Top 10 Best-selling Music Artists

Updated September 17, 2018 | Infoplease Staff

The World's Most Beloved Artists

Music is one of the most universal and valued artforms on Earth, cultivated in countless garages and school auditoriums. A select few aspiring musicians reach the big leagues and reach millions of listeners. Find out which musicians have made the biggest splash in the music industry.

(Note: Certified music sales are especially unreliable for older artists, as certification standards have changed over time. Artists active especially before and during the 1970's likely have higher total sales figures. Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd are bands that likely figure in the Top 10, but those sales weren't certified at the time. Infoplease has erred on the side of more conservative figures.)

Rank Artist  Certified Units Sold
1 The Beatles 272
2 Rihanna 263.9
3 Michael Jackson 229.6
4 Elvis Presley 224.7
5 Eminem 218.2
6 Taylor Swift 199.9
7 Elton John 182.8
8 Madonna 172.9
9 Garth Brooks 156.1
10 Justin Bieber 152.4
Source: Certification-issuing agencies from 22 countries, including the U.S. (RIAA), U.K. (BPI), and Japan (RIAJ).

1. Figures given are in millions. 

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