Music's Greatest Solo Stars: Ranking the Top 20 Best-Selling Solo Artists of All Time
Music is a global phenomenon that has been prevalent since the dawn of time in the world.
Songs and music are the getaways to human expression and emotions that resonate with the individuals listening to the particular song artist.
Likewise, the songs translate emotions such as sadness, melancholy, joy, romance, aggression, enthusiasm, nostalgia, relief, and pleasure. These elements can be found in best-selling artists with genres of progressive rock, R&B, rap, blues, hip-hop, country, rock, and roll.
Here are some top 20 best-selling solo artists who have made their mark in the music world.
1. Elvis Presley, "King of Rock N' Roll"
Elvis Presley is designated to be the King of Rock and Roll. He is one of the historical figures of the music genre. The singer's music and performance changed people's perspectives on the genre. His music was romantic, stimulating, and alluring to the listeners.
His claimed sales are around 500 million worldwide. At the same time, his total certified available units in the market are 230.6 million.
Likewise, his best-selling record was "Hound Dog," which is still considered to be a significant influence in the history of the rock and roll genre, was sold around 3 million copies. His number one hit song, "Don't Be Cruel," was number one on Billboard's pop charts for 11 weeks; it sold around six million copies.
2. Michael Jackson, "King of Pop"
Michael Jackson is hailed as a King of Pop who was a singer, songwriter, and dancer. His music and dancing skills have motivated and influenced multiple artists till the present generation.
His total record sales are estimated to be 400 million records, whereas his certified sales units are about 258.9 million.
His best-selling album is "Thriller" the claimed sales of the album are around 70 million copies worldwide. His track "Billie Jean" is the best-selling single, remaining in Billboard's number one position for seven weeks.
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3. Elton John, "The Rocket Man"
Sir Elton John is popularly known as the Rocket Man for the most prominent single in his career, the Rocket Man.
Elton has estimated to have sold around 300 million records, but his certified sales are about 206.4 million.
John's highest sold album is "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," which is estimated to have sold approximately 30 million copies worldwide.
The 75-year-old artist is worth around $500 million from record sales, events, merchandise, and business avenues. The artist has received multiple awards such as MTV movie awards, Grammy awards, and 1995 Oscars for best original song.
4. Madonna, "The Queen Of Pop"
Madonna Ciccone is popularly known as the queen of pop as she was one of the prominent female artists to showcase her versatility in music, songwriting, singing, and dancing. The artist redefined pop in the presentation and performance of her musical numbers.
The 63-year-old artist's best-selling album is "The Immaculate Collection," which had 30 million sales. Madonna's total record sales are claimed to be 300 million, and her certified sales units are about 181.2 million.
Her best selling is "Into the Groove," with 878,000 total units sold.
5. Rihanna, "Princess of RnB "
Rihanna is the princess of Rhythm and Blues of her significant contribution and accomplishments in the genre. She is originally from Barbados and debuted with her first album, "Music of the sun," in 2005.
Her total certified sales are 334.1 million.
The artist's best-selling record is "Good Girl Gone Bad" which sold over 10 million copies.
The 34-year-old artist is one of the highest-selling digital artists of all time. Her best-selling single is "We Found Love featuring Calvin Harris."
6. Eminem, "The Real Slim Shady"
The real slim shady, originally known as Marshall Mathers, is a professional rapper believed to have brought the popularity of hip-hop in central America. He is one of the most richest rappers in the world.
He is one of the greatest rappers of all-time Eminem's total certified sales in the market are 323.3 million.
Eminem's best-selling record is "The Eminem Show" (2002); it sold 12 million hits and certified diamonds.
Similarly, his best-selling single "Love the way you lie," featuring Rihanna, was sold for about 11.58 million. The song is massively popular and is available on all musical platforms like Youtube, apple music, and Spotify. The rapper's other significant single sales are "Not Afraid."
7. Mariah Carey, "The Songbird"
Mariah Carey is one of the talented and popular singer-songwriters in the genre of R&B, Soul, Hip-hop, and Pop music. The artist possesses a five-octave vocal range; thus, her singing is majestic and grandeur.
The singer's estimated sales are around 220 million, whereas the total certified units in the market are 196.1 million.
Carey's best-selling album in Music Box which is sold over 28 million copies. Also, her best-selling single is "All I Want for Christmas Is You," it sold over 16 million copies worldwide.
8. Taylor Swift, "The Pop Star"
Taylor Swift is an American singer-songwriter and one of the biggest names worldwide. She is a talented artist who has contributed to multiple genres.
The artist's total certified sales unit is about 237.97 million. The artist's best-selling album is 1989, which sold 14 million units.
Her best-selling song is "Shake It Off," which sold for 100 million digital downloads.The artist is one of the best-selling artists in terms of singles as she has contributed 100 million digital downloads only in the US.
9. Whitney Houston, "The Prom Queen Of Soul"
Whitney is a famous artist whose nicknames are "The Prom Queen of Soul" and "The Voice" for her sweet and immaculate vocals. She is one of the best-selling artists of all time.
Her estimated sales are around 200 million, and her total certified sales are approximately 155.1 million.
Houston is known for her soulful vocals and her improvisation skills. Her accomplishments are noteworthy as she is the only artist to have seven subsequent singles in number one position on Billboard Hot 100.
Her best-selling album is "The Bodyguard," which sold 45 million units. Also, her best-selling single is "I Will Always Love You," which sold 45 million copies.
10. Celine Dion, "The Queen Of Couture"
Celine Dion is a Canadian singer known for her powerful and technical skills. She is the best-selling recording artist from Canada. Also, she is the best-selling French-language artist of all time.
She is a talented artist who has delved into genres such as pop, chanson, gospel, soft rock, and R&B.
She has sold around 200 million records, and her certified units sold in the market are about 137 million.
Celine is known for her powerful vocals and her strong performances. Her best-selling album is "Falling Into You," which has sold around 32 million units.
Also, her best-selling single is "My Heart Will Go On," which sold about 18 million copies.
11. Drake, "The Modern Pop Rap Star"
Drake is known prominent Canadian rapper, singer, and actor; his real name is Aubrey Drake Graham. He is a sensational rapper who has broken from mainstream rap to R&B Singer with his hip-hop blend in music.
Drake's claimed sales are 170 million, whereas his certified sales are 397.2 million.
The rapper's best-selling album is "Views," released in 2016, selling nearly 9.2 million copies.
The 35-year-old artist's best-selling single is "One Dance," which sold 2 million copies but has hundreds of million downloads and views on Youtube, Spotify, and apple music.
12. Garth Brooks, "The Country Singer"
Garth Brooks is an American singer and songwriter delving into pop and rock music genres. He is a record-breaking country artist with a huge number of audiences in his live performances.
The artist's claimed sales are around 170 million; also, his certified sales units are 165.3 million.The best-selling album is "No Fences," released in 1990, which sold around 17 million copies within the US. The album remained number one on Billboard charts for 23 weeks.
The 60-year-old artist's best-selling single is "That Summer," which sold for around 3.9 million units. He is a refreshing artist, which is seen in his performances.
13. Kanye West, "The Misunderstood Genius Artist"
Kanye West, also known as "Ye" and "Yeezy," is dubbed as a once in a generational artist for his musical production, lyricism, rap songs, and use of unorthodox songs and beats in the music.
His best-sold album is "Graduation," which sold over 6 million copies.
The 45-year-old artist's best-selling single is "Gold Digger," featuring Jamie Fox; the song has 8 million certified sales.
14. Justin Bieber, "The Teen Idol"
Justin Bieber is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actor; he is a teen idol and held immense popularity during the 2010s. He is a controversial and influential figure.
Nonetheless, he is one of the best-selling artists of all time. His best-sold album is "Purpose," which sold around 14 million units. His best-selling single, "Sorry," sold about 2 million units.
In addition, the artist has received multiple awards, including two Grammys, one global recognition, and thirty-three Guinness world records; his estimated sales are around 150million, whereas his certified sales are about 269.9 million.
15. Ed Sheeran, "The Artisan of Melody"
Ed Sheeran is a singer-songwriter from the UK; he was born in West Yorkshire in Halifax. The artist started writing songs at the age of eleven.
The singer is famously known as "Teddy" for his melodious tune and happy music. Sheeran's estimated record sales are around 150 million, whereas his certified global sales are 243.5 million.
The 31-year-old artist's best-selling album is "Divide" which is estimated to have made over 15.3 million sales. His best-sold single is "Shape of You," which had sold over 2.3 million units.
Similarly, the artist's record sales might not amount to much. Still, he triumphs over digital downloads with billions of views on Youtube and millions of downloads on Spotify and Apple Music.
16. Billy Joel, "The Piano Man"
Billy Joel is a singer, songwriter, and composer from America. He is a talented pianist also known as "Piano Man."
The artist is estimated to have sold around 160 million records, whereas his certified sales are 134.3 million. The artist is best known for the pop, rock, instrumental, and soft rock genres.
Likewise, the 73-year-old artist's best-selling album is "The stranger' which has sold around 10 million units worldwide. Also, his best-selling single is "Piano Man," which has sold for about 15.3 million worldwide.
The artist has released over 12 pop-rock albums; he has remained active since 1964 and rose to peak from 1971 to 1993.
17. Bruce Springsteen, "The Boss Of Rock"
Bruce Springsteen is a singer, songwriter, and talented musician. He is an American singer whose songs reflect the working-class American lifestyle.
He is known as "The Boss" due to his obligation to collect payment after the performance and distribute it to his bandmates. Also, his emphasis and contribution to the rock genre have favored his nickname.
The artist is estimated to have sold over 150 million record units, but his certified sales seem to be 126.7 million.
The 72-year-old's best-selling album is "Born in the USA," which sold over 15.6 million in the US and more than 30 million globally. His best-sold single is "Born to Run," selling over 9.1 million units.
18. Barbara Streisand, "The Artist Who Had Done It All."
Barbara Streisand is an artist who has accomplished significantly in different forms of art. She is a talented singer, songwriter, artist, actor, composer, and film director.She is a phenomenal vocalist who has received honorary Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards.
Streisand's best-selling album is "Guilty" released in 1980; her album sold 12 million copies worldwide.
The 80 years old singer's best-selling single is "The Way We Were," which sold over one million copies. she has released 36 studio albums, 11 complications albums, and 15 soundtrack albums.
19. Phil Collins, "The Iconic Drummer Turned Vocalist,"
Phil Collins is a talented artist with many musical compositions and singing abilities. The musician can sing different ballads, rock songs, new wave songs, and lullabies. He has a vast range and dives into other music, including emotional, happy, and serious tones of songs.
Collins is estimated to have sold over 150 million records, but his certified sales units are 96.8 million units. The artist's genre includes pop, adult, and contemporary music.
His best-selling single, "No Jacket Required," sold over 10 million units. Also, his best-selling single is "In the Air Tonight," which sold over 500 hundred thousand copies.
20. Katy Perry, "The Queen of Playful And Sensual Music"
Katy Perry's original name is Katheryn Hudson; she is a singer, songwriter, actress, and television personality. She is an American artist known for her cartoonish presentation and entertaining performances. Perry is a pop star who can meet audiences' expectations by providing mystifying performances.
Likewise, she is one of the best-selling solo artists of all time. The artist's sales are around 143 million also, and her certified sales units are 172.3 million globally.
The singer's best-selling album is "Teenage Dreams," which sold over 11 million copies. Her best-sold single is "I Kissed A Girl," which sold over 6 million units.
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