List of best-selling music artists in the United States

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This is the list of the top 100 best-selling music artists in the United States only based on certifications of albums by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[1] (The list may contain more than 100, when the final slot is a tie.)

The RIAA does not deal in sales of albums, only certifications of shipped units. Therefore, this best-selling list is based on total accumulated certifications given per artist and may not reflect the true physical sales obtained by these artists.

The RIAA began its certifications in 1958. This list, therefore, excludes artists like Bing Crosby whose sales in the 1930s–1950s were not certified. The list also excludes certifications of albums recorded by artists in collaboration with others as part of a singular artist or group's total.

Artists by total amount of certified units[edit]

Artist Country of origin Period active Genre Digital single certifications[2] Album certifications[3] Total amount of certified units
The Beatles United Kingdom 1960–1970 Rock 178 million 178 million
Garth Brooks United States 1984–2001; 2009–present Country 135 million 135 million
Elvis Presley United States 1953–1977 Rock and roll 134.5 million 134.5 million
Led Zeppelin United Kingdom 1968–1980 Hard rock 111.5 million 111.5 million
Taylor Swift United States 2004–present Country / Pop 86 million 23.5 million 109.5 million
Eagles United States 1971–1980; 1994–present Rock 101 million 101 million
Billy Joel United States 1965–present Rock 81.5 million 81.5 million
Katy Perry United States 2000–present Pop 79 million 79 million
Michael Jackson United States 1964–2009 Pop 76 million 76 million
Pink Floyd United Kingdom 1965–1994; 2013–2014 Progressive rock 75 million 75 million
Elton John United Kingdom 1964–present Rock 73.5 million 73.5 million
Barbra Streisand United States 1955–present Jazz 72.5 million 72.5 million
AC/DC Australia 1973–present Hard rock 72 million 72 million
Mariah Carey United States 1988–present R&B 6 million 63.5 million 69.5 million
George Strait United States 1981–present Country 69 million 69 million
Eminem United States 1988–present Hip hop 31 million 37.5 million 68.5 million
The Rolling Stones United Kingdom 1962–present Rock 66.5 million 66.5 million
Aerosmith United States 1970–present Hard rock 66.5 million 66.5 million
Bruce Springsteen United States 1965–present Rock 64.5 million 64.5 million
Madonna United States 1979–present Pop 64.5 million 64.5 million
Metallica United States 1981–present Heavy metal 62 million 62 million
Kanye West United States 1996–present Hip hop 11 million 46.5 million 57.5 million
Whitney Houston United States 1977–2012 R&B 57 million 57 million
Van Halen United States 1972–present Hard rock 56.5 million 56.5 million
Tim McGraw United States 1990–present Country 16 million 37.5 million 53.5 million
Journey United States 1973–present Rock 5 million 47 million 52 million
Rihanna Barbados 2005–present R&B / Pop 52 million 52 million
U2 United Kingdom 1976–present Rock 51.5 million 51.5 million
Kenny Rogers United States 1958–present Country 51 million 51 million
Celine Dion Canada 1980–2000; 2002–present Pop 50 million 50 million
Fleetwood Mac United Kingdom 1967–1995; 1997–present Rock 49.5 million 49.5 million
Jay Z United States 1990–present Hip hop 20 million 29 million 49 million
Neil Diamond United States 1962–present Pop 48.5 million 48.5 million
Shania Twain Canada 1993–present Country 48 million 48 million
Kenny G United States 1973–1982 (group); 1982–present (solo) Adult contemporary 48 million 48 million
Alabama United States 1969–2004; 2006–2007; 2011–present Country 46 million 46 million
Guns N' Roses United States 1985–present Hard rock 44.5 million 44.5 million
Bob Seger United States 1961–present Rock 43.5 million 43.5 million
Santana United States 1967–present Latin rock 43.5 million 43.5 million
Alan Jackson United States 1983–present Country 43.5 million 43.5 million
Lil Wayne United States 1996–present Hip hop 33 million 10.5 million 43.5 million
Eric Clapton United Kingdom 1962–present Rock 42.5 million 42.5 million
Queen United Kingdom 1970–present Rock 8 million 34.5 million 42.5 million
Bon Jovi United States 1983–present Rock 8 million 34.5 million 42.5 million
Tupac Shakur United States 1988–1996 Hip hop 41.5 million 41.5 million
Reba McEntire United States 1975–present Country 41 million 41 million
Kenny Chesney United States 1993–present Country 15 million 25.5 million 40.5 million
Prince United States 1976–present Funk 39.5 million 39.5 million
Simon & Garfunkel United States 1957–1965; 1966–1970 Folk rock 38.5 million 38.5 million
Chicago United States 1967–present Rock 38.5 million 38.5 million
Rod Stewart United Kingdom 1961–present Rock 38 million 38 million
Foreigner United States 1976–present Rock 37.5 million 37.5 million
Bob Dylan United States 1959–present Folk 37 million 37 million
Backstreet Boys United States 1993–present Pop 37 million 37 million
Toby Keith United States 1993–present Country 11 million 25 million 36 million
Willie Nelson United States 1956–present Country 35 million 35 million
Def Leppard United Kingdom 1977–present Hard rock 35 million 35 million
Justin Bieber Canada 2008–present Pop 34.5 million 34.5 million
Britney Spears United States 1992–present Pop 34 million 34 million
Phil Collins United Kingdom 1968–present Pop rock 33.5 million 33.5 million
Dave Matthews Band United States 1991–present Rock 33.5 million 33.5 million
R. Kelly United States 1989–present R&B 33.5 million 33.5 million
John Denver United States 1962–1997 Folk 33 million 33 million
The Doors United States 1965–1973 Psychedelic rock 33 million 33 million
James Taylor United States 1966–present Folk rock 33 million 33 million
Pearl Jam United States 1990–present Alternative rock 31.5 million 31.5 million
Boston United States 1976–present Rock 31 million 31 million
Dixie Chicks United States 1989–present Country 30.5 million 30.5 million
Flo Rida United States 2006–present Hip hop 30.5 million 30.5 million
Linda Ronstadt United States 1967–2011 Rock 30 million 30 million
Drake Canada 2001–present Hip hop 29 million 29 million
Bruno Mars United States 2004–present Pop 29 million 29 million
Ozzy Osbourne United Kingdom 1968–present Heavy metal 28.75 million 28.75 million
Manheim Steamroller United States 1974–present Symphonic pop 28.5 million 28.5 million
Lady Gaga United States 2001–present Electropop 28.5 million 28.5 million
Lynyrd Skynyrd United States 1964–present Southern rock 28 million 28 million
Michael Bolton United States 1975–present Pop rock 28 million 28 million
NSYNC United States 1995–2002 Pop 28 million 28 million
Barry Manilow United States 1964–present Pop 27.5 million 27.5 million
John Mellencamp United States 1976–present Rock 27.5 million 27.5 million
Brooks & Dunn United States 1990–2010; 2015–present Country 27.5 million 27.5 million
Frank Sinatra United States 1935–1996 Traditional pop 27 million 27 million
Bee Gees United Kingdom 1958–2003; 2009–2012 Rock 27 million 27 million
Boys II Men United States 1988–present R&B 27 million 27 million
Enya United Kingdom 1980–present Celtic 26.5 million 26.5 million
Creedence Clearwater Revival United States 1967–1972 Roots rock 26 million 26 million
Janet Jackson United States 1973–present Pop 26 million 26 million
Faith Hill United States 1993–present Country 25.5 million 25.5 million
Creed United States 1993–2004; 2009–2012 Post-grunge 25 million 25 million
Nirvana United States 1987–1994 Alternative rock 25 million 25 million
Rush Canada 1968–present Progressive rock 25 million 25 million
Mötley Crüe United States 1981–present Heavy metal 25 million 25 million
Luther Vandross United States 1972–2005 R&B 25 million 25 million
ZZ Top United States 1969–present Blues rock 25 million 25 million

References[edit]

See also[edit]