nelson Gonçalves
Brazil 40s-90s Pop / Latin 50

Olivia Newton-John


Australia
70s-00s Country / Pop 50

Orhan Gencebay
Turkey 60s-00s (1967-) Arabesque / Folk 50

Ozzy Osbourne


UK
70s-00s Heavy Metal / Hard Rock 50

Paul Anka
Canada 50s-00s Pop 50

Petula Clark


UK
50s-00s Pop 50

Ray Conniff
USA 50s-00s Pop / Easy Listening 50

Reba McEntire
USA 70s-00s Country 50

Richard Clayderman
France 60s-00s Easy Listening / Instrumental Pop 50

Ricky Martin
Puerto Rico 90s-00s Pop / Latin 50

Robbie Williams


UK
90s-00s Pop / Rock 50

Sade


UK
80s-00s Pop / R&B 50

Shakira


Colombia
90s-00s Latin / Pop 50

Tony Bennett
USA 50s-00s Pop / Jazz 50

Vernon Dalhart
USA 10s-40s Country 50

Vicky Leandros
Greece 60s-00s Pop 50

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