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The world’s best-selling music artists that not just created music but legend. This a list of those artists that sold 300 million or more records.
The best-selling music artists of all time are legends in their genre. Let’s take a look at them and the history they created-
1.The Beatles :
Claimed sales :1 billion-600 million
Total available certified sales: 246.6 million
The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music.From 1962, the group consisted of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals). Rooted in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the group later worked in many genres ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic rock, often incorporating classical and other elements in innovative ways. The nature of their enormous popularity, which first emerged as “Beatlemania”, transformed as their songwriting grew in sophistication. They came to be perceived as the embodiment of ideals of the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s.
They were collectively included in Time magazine’s compilation of the 20th century’s 100 most influential people.
2.Elvis Aaron Presley
Claimed sales : 1 billion-600 million
Total available certified sales: 198.1 million
Elvis Aaron Presleya (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the “King of Rock and Roll” or simply “the King”.
Presley is regarded as one of the most important figures of 20th-century popular culture. He had a versatile voice and unusually wide success encompassing many genres, including country, pop ballads, gospel, and blues. He is the best-selling solo artist in the history of popular music. Nominated for 14 competitive Grammys, he won three, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36. He has been inducted into four music halls of fame.
3.Michael Joseph Jackson
Claimed sales : 750 million-350 million
Total available certified sales: 153.7 million
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, dancer, singer-songwriter, musician, and philanthropist. Referred to as the King of Pop, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records. His contribution to music, dance, and fashion, along with a much-publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
Jackson’s 1982 album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time. His other records, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995), also rank among the world’s best-selling. Jackson is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He was also inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame as the first (and currently only) dancer from the world of pop and rock ‘n’ roll.
Claimed sales : 370 million-300 million
Total available certified sales: 53.6 million
ABBA was a Swedish Pop act formed in Stockholm in 1972 which consisted of Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Agnetha Fältskog. They became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of pop music, topping the charts worldwide from 1972 to 1982.
They still sell between two to three million albums a year. The group was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 15 March 2010.
Claimed sales : 300 million-275 million
Total available certified sales: 157.3 million
Madonna (born Madonna Louise Ciccone is an American recording artist, actress and entrepreneur. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983. She followed it with a series of albums in which she found immense popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery in her music videos, which became a fixture on MTV. Throughout her career, many of her songs have hit number one on the record charts, including “Like a Virgin”, “Papa Don’t Preach”, “Like a Prayer”, “Vogue”, “Frozen”, “Music”, “Hung Up”, and “4 Minutes”. Critics have praised Madonna for her diverse musical productions while at the same time serving as a lightning rod for religious controversy.
Madonna has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and is recognized as the world’s top-selling female recording artist of all time by the Guinness World Records. Considered to be one of the “25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century” by Time for being an influential figure in contemporary music, Madonna is known for continuously reinventing both her music and image, and for retaining a standard of autonomy within the recording industry.
6. Led Zeppelin
Claimed sales : 300 million-200 million
Total available certified sales: 130.3 million
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in 1968 that consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, drummer John Bonham, and bassist John Paul Jones. With their heavy, guitar-driven blues-rock sound, Led Zeppelin are regularly cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal and hard rock, even though the band’s individualistic style drew from many sources and transcends any one music genre. Led Zeppelin did not release songs from their albums as singles in the United Kingdom, as they preferred to develop the concept of album-oriented rock.
More than 30 years after disbanding following Bonham’s death in 1980, Led Zeppelin continue to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success, and broad influence. The band are widely considered to be one of the most successful, innovative and influential bands in the history of rock music.
They have had all of their original studio albums reach the top 10 of the Billboard album chart in the US, with six reaching the number one spot. Rolling Stone magazine has described Led Zeppelin as “the heaviest band of all time”, “the biggest band of the ’70s” and “unquestionably one of the most enduring bands in rock history”. Similarly, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame described the band in the 1970s as being “as influential in that decade as The Beatles were in the prior one”.
Claimed sales :300 million-150 million
Total available certified sales: 88.1 million
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), John Deacon (bass guitar), and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals). Queen’s earliest works were heavily influenced by progressive rock; in the mid-1970s, the band ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works, bringing them greater commercial success. It also became something of a trademark to incorporate more diverse and innovative styles in their music, exploring the likes of vaudeville, gospel music, electronic music and funk.
The band has released a total of 18 number one albums, 18 number one singles and 10 number one DVDs, and have sold over 150 million albums, with some estimates in excess of 300 million albums, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists. They have been honoured with seven Ivor Novello awards and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
These were the greatest musicians based on the sales. But still i believe sale figure just tell how good there albums sold out. The greatest musicians are high above the sale figure. Still this list was compiled to get a slight idea of the world’s most famous bands of all time.