List of best-selling singles

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According to Guinness World Records, the holiday perennial "White Christmas" (1942) by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies. The song recognized as "the best-selling single of all time" was released before the pop/rock singles-chart era and "was listed as the world's best-selling single in the first-ever Guinness Book of Records (published in 1955) and—remarkably—still retains the title more than 50 years later." Guinness World Records states that double A-side charity single "Candle in the Wind 1997"/"Something About the Way You Look Tonight" (1997) by Elton John, a tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, is "the biggest-selling single since UK and US singles charts began in the 1950s, having accumulated worldwide sales of 33 million copies," making it the second best-selling single of all time.

The artists with the most singles (including featured credits) on this list is Rihanna with nine entries, followed by Katy Perry with eight entries, Beyoncé and Elvis Presley next on the list with six entries each. Lady Gaga, Flo Rida, Britney Spears and Michael Jackson (appearing twice as lead member of The Jackson 5) each appear five times.

Given the recent trend that commercial music download sites increasingly sell mostly single tracks rather than whole albums, the list is split between digital singles and physical (CD and vinyl) singles.[1] Portable audio players, which make it extremely easy to load and play songs from many different artists, are claimed to be a major factor behind this trend.

In italics, singles whose listed sales are the compilation of sales in available markets instead of a worldwide sales figure. These sales figures are therefore neither complete nor definitive.

Best-selling physical singles[edit]

15 million copies or more[edit]

Artist Single Released Genre Sales
(in millions)
Source
Bing Crosby "White Christmas" 1942 Christmas, pop 50 [2]
Elton John "Candle in the Wind 1997"/"Something About the Way You Look Tonight" 1997 Soft rock, symphonic rock, pop 33 [2]
Bing Crosby "Silent Night" 1935 Christmas, pop 30 [3]
Bill Haley & His Comets "Rock Around the Clock" 1954 Rock and roll, rockabilly 25 [4]
USA for Africa "We Are the World" 1985 Pop, gospel 20 [5]
Whitney Houston "I Will Always Love You" 1992 R&B, soul 20 [6]
The Ink Spots "If I Didn't Care" 1939 R&B, doo-wop 19 [7]
Baccara "Yes Sir, I Can Boogie" 1977 Euro disco 16 [8]
Celine Dion "My Heart Will Go On" 1997 Pop 15 [9]

10–14.9 million copies[edit]

Artist Single Released Genre Sales
(in millions)
Source
Mariah Carey "All I Want for Christmas Is You" 1994 Pop, R&B, dance-pop 14 [10][11]
Gloria Gaynor "I Will Survive" 1978 Disco 14 [12]
Scorpions "Wind of Change" 1991 Rock 14 [13]
Kyu Sakamoto "Sukiyaki" 1961 Pop, Kayōkyoku, J-pop 13 [14]
Gene Autry "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" 1949 Christmas 12.5 [15]
Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman "Time to Say Goodbye" 1996 Operatic pop 12 [16][17]
The Beatles "I Want to Hold Your Hand" 1963 Rock, pop 12 [3]
Village People "Y.M.C.A." 1978 Disco 12 [18]
Band Aid "Do They Know It's Christmas?" 1984 Pop rock, New Wave, synthpop, Christmas 11.7 [19]
Carl Douglas "Kung Fu Fighting" 1974 Disco, funk 11 [20][21]
Cher "Believe" 1998 Dance-pop, Eurodance 11 [22]
George McCrae "Rock Your Baby" 1974 Soul, disco 11 [3]
Los del Río "Macarena" 1995 Dance-pop, flamenco 11 [23]
Mills Brothers "Paper Doll" 1943 Country 11 [3]
Roger Whittaker "The Last Farewell" 1971 Adult contemporary, pop 11 [24]
Britney Spears "...Baby One More Time" 1998 Teen pop, dance-pop 10 [25]
Elvis Presley "Hound Dog" 1956 Rock and roll 10 [26]
Middle of the Road "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" 1971 Pop 10 [27]
The Monkees "I'm a Believer" 1966 Pop rock 10 [3][28]
Panjabi MC "Mundian To Bach Ke" 1998 Bhangra, Asian underground 10 [29]
Procol Harum "A Whiter Shade of Pale" 1967 Psychedelic rock, progressive rock, baroque pop 10 [3]
Roy Acuff "Wabash Cannonball" 1942 Country 10 [27]

7–9.9 million copies[edit]

Artist Single Released Genre Sales
(in millions)
Source
a-ha "Take on Me" 1985 Synthpop, New Wave 7 [30][31]
The Animals "The House of the Rising Sun" 1964 Blues rock, folk rock 8 [32]
Aqua "Barbie Girl" 1997 Bubblegum dance 8 [33]
Ashanti "Foolish" 2002 R&B 7.2 [23]
The Beatles "Can't Buy Me Love" 1964 Rock, pop 7 [3][34]
The Beatles "Hey Jude" 1968 Rock, pop 8 [35]
Bryan Adams "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" 1991 Soft rock 8 [36]
Chic "Le Freak" 1978 Disco 7 [37]
Christina Aguilera "Genie in a Bottle" 1999 Teen pop, dance-pop 7 [23]
Danyel Gérard "Butterfly" 1971 Pop 7 [38][39]
Elvis Presley "It's Now or Never" 1960 Pop 9 [40]
Julie Rogers "The Wedding" 1964 Pop, adult contemporary 7 [27][41]
Las Ketchup "The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" 2002 Beach, salsa 7 [42]
Mahalia Jackson "Move On Up a Little Higher" 1948 Gospel 8 [43]
Mary Hopkin "Those Were the Days" 1968 Pop 8 [27]
Modern Talking "You're My Heart, You're My Soul" 1984 Synthpop, New Wave, Europop 8 [44]
Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit" 1991 Grunge 8 [45]
Paul Anka "Diana" 1957 Pop 9 [27][46]
Puff Daddy featuring Faith Evans and 112 "I'll Be Missing You" 1997 Hip hop, R&B 7.2 [47][48]
Queen "Another One Bites the Dust" 1980 Funk rock 7 [49]
Richard Sanderson "Reality" 1980 Pop, soft rock, adult contemporary 8 [50][51]
Ricky Martin "Livin' la Vida Loca" 1999 Latin pop, dance-pop, pop rock 8 [23]
Ricky Valance "Tell Laura I Love Her" 1960 Pop 7 [52]
Royal Scots Dragoon Guards "Amazing Grace" 1972 Gospel 7 [38]
Roy Orbison "Oh, Pretty Woman" 1964 Rock 7 [53]
Scott McKenzie "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" 1967 Psychedelic pop 7 [54]
Shakira "Whenever, Wherever" 2001 Latin pop, Andean, rock and roll 8.5 [55]
Shocking Blue "Venus" 1969 Garage rock, blues rock, psychedelic rock 7.5 [56]
Survivor "Eye of the Tiger" 1982 Hard rock 9.4[b] [57][58][59]
Whitney Houston "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) " 1987 R&B, Pop 8 [60]

5–6.9 million copies[edit]

Artist Single Released Genre Sales
(in millions)
Source
1910 Fruitgum Company "Simon Says" 1967 Bubblegum pop 5 [61]
ABBA "Fernando" 1976 Pop, Europop 6 [62]
ABBA "Waterloo" 1974 Pop rock 5 [27][63]
The Archies "Sugar, Sugar" 1969 Bubblegum pop 6 [3]
The Beatles "She Loves You" 1963 Rock 5 [27]
Bee Gees "Massachusetts" 1967 Baroque pop, folk rock 5 [3][64]
Billy Swan "I Can Help" 1974 Pop, country 5 [65][66]
Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters "Jingle Bells" 1943 Christmas, pop 6 [3]
Bonnie Tyler "It's a Heartache" 1977 Country rock 6 [67]
Bonnie Tyler "Total Eclipse of the Heart" 1983 Pop rock 6 [68]
Brotherhood of Man "Save Your Kisses for Me" 1976 Pop 6 [69]
The Chipmunks and David Seville "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" 1958 Christmas, novelty, pop 5 [27]
Coolio featuring L.V. "Gangsta's Paradise" 1995 West Coast hip hop, gangsta rap, hardcore hip hop 5.9 [48][70]
Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa and Pink "Lady Marmalade" 2001 R&B, hip hop soul 5.2 [71]
Culture Club "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" 1982 New Wave, pop, reggae, blue-eyed soul, lovers rock 6.5 [72]
Culture Club "Karma Chameleon" 1983 New Wave 5 [73][74]
Cyndi Lauper "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" 1983 Pop 5.5 [75]
Dawn featuring Tony Orlando "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" 1973 Pop 6 [3][76]
Elvis Presley "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" 1960 Pop 5 [40]
Elvis Presley "Don't Be Cruel" 1956 Rock and roll, rockabilly 6 [77]
Elvis Presley "Love Me Tender" 1956 Acoustic 5 [78]
Elvis Presley "Surrender" 1961 Pop 5 [27][46]
Enigma "Sadeness (Part I)" 1990 New Age, downtempo 5 [79]
Engelbert Humperdinck "Release Me" 1967 Pop 5 [27]
Gene Austin "My Blue Heaven" 1927 Pop 5 [3]
Gene Autry "That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine" 1939 Pop 5 [27]
George Michael "Careless Whisper" 1984 Pop, smooth jazz 6 [80]
George Harrison "My Sweet Lord" 1970 Folk rock, Gospel 5 [3]
Harry Simeone Chorale "The Little Drummer Boy" 1958 Pop 6 [27]
The Jackson 5 "I Want You Back" 1969 R&B 6 [81]
The Jackson 5 "I'll Be There" 1970 Pop 5 [82]
Janet Jackson "Together Again" 1997 Pop 6 [83]
Jeannie C. Riley "Harper Valley PTA" 1968 Pop, Country 5 [27]
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John "You're the One That I Want" 1978 Pop rock 6.6 [84][85]
Kaoma "Lambada" 1989 Lambada 5 [86]
Jerry Lee Lewis "Great Balls of Fire" 1957 Rock and roll 5 [87]
Jerry Lee Lewis "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On" 1957 Rock and roll 6 [87]
Madonna "Like a Prayer" 1989 Gospel, Pop rock 5 [88]
Madonna "Vogue" 1990 Dance-pop, House, Disco 6 [89]
Michael Jackson "Beat It" 1983 Rock 5[e] [90][91]
Michael Jackson "Billie Jean" 1983 R&B 5.6[d] [90][92]
Michael Jackson "Thriller" 1984 Funk 6.3[c] [90][93]
Mitch Miller "March from Bridge on the River Kwai" 1957 March 5 [3]
The Monkees "Daydream Believer" 1967 Pop rock 5 [94]
Mungo Jerry "In the Summertime" 1970 Pop 6 [3]
Musical Youth "Pass the Dutchie" 1982 Reggae 5 [95]
Neil Diamond "Cracklin' Rosie" 1970 Pop 6 [3]
The New Seekers "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" 1971 Pop/Folk 6 [27]
Nini Rosso "Il Silenzio" 1965 Pop 5 [3]
The Partridge Family "I Think I Love You" 1970 Pop 5 [27]
Queen "Bohemian Rhapsody" 1976 Rock opera 6.6[h] [48][96]
Simon & Garfunkel "Bridge Over Troubled Water" 1970 Soft rock 6 [27]
Spice Girls "Wannabe" 1996 Pop 6 [97]
Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler "Ballad of the Green Berets" 1966 Pop 5 [27]
Terry Jacks "Seasons in the Sun" 1974 Pop 5 [27]
Three Dog Night "Joy to the World" 1971 Rock 5 [27]
Tino Rossi "Petit Papa Noël" 1946 Christmas 5.7 [90]
Tom Jones "Delilah" 1968 Pop 5 [3]
Tommy James and the Shondells "Crimson and Clover" 1968 Psychedelic pop 5 [98]
Tony Orlando and Dawn "Knock Three Times" 1970 Pop 6 [3][99]
The Tornados "Telstar" 1962 Pop 5 [3]
Vernon Dalhart "The Prisoner's Song" 1924 Country 6 [3]
Wings "Mull of Kintyre" 1977 Rock 6 [100]
Whitney Houston "My Love Is Your Love " 1999 R&B, Pop, Reggae, Hip Hop 5 [101]

Best-selling digital singles[edit]

15 million copies or more[edit]

Artist Single Released Genre Sales
(in millions)
Source
The Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling" 2009 Dance-pop 15 [102][103][104]

10–14.99 million copies[edit]

Artist Single Released Genre Sales
(in millions)
Source
Adele "Rolling in the Deep" 2010 Soul 14 [105][106][107]
Avicii featuring Aloe Blacc "Wake Me Up" 2013 EDM 11.1[h] [108]
The Black Eyed Peas "Boom Boom Pow" 2009 Hip hop 10.8 [102][109]
Bruno Mars "Just the Way You Are" 2010 Pop 13.2 [110][111]
"Grenade" 2010 Pop 10.6 [110][111]
Carly Rae Jepsen "Call Me Maybe" 2011 Pop 13.5 [112][113]
Eminem featuring Rihanna "Love the Way You Lie" 2010 Hip hop 12.8 [103][114][115][116]
Flo Rida featuring T-Pain "Low" 2007 Hip hop 12 [117]
Gotye featuring Kimbra "Somebody That I Used to Know" 2011 Alternative rock, indie pop 13 [118]
Jason Mraz "I'm Yours" 2008 Pop, Folk rock 12.2 [102][109][119]
Katy Perry "Firework" 2010 Disco-rock 11 [106][120]
Kesha "Tik Tok" 2009 Electropop 14 [121]
Lady Gaga featuring Colby O'Donis "Just Dance" 2008 Electropop 10.1 [102][109][122][123]
Lady Gaga "Poker Face" 2008 Electropop 14 [102][119][124]
LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock "Party Rock Anthem" 2011 Electro-house 14 [110][125][126]
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz "Thrift Shop" 2012 Alternative hip hop / hipster hop 13.4[h] [108]
Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera "Moves like Jagger" 2011 Pop 14.4 [113][126][127]
Psy "Gangnam Style" 2012 K-pop 11 [128][129][130]
Robin Thicke featuring T.I and Pharrell Williams "Blurred Lines" 2013 R&B 14.8[h] [108]
Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean "Hips Don't Lie" 2006 Latin pop 11 [55][131]

7–9.99 million copies[edit]

Artist Single Released Genre Sales
(in millions)
Source
Adele "Someone like You" 2011 Soul 9.4 [111][132]
Beyoncé "Halo" 2009 R&B, Pop 6.0 [133]
Beyoncé "Irreplaceable" 2006 R&B 6.7[g] [134][135]
Avril Lavigne "Girlfriend" 2007 Pop punk 7.3 [136]
Beyoncé "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" 2008 Pop 7.7 [106][119][137]
Bruno Mars "When I Was Your Man" 2013 Pop 8.3[h] [108]
The Black Eyed Peas "The Time (Dirty Bit)" 2010 Dance 7.3 [110]
Daft Punk "Get Lucky" 2013 Funk, Disco 9.3[h] [108]
Eminem "Lose Yourself" 2002 Hardcore hip hop 7.6 [106][138]
Exile "Lovers Again" 2007 Pop 7 [139]
fun. featuring Janelle Monáe "We Are Young" 2011 Indie pop 9.6 [112]
Imagine Dragons "Radioactive" 2013 Alternative rock, Electronic rock 8.6[h] [108]
Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull "On the Floor" 2011 Dance 8.4 [110]
Journey "Don't Stop Believin'" 1981 Rock 8.8[a] [106][140]
Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg "California Gurls" 2010 Disco, funk 7.7 [106][141]
Katy Perry "I Kissed a Girl" 2008 Electro-rock 8 [23]
Katy Perry "Roar" 2013 Power pop, electropop 9.9[h] [108]
Lady Gaga "Bad Romance" 2009 Electropop 9.7 [103]
Lady Gaga "Born This Way" 2011 Electropop 8.4 [110][142]
Lady Gaga featuring Beyoncé "Telephone" 2010 Electropop 7.4 [103]
Leona Lewis "Bleeding Love" 2008 Pop 7.7 [143]
Lil Wayne featuring Static Major "Lollipop" 2008 Rap 9.1 [143]
Madonna "Hung Up" 2005 Dance-pop, disco 9 [89][144]
Maroon 5 "Payphone" 2012 Pop 9.5 [112][113]
Michel Teló "Ai Se Eu Te Pego" 2011 Sertanejo 7.2 [112]
Nicki Minaj "Starships" 2012 Eurodance 7.2 [112]
O-Zone "Dragostea din tei" 2003 Eurodance 8 [145]
Pink "So What" 2008 Pop rock 7.8 [23]
Pink featuring Nate Ruess "Just Give Me a Reason" 2013 Pop 9.9[h] [108]
Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack, and Nayer "Give Me Everything" 2011 Electro-house, Dance-pop 8.2 [110]
Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko "Stay" 2013 Pop 7.9[h] [108]
Rihanna "Diamonds" 2012 Pop, electronic 7.5 [146]
Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris "We Found Love" 2011 Electro house 8.16 [147][148][149]
Taio Cruz "Dynamite" 2010 Electropop 8.3 [106][150]
Taylor Swift "Love Story" 2008 Country, Pop 8 [102][109]
Thelma Aoyama "Soba ni Iru ne" 2008 Pop 8.2 [143]
Train "Hey, Soul Sister" 2009 Pop 8.5 [103][151]
Utada Hikaru "Flavor of Life" 2007 Pop 8 [152]
Will.i.am featuring Britney Spears "Scream & Shout" 2012 Dance-pop 8.1[h] [108]

5–6.99 million copies[edit]

Artist Single Released Genre Sales
(in millions)
Source
Adele "Set Fire to the Rain" 2011 Pop, Soul 5.90 [153]
Akon "Don't Matter" 2007 Reggae fusion, folk, contemporary R&B 5.7 [136]
Alicia Keys "No One" 2007 R&B, Soul 5.6 [143]
Britney Spears "Circus" 2008 Pop 5.5 [102]
Britney Spears "Toxic" 2004 Pop 6.5 [154][155]
Bruno Mars "The Lazy Song" 2011 Pop 6.5 [110]
Cee Lo Green "Fuck You" 2010 Pop 6.02 [156]
Coldplay "Viva la Vida" 2008 Baroque pop 6.41 [106][157]
David Guetta "Sexy Bitch" 2009 Electro house, dance-pop 5.5 [106][158]
Eminem "Not Afraid" 2010 Hip hop 5.8 [159]
Fergie "Big Girls Don't Cry" 2007 Pop 5.1 [160]
Flo Rida "Good Feeling" 2011 Dance-pop 5.86 [161][162]
Flo Rida "Right Round" 2009 Southern hip hop 6.46 [163][164]
Flo Rida featuring Sia "Wild Ones" 2012 Dance-pop 6.5 [112]
Flo Rida "Whistle" 2012 Pop 6.6 [112]
Florida Georgia Line "Cruise" 2012 Country Pop 6.73

[165]

Foster the People "Pumped Up Kicks" 2010 Indie pop / Alternative rock 6.21 [166]
fun. "Some Nights" 2012 Indie pop 5.18 [167]
Girls' Generation "Gee" 2009 K-pop, bubblegum pop 6.5 [168]
Greeeen "Kiseki" 2008 Pop 6.2 [143]
Jay Sean featuring Lil Wayne "Down" 2009 R&B, Dance 6 [169]
Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind" 2009 Hip-hop, R&B 5.45 [170]
Justin Bieber "Baby" 2010 Pop 6.4 [103]
Kanye West "Heartless" 2008 Pop 5.5 [102]
Kanye West "Stronger" 2007 Hip hop 5.07 [171]
Katy Perry "Hot n Cold" 2008 Electro-rock, dance-pop 6.26 [172]
Katy Perry "Teenage Dream" 2010 Power pop, electropop 5.87 [173][174]
Katy Perry featuring Kanye West "E.T." 2011 Electronic, hip hop 6.48 [175]
Katy Perry "Dark Horse" 2013 Trap, hip hop 5.5 [176]
Kelly Clarkson "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" 2012 Pop rock, electropop 5 [177]
Kings of Leon "Use Somebody" 2008 Alternative rock 5.28 [106][178]
LMFAO "Sexy and I Know It" 2011 Electro house 6.93 [106][179]
Lady Antebellum "Need You Now" 2009 Country pop 6.24 [180]
Lorde "Royals" 2013 Pop 6.6 [181][182]
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton "Can't Hold Us" 2011 Alternative hip hop, R&B 5 [183][184]
Maroon 5 "One More Night" 2012 Pop, reggae, funk rock 6.9 [112]
Miley Cyrus "Party in the U.S.A." 2009 R&B, dance-pop 6.9 [185]
Nicki Minaj "Super Bass" 2011 Pop, Hip-Hop 5.01 [186]
One Direction "What Makes You Beautiful" 2011 Pop 5 [187]
Owl City "Fireflies" 2009 Pop 5.39 [188]
Paramore "crushcrushcrush" 2007 Rock 6.1 [103]
Rihanna featuring Jay-Z "Umbrella" 2007 R&B 6.6 [136]
Rihanna "Disturbia" 2008 Dance-pop, Electropop 5.26 [189]
Rihanna "Only Girl (In the World)" 2010 Europop, Dance-pop 6.2 [190][191]
Rihanna "S&M" 2011 Dance-pop, Eurodance 5.85 [192][193]
Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull "I Like It" 2010 Electropop 5 [194]
Shop Boyz "Party Like a Rock Star" 2007 Pop 5.2 [136]
Soulja Boy Tell 'Em "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" 2007 Southern rap 5.2 [136]
Soulja Boy Tell 'Em "Kiss Me Thru the Phone" 2007 Southern rap 5.7 [102]
T-Pain "Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin')" 2007 Snap & B 5.9 [136]
Taylor Swift "I Knew You Were Trouble" 2012 Popstep 6.6 [195]
The Pussycat Dolls "Don't Cha" 2005 Pop 6 [196]
T.I. "Whatever You Like" 2008 Hip-hop, R&B 6.33 [197]
T.I. featuring Rihanna "Live Your Life" 2008 Hip-hop, R&B 5.58 [198]
Timbaland featuring OneRepublic "Apologize" 2007 Pop 6.2 [143]
Usher featuring will.i.am "OMG" 2010 R&B 6.9 [103]
Usher featuring Young Jeezy "Love in This Club" 2008 R&B, Synthpop 5.6 [143]

Notes[edit]

  • ^ Sales figure includes 1 million in American physical sales.
  • ^ Sales figure includes 4.442 million in American, British and Italian digital sales.
  • ^ Sales figure includes 3.355 million in American, Australian, Italian and Mexican digital sales.
  • ^ Sales figure includes 2.28 million in American, Australian and New Zealander digital sales.
  • ^ Sales figure includes 1.98 million in American, Australian and New Zealander digital sales.
  • ^ Sales figure does not include unreliably sourced estimates of 0.068 million in South Korean sales[199] or 0.35 million in updated actual British sales.[200] Were those figures included, the total would increase to 6.736 million. See this discussion for more info.
  • ^ Units include "track equivalent streams".[108]
  • ^ Sales figure includes 3.35 million in American and British digital sales.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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