The best-selling album the year you were born

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Michael Jackson performing from his album ‘Thriller’ in 1983. Getty Images / Kevin Mazur

Each year, one album taps into the hearts and ears of the public on its way to topping the Billboard year-end album chart.

Times have changed, though. In the 2010s, pop stars like Adele and Taylor Swift have dominated the charts, while in the 1950s and early 1960s, musical soundtracks and Broadway cast recordings tended to top the list.

Billboard has been tracking the top album of the year since 1956. From 1992 onward, total album sales were recorded by Nielsen SoundScan. Before 1992, the top album chart was “based on a survey of representative retail outlets that determined a ranking” and was “not a tally of actual sales.”

Business Insider compiled all the best-selling albums and their respective notable singles, dating back to 1956, so you can see, and hear, which album was the soundtrack to your birth year (so long as you’re between the ages of 1 and 62).

Check out which album made it to the top each year:


2017: Ed Sheeran — “Divide”

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Copies sold:2,764,000

Notable singles:Shape of You,” “Perfect


2016: Drake — “Views”

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Copies sold:4,140,000

Notable singles:
“Hotline Bling,”
“One Dance”


2015: Adele — “25”

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Copies sold:8,008,000

Notable singles:
“Hello,”
“When We Were Young”


2014: Taylor Swift — “1989”

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Copies sold: 3,661,000

Notable singles:
“Shake It Off,”
“Blank Space,”
“Bad Blood”


2013: Justin Timberlake —  “The 20/20 Experience”

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Copies sold: 2,430,000

Notable singles:
“Suit & Tie,”
“Mirrors”


2012: Adele —  “21”

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Copies sold: 4,410,000

Notable singles:
“Someone Like You,”
“Set Fire to the Rain,”
“Rumour Has It”


2011: Adele —  “21”

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Copies sold: 5,824,000

Notable singles:
“Rolling In The Deep”


2010: Eminem —  “Recovery”

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Copies sold: 3,415,000

Notable singles:
“Not Afraid,”
“Love The Way You Lie”


2009: Taylor Swift — “Fearless”

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Copies sold: 3,217,000

Notable singles:
“Love Story,”
“You Belong With Me”


2008: Lil Wayne —  “Tha Carter III”

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Copies sold: 2,874,000

Notable singles:
“Lollipop,”
“A Milli”


2007: Josh Groban —  “Noël”

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Copies sold: 3,699,000

Notable single:
“The First Noel (feat. Faith Hill)”


2006: “High School Musical” (Soundtrack)

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Copies sold: 3,719,000

Notable single:
“Breaking Free”


2005: Mariah Carey —  “The Emancipation of Mimi”

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Copies sold: 4,969,000

Notable singles:
“We Belong Together,”
“Shake It Off”


2004: Usher — “Confessions”

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Copies sold: 7,979,000

Notable singles:
“Burn,”
“Confessions Pt. II,”
“Yeah!”


2003: 50 Cent — “Get Rich or Die Tryin'”

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Copies sold: 6,536,000

Notable singles:
“In da Club,”
“21 Questions”


2002: Eminem — “The Eminem Show”

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Copies sold: 7,608,000

Notable singles:
“Without Me,”
“Sing For The Moment”


2001: Linkin Park — “Hybrid Theory”

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Copies sold: 4,813,000

Notable single:
“In The End”


2000: NSYNC — “No Strings Attached”

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Copies sold: 9,936,000

Notable singles:
“Bye Bye Bye,”
“It’s Gonna Be Me”


1999: Backstreet Boys — “Millennium”

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Copies sold: 9,446,000

Notable singles:
“I Want It That Way,”
“Larger Than Life”


1998: James Horner and Celine Dion —  “Titanic: Music from the Motion Picture”

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Copies sold: 9,338,000

Notable single:
“My Heart Will Go On”


1997: Spice Girls —  “Spice”

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Copies sold: 5,302,000

Notable singles:
“Wannabe,”
“Say You’ll Be There”


1996: Alanis Morissette —  “Jagged Little Pill”

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Copies sold: 7,380,000

Notable singles:
“You Oughta Know,”
“Hand In My Pocket”


1995: Hootie and the Blowfish — “Cracked Rear View”

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Copies sold: 7,020,000

Notable singles:
“Hold My Hand,”
“Only Wanna Be With You”


1994: Elton John/Hans Zimmer — “The Lion King: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”

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Copies sold: 4,934,000

Notable singles:
“Can You Feel The Love Tonight,”
“Circle of Life”


1993: Whitney Houston/Various Artists — “The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album”

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Copies sold: 5,460,000

Notable single:
“I Will Always Love You”


1992: Billy Ray Cyrus —  “Some Gave All”

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Copies sold: 4,832,000

Notable singles:
“Achy Breaky Heart”


1991: Mariah Carey —  “Mariah Carey”

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Notable singles:
“Vision of Love,”
“Love Takes Time”


1990: Janet Jackson —  “Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814”

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Notable singles:
“Miss You Much,”
“Rhythm Nation”


1989: Bobby Brown —  “Don’t Be Cruel”

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Notable single:
“My Prerogative”


1988: George Michael —  “Faith”

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Notable singles:
“One More Try,”
“Father Figure”


1987: Bon Jovi —  “Slippery When Wet”

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Notable singles:
“You Give Love A Bad Name,”
“Livin’ On A Prayer”


1986: Whitney Houston —  “Whitney Houston”

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Notable singles:
“How Will I Know,”
“Greatest Love Of All”


1985: Bruce Springsteen —  “Born in the U.S.A.”

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Notable singles:
“Dancing In The Dark,”
“Born In The U.S.A.”


1984: Michael Jackson —  “Thriller”

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Notable singles:
“Billie Jean,”
“Beat It”


1983: Michael Jackson —  “Thriller”

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Notable singles:
“Thriller,”
“P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”


1982: Asia — “Asia”

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Notable single:
“Heat of the Moment”


1981: REO Speedwagon — “Hi Infidelity”

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Notable singles:
“Keep on Loving You,”
“Take It on the Run”


1980: Pink Floyd —  “The Wall”

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Notable singles:
“Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)”


1979: Billy Joel —  “52nd Street”

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Notable single:
“My Life”


1978: “Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track”

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Notable singles:
“How Deep Is Your Love,”
“Stayin’ Alive”


1977: Fleetwood Mac —  “Rumours”

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Notable singles:
“Go Your Own Way,”
“Don’t Stop”


1976: Peter Frampton —  “Frampton Comes Alive!”

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Notable single:
“Show Me The Way”


1975: Elton John —  “Elton John’s Greatest Hits”

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Notable singles:
“Your Song,”
“Daniel”


1974: Elton John —  “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”

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Notable single:
“Bennie and the Jets”


1973: War —  “The World Is a Ghetto”

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Notable single:
“The Cisco Kid”


1972: Neil Young —  “Harvest”

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Notable single:
“Heart of Gold”


1971: “Jesus Christ Superstar”

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Notable single:
“Superstar”


1970: Simon and Garfunkel —  “Bridge over Troubled Water”

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Notable singles:
“Bridge over Troubled Water,”
“The Boxer”


1969: Iron Butterfly —  “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”

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Notable single:
“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”


1968: The Jimmy Hendrix Experience —  “Are You Experienced”

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Notable singles:
“Purple Haze,”
“Foxy Lady”


1967: The Monkees —  “More of The Monkees”

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Notable single:
“I’m A Believer”


1966: Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass —  “Whipped Cream & Other Delights”

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Notable single:
“A Taste of Honey”


1965: “Mary Poppins (Original Soundtrack)”

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Notable singles:
“A Spoonful of Sugar,”
“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”


1964: “Hello, Dolly! (Original Broadway Cast)”

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Notable single:
“Hello, Dolly!”


1963: “West Side Story (Soundtrack)”

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Notable single:
“I Feel Pretty”


1962: “West Side Story (Soundtrack)”

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Notable single:
“Maria”


1961: “Camelot (Original Broadway Cast)”

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Notable single:
“If Ever I Would Leave You”


1960: “The Sound of Music (Original Broadway Cast)”

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Notable single:
“Do-Re-Mi,”
“The Sound of Music”


1959: Henry Mancini —  “Music from Peter Gunn”

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Notable single:
“Peter Gunn”


1958: “My Fair Lady (Original Broadway Cast)”

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Notable single:
“With A Little Bit of Luck”


1957: “My Fair Lady (Original Broadway Cast)”

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Notable single:
“The Rain in Spain”


1956: Harry Belafonte —  “Calypso”

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Notable singles:
“Day-O (The Banana Boat Song),”
“Jamaica Farewell”