The 50 best-selling music artists of all time

NetflixTaylor Swift

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 bizarre 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 Garth Brooks has sold more than Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson.

After the Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday, we’ve updated this ranking the most successful acts in music history according to their total certified album units sold in the US (including streaming figures), as provided by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

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


50. Bon Jovi — 34.5 million units

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49. Britney Spears — 34.5 million units

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48. Dave Matthews Band — 34.5 million units

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47. Queen — 34.5 million units

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46. Def Leppard — 35.5 million units

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45. Bob Dylan — 36 million units

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44. Tupac Shakur — 36.5 million units


43. Backstreet Boys — 37 million units

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42. Tim McGraw — 37.5 million units

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41. Rod Stewart — 38 million units

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40. Foreigner — 38 million units

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39. Simon & Garfunkel — 38.5 million units

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38. Chicago — 38.5 million units

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37. Eric Clapton — 40 million units

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36. Reba McEntire — 41 million units

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35. Taylor Swift — 43 million units

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34. Santana — 43.5 million units

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33. Alan Jackson — 43.5 million units

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32. Guns N’ Roses — 44.5 million units

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31. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band — 44.5 million units

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30. Eminem — 46 million units

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29. Alabama — 46.5 million units

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28. Kenny Rogers — 47.5 million units

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27. Shania Twain — 48 million units

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26. Kenny G — 48 million units

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25. Journey — 48 million units

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24. Neil Diamond — 49.5 million units

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23. Celine Dion — 50 million units

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22. U2 — 52 million units

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21. Fleetwood Mac — 54.5 million units

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20. Van Halen — 56.5 million units

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19. Whitney Houston — 58.5 million units

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18. Metallica — 63 million units

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17. Mariah Carey — 64 million units

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16. Madonna — 64.5 million units

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15. Bruce Springsteen — 65.5 million units

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14. Aerosmith — 66.5 million units

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13. The Rolling Stones — 66.5 million units

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12. Barbra Streisand — 68.5 million units

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11. George Strait — 69 million units

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10. AC/DC — 72 million units

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9. Pink Floyd — 75 million units

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8. Elton John — 78.5 million units

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7. Michael Jackson — 84 million units

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6. Billy Joel — 84.5 million units

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5. Led Zeppelin — 111.5 million units

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4. Eagles — 120 million units

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3. Elvis Presley — 146.5 million units

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2. Garth Brooks — 148 million units

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1. The Beatles — 183 million units

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