The 20 best-selling music artists of the digital era

In the modern era of music, as physical album sales have rapidly died off, popular artists now have to make money from digital downloads and increasingly promising streaming services.

In order to find out which music acts have made the most impact in the digital era, we compiled the RIAA’s data on the highest-selling artists of all time for “certified units” of digital singles sold in the US.

The sales data takes download and streaming figures for individual songs into account, and the resulting list includes the expected heavy hitters — Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and Drake — alongside some slightly more surprising names.

Check out the 20 best-selling music artists of the digital era:

20. Blake Shelton -- 24 million units

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Biggest hits: 'God Gave Me You' (3 million units), 'Honey Bee' (3 million units), 'Boys 'Round Here' (3 million units)

19. Wiz Khalifa -- 24 million units

Rich Polk/Getty

Biggest hits: 'See You Again' (6 million units), 'Black & Yellow' (6 million units), 'Young, Wild & Free' (4 million units)

18. Fall Out Boy -- 24.5 million units

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Biggest hits: 'My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)' (5 million units), 'Sugar, We're Going Down' (4 million units), 'Centuries' (4 million units)

17. Beyoncé -- 25 million units


Biggest hits: 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)' (4 million units), 'Drunk In Love' (3 million units), 'Irreplaceable' (3 million units)

16. Jason Aldean -- 26 million units

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Biggest hits: 'Dirt Road Anthem' (4 million units), 'She's Country' (3 million units), 'Big Green Tractor' (2 million units)

15. Nicki Minaj -- 26 million units

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Biggest hits: 'Super Bass' (8 million units), 'Starships' (6 million units), 'Bang Bang' (5 million units)

14. Florida Georgia Line -- 27 million units


Biggest hits: 'Cruise' (10 million units), 'This Is How We Roll' (3 million units), 'H.O.L.Y.' (2 million units)

13. Carrie Underwood -- 30 million units

Ethan Miller

Biggest hits: 'Some Hearts' (8 million units), 'Before He Cheats' (5 million units), 'Blown Away' (3 million units)

12. Adele -- 31 million units

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Biggest hits: 'Rolling In The Deep' (8 million units), 'Hello' (7 million units), 'Someone Like You' (5 million units)

11. Lil Wayne -- 32 million units

Getty Images / Mark Davis

Biggest hits: 'Lollipop' (5 million units), 'Drop The World' (4 million units), 'How To Love' (4 million units)

9. Bruno Mars -- 38 million units

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Biggest hits: 'Uptown Funk' (11 million units), 'Just The Way You Are' (9 million units), 'Grenade' (7 million units)

8. Flo Rida -- 41 million units

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Biggest hits: 'Right Round' (6 million units), 'Wild Ones' (4 million units), 'Good Feeling' (4 million units)

7. Drake -- 43 million units

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Biggest hits: 'Hotline Bling' (5 million units), 'One Dance' (4 million units), 'Headlines' (4 million units)

5. Justin Bieber -- 53.5 million units

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Biggest hits: 'Baby' (11 million units), 'Sorry' (7 million units), 'Never Say Never' (5 million units)

3. Katy Perry -- 83.5 million units

Mauricio Santana/Getty

Biggest hits: 'Firework' (10 million units), 'Dark Horse' (10 million units), 'Roar' (9 million units)

1. Rihanna -- 110.5 million units


Biggest hits: 'Love The Way You Lie' (11 million units), 'We Found Love' (9 million units), 'What's My Name' (6 million units)

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