Every so often, a new musician or band bursts onto the scene and takes the world by storm. Some of these artists make a good career for themselves, others become global superstars and sell hundreds of millions of units of their music. Here are five of the biggest selling music artists of all time.
The Beatles have sold an estimated 178 million albums domestically and continue to sell records today despite not being active since 1970. “The Fab Four” top the charts when it comes to units sold and by some distance too, namely 30 million units. The Beatles’ biggest selling album was Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with 5.1 million copies sold and it saw the album remain at the top of the charts for 15 weeks. Some of The Beatles’ massively selling albums included Rubber Soul, Revolver, the White Album and Abbey Road.
Country singer Garth Brooks is the best-selling solo artist in the United States with 148 million domestic units sold, which puts him ahead of Elvis Presley and second only to The Beatles in total albums sold. Brooks is the only artists in history to have released seven albums that achieved diamond status in the US with his 1990 release No Fences selling more than 12 million copies alone. Brooks would no doubt have sold millions more albums had he not taken a break from recording and performing between 2001 and 2009 due to conflicts between his career and family.
Elvis Presley is often referred to as the King of Rock and Roll or simply the king and has sold more than 136 million albums to date and would no doubt have gone on to beat The Beatles’ impressive sales had his drug misuse not claimed his life when he was aged only 42-years-old. Amazingly, since his death, six of Presley’s posthumously released single were top ten hits, going some way to show the iconic artist’s influence on the music scene.
British rock band Led Zeppelin sold a cool 111.5 million units thanks to being considered on the most successful and innovative rock groups in history. The band’s fourth album, Led Zeppelin IV, featured the worldwide hit “Stairway to Heaven” which is one of the most popular works in rock music history. The band formed in 1968 and officially split in 1980 some 22-years later. Led Zeppelin held reunions in 1985, 1988, 1995 and 2007 much to the delight of the band’s army of loyal fans.
The Eagles were formed in 1971 and became an instant hit in the U.S.A and around the world, quickly claiming five number-one singles, six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards and six number-one albums; Eagle sold 101 million units. The Eagles’ founding members were Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner, but Frey died on January 18, 2016 following complications from intestinal surgery. The biggest selling Eagles album was Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) which sold 42 million copies and Hotel California which sold 32 million copies.