Eagles, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles or Pink Floyd – we’re all familiar with these iconic names, and having to decide which of this artists is our favorite one is probably the hardest choice we’d ever have to make. This is why we’re letting the professionals decide: this list of best-selling musical artists is based on the “certified sales” – backed up by the Recording Industry Association of America.
1. The Beatles
The legendary music group from the United Kingdom, The Beatles are arguably the most famous band to ever exist. They have 178 million in certified sales, although their claimed sales are believed to surpass 600 million records worldwide, and it’s definitely justified, if you ask us.
2. Garth Brooks
Oklahoma-born singer-songwriter Garth Brooks is tremendously popular; he is known for combining elements of rock and roll and country, which makes his music one-of-a-kind. This seems to be very appealing to country fans, making him second at 148 million certified units sold.
3. Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley, often referred to as the King of Rock and Roll, is considered to be one of the biggest icons of the 20th century. Coming in at number 3 on this prestigious list, Elvis sold 136 million certified units.
4. Led Zeppelin
This legendary band from London England has made a name for themselves being synonymous with rock and roll. Selling 111 Million records puts them at # 4 on this list.
Famous American rock band from Los Angeles, California, is # 5 on the list. Their greatest hits album is actually the 6th bestselling album ever. They have sold 101 million certified units.
6. Billy Joel
Billy Joel – also known as Piano Man – is one of the best-known pianist singer-songwriters ever. Throughout his career, he sold a whopping 82 million certified units as a solo act. After releasing his famous “Piano Man” song, he became an instant superstar. He is #6 on the list.
7. Michael Jackson
The “King of Pop” Michael Jackson is undoubtedly one of the best songwriters, dancers, and performers of all time. With 81 million certified units in sales, he is truly a legend. His album Thriller is still the second best selling album in the history of the world. He is #7 on the list.
8. Elton John
Another singer-songwriter-pianist, Elton John, hailing from England, makes the list at # 8 with 77 million certified units sold.
9. Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd makes the top 10: at number 9, British rock and roll band Pink Floyd shot to fame with their progressive “psychedelic” rock. They sold 74 million certified units worldwide.
Australian hard rock band AC/DC had great success with some of the highest grossing rock tours ever. They stand at #10 on this list, with 72 million certified units sold.
11. George Strait
George Strait is all country, and considered to be the “King of Country”. At #11, with 69 million certified units sold, no other country singers can compare.
12. Barbara Streisand
Winning some of the most prestigious awards in both acting and music, Barbra Streisand is an amazing singer, actress, producer, in one word – an American icon. Streisand sold 68 million certified units, placing her at #12 on the list.
13. The Rolling Stones
Insanely famous London rock band The Rolling Stones, are one of the longest continuously touring bands ever. They have sold 66 million certified units, making a tie with the band Aerosmith.
Sometimes called the “bad boys from Boston”, Aerosmith is one of America’s most treasured rock and roll bands. These aging men still tour, and their energetic frontman Steven Tyler keeps the band alive. Selling also 66 million certified units ties them with The Rolling Stones.
15. Bruce Springsteen
American singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen is known for his work with the E Street Band. He is also an iconic American performer known by all, who sold 65 million certified units. This puts him at #15.
The Queen of Pop is a talented singer-songwriter, actress, and businesswomen, who could be considered one of the most famous entertainers ever. Combining singing, dancing, and other aspects of performance, she created one of the greatest selling acts of all time, with 64 million certified units sold.
17. Mariah Carey
Often known for her astonishing vocal range, singer-songwriter Mariah Carey, has excellent singing pipes. Also acting and producing as well, she is a very notable act who sold 64 million certified units. She is #17 on the list.
Heavy metal band Metallica from California is easily the most famous metal band in existence. They are still touring to this day, and have earned 62 million certified units sold. They are #18.
19. Whitney Houston
American singer, actress, and model Whitney Houston was an extremely influential singer. She is at #19, selling 57 million certified units.
20. Van Halen
American hard rock band named after their main guitarist Eddie Van Halen, is known for crazy guitar solos, and great rock and roll music. Selling 56 million certified units, they are #20 on the list.
Irish rock band from Dublin, U2, has a great style, and actually holds the record for highest grossing tour ever. The U2 360 tour. They sell many albums as well, putting them at 52 million certified units sold. They are #21.
22. Celine Dion
Canadian singer and businesswoman Celine Dion is probably most widely known for her iconic song featured in Titanic – “My Heart Will Go On.” The singer has sold 50 million certified units throughout her career, making #22 on the list.
23. Fleetwood Mac
The British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac has been one of the most popular music groups during the seventies and the eighties, in large part thanks to band member Stevie Nicks. To this day, they remain one of the best selling bands of all time. They sold 49 million certified units, placing them at #23 on this list.
24. Neil Diamond
American rock band Journey, from San Francisco, had great commercial success starting in 1978. Their song “Don’t Stop Believing” is universally known. They have sold 48 million certified units, putting them at #25 on the list.