Talk:List of best-selling music artists/Archive 4

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AR rahman

RAHMAN needs source citation. can any one cite his more THAN 300 million hundred record —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:24, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Frank Sinatra 200+??

Somehow I am going to consider VH1 a greater authority on music than some German website.

In 1993, he re-signed to Capitol Records and recorded Duets, on which he re-recorded his old favorites, joined by other popular singers ranging from Tony Bennett to Bono of U2 (none of whom actually performed in the studio with him). It became his biggest-selling album, with sales over 3,000,000 copies, and was followed in 1994 by Duets II, which won the 1995 Grammy Award for Traditional Pop Performance.

So if his top selling album sold 3 million copies... I find it hard to really believe that he sold 200 million albums... let alone the 600 claimed on that German source.

Not to mention that every single reference I have ever seen for the top selling solo artists of all time rank Elvis Presely #1 and Garth Brooks #2.... and Garth is at something like 116 million album sales.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:59, 16 May 2007 (UTC).

Bias towards older artists

Since when does illegal downloading start in 1990, and since when does illegal downloading hurt music sales? Proof of this would be useful before declaring it a bias. The-bus 19:25, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Just to add something in on this that drives me nuts everytime I see something like that.

Those older than 30 can tell you that with out a doubt there is no way that music piracy today is greater than it was in the 80s.

Not in regards to full albums that people actually wanted... all you had to do was look at the tapes that everyone had. There might have been one store bought copy in a high school... and hundreds of copies of that one album.

When you look at someones CD collection today - you see a large number of CDs that were bought in the store.

When you looked at a tape case that held 30 to 50 tapes when I was in school you might have seen one or two store bought tapes... might

Ayumi Hamasaki

quit fucking deleting her name, she had a fucking source!

Ravenshield936 09:50, 12 April 2007 (UTC)ravenshield936

Ayumi is in the list, right?? this is what i found on WIKI: Ayumi Hamasaki (浜崎あゆみ, Hamasaki Ayumi?, born October 2, 1978) is a Japanese pop singer. Commonly known just as Ayu, Ayumi Hamasaki is one of the most popular and influential Japanese pop singers in Japanese music history, and is dubbed “The Empress of J-Pop”. She was born and raised in Fukuoka and moved to Tokyo to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Since her debut in 1998 with her first single "poker face," she has sold more than 50 million records, with the releases of her eight full-length studio albums, one mini-album, four compilation albums, 40 singles, and several non-studio albums, being the top selling solo and female artist and the fourth top selling Japanese artist in the history of Japan.[1] With the release of her 40th single "Blue Bird," Hamasaki's single sales have passed the 20 million mark, making her the first solo and female singer to do so.[2]

Vicky Leandros (singer

Vicky Leandros has officially exceeded the 150 million records according to Sony Classical and other sources.It appears in many catalogues in Greece and other countries. Here she appears for more than 50 millions. I think is wrong.--The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:34, 27 January 2007 (UTC).

If you can cite the source, feel free to adjust the chart accordingly.--Son of Somebody 17:42, 27 January 2007 (UTC) in "chronology" refers to 100 million copies. Also Sony Classical. The Sony Classical site says that Vicky has sold over 150 Million . There are many sites which say the same though I do not know how to transfer a reference . maybe someone else can help . I find many refs to 150M also I must say to less than that as well . However since every other singer here is listed with the highest claim or reference that can be found why should not this also be the case for Vicky ? Vicky received an award for her sales in excess of 150.000.000 in 2003 which was well publicised ( in IKONES magazine ) among others . It is unlikely that this official government given award would be given were the figures untrue . They are atleast as likely as all the other figures here . mindyou that may not be saying alot ! Vicky should not be demoted in listings I find to the 50/60 M area as there are many 150M claims for her - other artists are listed by the highest claims so she should be too .

Pink (singer)

hey i dont noe how but can sum1 plz add pink 2 the 50 million list cause i dont know how but she has sold over 50 million...if u dont believe me look at her page on this site

Her wiki page says she sold 30 million, and all websites found says 18 - 22 million. So sorry to say, Pink shopuld not be on the list. 03:05, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Rush 21:20, 4 December 2006 (UTC). Rush has 23 gold and 14 platinum albums (a little more than KISS). Shouldn't they be on here?

  • No. Rush has sold 25M in the US. Worldwide, the estimates are between 35 and 50 million, but certainly not more than 50M. While almost every record they've released has gone at least gold, very few have gone multiplatinum. As for the comparisons with KISS, either KISS's numbers are incredibly wrong (which is likely), or KISS must be far more popular overseas than they are domestically (very unlikely). KISS doesn't even appear on the RIAA's list of top-sellers. MikeCerm 00:06, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

KISS Does appear in [ in page 2 with 19 million. boricua00917 00:31 20 december 2007.

Tupac and Eminem 21:20, 4 December 2006 (UTC) There is a problem with '2pac' and 'Eminem', the source is outdated, as Tupac Shakur (2pac) is still the greatest selling rap artist of all time, yet eminem is under the 'over 100 million records sold' and 2pac is in the '50 million records sold', which doesn't add up.

It is actually the other way around, Shakur has sold over 100 million, where eminem has sold an estimated 75 million (even by his own wikipedia page). The information is incorrect and conflicting.

Shakur (2pac) should be in the "over 100 million" bracket, while eminem should be placed down in the "over 75 million" bracket.

If a member could clean this up it would be great.

Id say probs 72+ mill for eminem because of the re-up album and about 76-77 for 2pac is bout right. Then again if were talking about albums then its 72ish for eminem & 2pac 77 mil but this page says its about record sales+ album sales+ download sales, so both couls be above 100+ lose yourself by eminem sold around 8 mill alone —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alanjohns (talkcontribs) 14:11, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Tupac wiki page references a link from October 2006 that says Tupac has sold 73 million. It does not say over 100 million. Eminem's link says he has sold 70 million. So, yes, this should be moved. 03:13, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
I recall this being discussed and researched in November, so went back and checked this. The link says 70m for Eminem, but is 2005. His new album has sold 7.5 million, so 77.5 million total. This was reversed, but the research was good. Readded it back. 08:05, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Apologies, that should read 5.5m for his new album. 08:14, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Just need a citation claiming over 75 million.--Son of Somebody 04:57, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

what about best selling in different genres?

Can anybody make an extension to this article? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:52, 8 December 2006 (UTC).

Yeah someone should do this it would be much neater, good idea —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alanjohns (talkcontribs) 14:04, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

500 million + section

According to the evidence for the inclusion of Michael Jackson here, he has sold 750 million records? Eh? Sorry but that claim has come from a fans website and is total rubbish. There is no way on earth that he has sold that many. I doubt if he has sold in excess of 500 million. 250 million+, I think is acceptable. He is not and never will be in the same sales league as the Beatles and Elvis. If someone has the real evidence - i.e. sales per record - then happy to concede, but I doubt it given that his US Sales alone are less than 100 million.

Should there be a 500 million + section for Elvis, Beatles and Michael Jackson? They have sold so much more than the rest of the artists in the 250M+ section that a new section should be creating to show that these 3 artists are in a league of their own. 05:59, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't really see why. There's the section explaining it all at the top, and the seperate best seller article. --Robdurbar 11:16, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

i agree with a 500 million section even though elvis was such a copycat fake, and if you did put thet addition stupid people would add for example the crappy rolling stones to the 500 million list hahahaha--The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:27, 23 January 2007 (UTC).

A couple of users have tried to make this change today. I'm not entirely against it per se, but I'd like a bit of discussion here first for an explanation of why its needed. --Robdurbar 15:16, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

DONT PUT A 500 MILLION CAUSE THEN STUPID PEOPLE WILL PUT BING CROSBY OR LED ZEPELLIN, AND THATS PLAIN DUMB--The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:10, 14 February 2007 (UTC).

How is accurately reporting sales figures dumb?. It seems your version of events would be a better candidate for that. --Sicamous 21:50, 2 April 2007 (UTC)


I reversed this as most links on the net are saying 100 - 150m. As they have sold 68m in the USA alone (RIAA), it does not sound feasible that their world total is less than 100m as they are the most popular heavy metal band in the world. 08:25, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

do you know that they are the most popular band in the world?

They are not a heavy metal band. Hard rock it is called. Kaiketsu 10:23, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

This is vert true. AC/DC does come in with something like 70 million U.S. sales alone. They are also hugely popular in the Uk, Japan, Canada and other parts of the world. I would guestimate that AC/Dc has sold somewhere near 175 million worldwide - if not more.

As for most popular band worldwide - that one still goes to the Beatles, maybe Rolling Stones second, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd are also up there.

Abba - not over 250 million

I have recently read a very informative article which listed many reliable source (unfortunately I can not find the article again) which states Abba has not sold over 250 million albums - as speculated - but they have actually sold something more like 160 million albums. This sounds more accurate to me - as in reality in countries like the U.s. - not many of Abba's albums were mega-hits. The areas they were mega-hits - only sold in the hundred thousands. In the U.S. (which is usually the biggest selling market for most artists Abba has sold under 20 million albums - something around 17 million). In proportion for Abba to have sold 250 million copies worldwide - they most likely would have had to sell something like 50 million or more in the U.S. alone.

abba , rod stewart? queen? 250 million? this is too funny --The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:58, 23 January 2007 (UTC).

I stand and firmly believe Abba is at around 160 million copies. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:26, 3 January 2007 (UTC).

Remember this is albums AND singles. Throughout their career, there has been many references to their climb in sales. In 1976 their world sales were estimated at 40 million (Harry Edgington biography ISBN 0905018 745), the reissue of the same book in late 1977 references 60m sold. "More than 150 million ABBA records were estimated to have passed over shop counters in the 1970's" (John Tobler ISBN 0 312 11227 0 - 1993). In 1995, the estimate was 275 million (Miguel Angel Sanchez biography ISBN 84-376-1339-6). In 2001, the estimate was 300 million (Carl Magnus Palm biography ISBN 0 7119 8389 5). In 2004 Universal and Polar Studios awarded then disks for 365m in sales. Currently they are still selling 3m per year. As with all the top acts, when you add up their sales data, it isn't even close to the figures being pushed about. Therefore all you can do is reference reliable sources. 09:19, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

According to the RIAA site's "top artists" chart, ABBA sold 10.5 million albums in the US. I don't dispute the 250 million+ figure but still, if Led Zeppelin is reported to have sold 300 million records then the ABBA figure is probably as accurate as that is. Led Zeppelin never released any singles which were successful. And I'm very sure that their single sales worldwide won't even cumulatively add up to 1 million. On the other hand, they weren't very popular outside the US. I doubt they've sold 200 million records outside the US(109.5 million in the US alone) but the sources say they did so meh... <a href=""><font color="orange"><b>Saif</b></font></a> 16:32, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

500 Million and 1 Billion Categories?

This page breaks down 50,75,100, and 250 million. Please add over 1 Billion and 500 million to the top of this list. The Beatles and Elvis Presley are in a class by themselves at over 1 billion and Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra over 500 million. They deserve distinction with their extraordinary success far beyond all the other categories. Avatar413 12:59, 26 January 2007 (UTC)


There is the Best selling music artist page. The claims of 500 million and 1 billion are nowhere near certain enough to create sub sections. --Robdurbar 13:41, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Oasis- 50 million

who keeps deleting Oasis off the 50 million or more list, they have definitely not sold over 50 million and pretty much every site says so. [1] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:14, 30 January 2007 (UTC).

Ace of Base/ 2 Unlimited

Hey, I've got a question: why aren't Ace of Base and 2 Unlimited in this list? I don't no how much they sold, but both groups were a hype in the 90's, and both groups were populair in at least 4 continents. Perhaps they don't reach any of the numbers in this list, but I still would think that it would be at least something to find out. Maybe anybody knows more about the record-sales of these both groups? -- 17:00, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

2 Unlimited didnt sell that many, they have several dance hits in the 1990s but nothing on this scale, as for Ace of Base, they were extremely popular at one time but they sort of died out after that. 18:55, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Hey, the producer of Ace of Base has a new band [since lik,e 10 years ago XD} called Sweetbox im not sdure of their sales, but i remember seing something that they have sold over 70 Million in compilations alone. not sure if this is true, memory could be failing me here. XD (Impracticable 13:39, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Ayumi Hamasaki, 50 Million

Ayumi Hamasaki has just sold her 50 millionth album. I think she deserves to be on the list, first off, she meets the requiremtns, second, she is the best selling female artist ever. She just sold her 50 millionth about a week ago. i will go look to see if i can find her sales estimates on RIAJ or something. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Impracticable (talkcontribs) 13:10, 3 February 2007 (UTC).


What does that have to do with Ayumi? If you feel those artists should be on the list, add them and see whether they hold up to scrutiny. And please stop shouting. 23:53, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

The issue is not that they have sold these figures, as most believe/know this is true. The problem is that it needs to be referenced, and to date have not seen any sources to say these figures. The best reference is actually her discography on wikiprdia, but the policy for wiki is that wikipedia cannot be a reference for itself. So rather than complaining, please do research - especially japanese sites, and track down a verifiable resource. 08:41, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

That is a problem, as Ayumi has just recieved this recently. It will be a little while or so until she gets a very reliable recognition for it. I will see if I can find an English site that confirms this. Ayumi4u 23:58, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

JOHNNY MATHIS 350 million record sales worldwide.

A recent BBC radio documentary by the respected chart and music critic Paul Gambacini has quoted Johnny Mathis as having sold over "350-Million records" worldwide. This is proberbly true given his 50 years on the music charts. His albums have sold consistantly well with over 73 charted in the USA charts alone. His UK albums have also been big sellers as have Canadian, French,South American, Australian,South African and some other european countrys. Then there is his massive single sales in the early years and late seventies. Some notable USA sales are his Merry Cristmas album from 1958 still available with approx 6 million sales, His 1958 Greatest Hits approx 4 million, Heavenly from 1959 sold 2.5 milion to name but some. His total stay on the USA album charts have given him the 3rd highest total stay just less than Elvis and Sinatra.Mathis selling 350 million records seems proberbly about right.

Alla Pugacheva, Bing Crosby, Chubby Checker, Cliff Richard, Julio Iglesias, Nana Mouskouri, Rod Stewart, and Tino Rossi have not sold over 250 [b]million[/b] albums. Almost all sources have little to no credibility, I suggest removing them from the list until finding proof that is beyond a reasonable doubt. Even though I'm uncertain about some of the rest, the sources seem to be credible, and their careers have left a staple on society.

Example: Chubby Checker - The first source is a poster made to advertise him, of course it's going to be partial. The second source looks like it was made by someone fooling around in HTML. It later goes on to say tickets will be on sale. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Leethal (talkcontribs) 20:42, 3 February 2007 (UTC).

Well I'm pretty sure you're right about most of those people there but Bing Crosby should definitely be up there. Bing Crosby was more popular in his time than Frank Sinatra was at any time... So if you're going to remove Bing, you have to remove Frank. Other than that, I don't know about Rod Stewart's sales much. Can't say. He's probably closer to 200 million sales...but still...when you've got Led Zeppelin up there with the dodgy "Polar Music Award" site as source, removing Rod would be hypocrisy since Led Zeppelin's albums never did well outside the US. At best they've sold 150 million albums, and most sources quote 175-200 million, but it seems everyone's using the highest figures they can find to promote their favourite bands. Same case with ABBA. Yeah sure, they've definitely sold upwards of 250 million records but not 370 million...I mean come on! They've only sold 10.5 million albums in the US and probably a million singles there at best. XXSaifXx 08:16, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you need to check the last line of the introduction :"This means that these figures should be considered claims, not facts." We don't take any old website - fourms, pure fancruft etc - but becasue there's no official body recording these figures, we have to be fairly flexible. --Robdurbar 10:37, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I would like to add that instead of complaining about what you *think* is wrong, then why not try and a better source instead. I think it would be great if the page used more paper sources. --Maitch 11:01, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
That is EXACTLY what I just said. I can't find a reputable source for Chubby Checker, so if someone can find one that's better, that's great. Until then though, he should not be on the list. And why would I try and find a better source for what I know is wrong, that doesn't make any sense. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Leethal (talkcontribs) 11:12, 7 February 2007 (UTC).

With the exception of sales info for elvis, the beatles, kenny rogers and garth brooks, everyone else's sales claims are pure fiction. 02:50, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, there is a lot of fancruft here, but as Rob said, there's not much that we can do. Almost certainly, however, the claims for certain artists are exaggerated beyond belief. Obviously Bing Crosby has not sold 900 million records worldwide; any suggestions to the contrary are merely promotional and can be ignored. The same goes for a lot of these other artists here (The Beatles have not sold over a billion, neither has Elvis, and Michael Jackson has not sold 750 million). It's important to understand that many of these figures are PR gimmicks by the record companies of these artists. Beyond that, we can't do much here. People will just have to be very cautious about what they read into these claims.UberCryxic 23:16, 13 March 2007 (UTC)


Ozzie's page says 70+ million album sales, but is uncited. Anyone? (The Elfoid 21:48, 26 March 2007 (UTC))

Diana Ross/Supremes

Given her now 48 years in the industry, I am CERTAIN Diana Ross is somewhere in the top 10. Anyone got any idea of record sales for Diana?

If it's just Diana Ross solo, then she is not anywhere in the top ten all time. The Supremes should've been mentioned. They are not top ten, but they are definitely up there.UberCryxic 17:22, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Top ten best-sellers? Even combined with The Supremes, her sales are suprisingly low. Yes she has had a lot of #1's (which rockets her on the list), but her album sales aren't that good. In the US she only has a few platinum albums (including The Supremes) and not one double platinum (though it should be noted that her Greatest Hits album with The Supremes I think should be x2 platinum since it was #1 for 5 weeks). Together, I would like to say she's somewhere in the 50-100 million range, but not any higher. Ayumi4u 20:07, 25 April 2007 (UTC)


The listing of genres is not helpful because it relies on editors' opinions and has the potential to take up too much space (see the Alice Cooper entry). For example, Led Zeppelin recorded songs with a folk rock influence, but I will venture to say that Led Zeppelin albums or CDs have never been so categorized in any retail environment, and this article is about commercial performance. The Beatles performed much more folk-rock than Zeppelin, yet they are labelled much more clearly as simply "pop/rock". But since this article, like so many others, appears to be 'controlled' by anonymous IPs who will always insist that Queen is "prog-rock", I suppose this is just me spitting into the wind...--Son of Somebody 12:16, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Well Queen is mainly Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Their first album was more like a classic power metal rock-opera. The second one too, in addition to being a concept album. A Night At The Opera has "The Prophet's Song" - clearly prog-rock but not enough to make Queen a prog-rock band. XXSaifXx 17:39, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Well some moron called Kiss heavy metal and Iron Maiden hard rock. Biased piece of shit. Oh, and very early Queen is prog-rock/hard rock with some heavy metal in it.--Gustav Lindwall 19:11, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

"Possible biases of this page"

This entire section is speculation and really should go. Corvus cornix 21:22, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I agree. It adds no value to the list. 22:30, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

We need some reliable sources for that section. It's a good idea to have sort of disclaimer, so we shouldn't get rid of entirely.UberCryxic 16:50, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. This page needs a disclaimer because worldwide sales tend to be inaccurate. Ayumi4u 20:09, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Adding a 175/200 million sub-category

I think this would be great idea. Right now the sub-categories go as followed: 50, 75, 100, huge gap to 250, 500. This way people would get a more general understanding and people wouldn't think that people ike Dolly Parton or A. R. Rahman have sold as much as Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. I don't think the 175/200 is needed more than the 75 mill ever was. I'll organize it myself if that's what the people want. What's everyones opinion of this? Ayumi4u 00:16, 27 April 2007 (UTC)


the source given in the Enya entry is a little lightwight (a review on a cd sales site). I'll replace it with the respective section in the FAQ of her official site. Wefa 00:45, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Ayumi Hamasaki

Ok Dudes, Just add Ayumi. Under the RIAJ she has sold over 50 million in Japan Alone. Under Oricon She has sold about 47 million in Japan Alone. She has also sold many more in other countries. She deserves to be on the list. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:24, 14 May 2007 (UTC).

Most agree she deserves to be on the list, but it is finding the reference that is allowable. Linking to wiki is not Maggott2000 21:21, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

omg who the hell removed her name again? someone have something against her?



I take you seriously, as anyone writing in all caps is always serious.--Gustav Lindwall 19:10, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Edit to change of format

This was discussed once before, but without concensus. I would like to propose that the overall chart structure be amended. This is to make it be the article it is reporting o be. Rather than having a 'source' column, this would make more sense to be the 'claim' column, with sources tagged beside it. The reason being is that although it lists the artists it does not show the actual claim, so Users need to go to every link to verify. Also with the ability to now sort the columns, Users can then sort by claim if need be.

The other area this article is lacking, is an 'alternative' area for artists that have sold under multiple groups/as solo for example Paul McCartney, Cher, Robbie Williams, Michael Jackson where their representation on the list is much lower in some cases, as they are separated. I believe Cher's sales are impacted the most. Maybe an addendum at the bottom with a note specifying full sales by these artists. Maggott2000 22:55, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

The user Maggott2000 is right, many artists have their representation on the list much lower as they are separated, another example is Tina Turner who has her representation much lower, she's in the 50 million list when she should be in the list of 100 million or more due to her sales over 180 million since her debut in the 60's. And I agree with the changes in the article and the creation of a note specifying full sales by these artists. This article needs to be fixed. Salmoria 2 July 2007 (UTC)

no thats not a good idea at all! there will be an edit war between mccartney, lennon and jackson fans! it would lead to speculation, no need to go down that route. Realist2 12:52, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

The user Realist2 is completely wrong, this article really needs to be fixed as soon as possible, there won't be a war because of an addendum at the bottom with a note specifying full sales. This is a great idea. Stelllamariss 16:56 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I also think that the suggestions by the user maggott2000 are very good, they will improve this article very much especially if a 'claim' column be created. Fiskar 17:20 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I think you mis understand, in principle i think its great expecially for the likes of tina turner etc. however I have great concerns about the top end artists. we can always give it a try, see how it goes and if an edit war breaks out just revert back to this method that stands? I dont think it should be a definate thing and should go back if it causes serious problemsRealist2 20:36, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

NOT only for the likes of Tina Turner but also the likes of Cher,Paul McCartney,Robbie Williams etc... Yes we need to change the article and see how it goes, what in my opinion won't create a war, and yes, improve the quality of this article. Salmoria 13:05 4 July 2007 (UTC)

well it is worth a try maybe, I dont under stand the need though, if someone wants to no how well an artist has sold then they can just add together the figures already provided, people using wikipedia are not stupid, they can easily add the 2 figures together to reach a grand total.Realist2 18:59, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes, WE ARE NOT STUPID, but to know the total, we, Users, need to go to every link to verify and add the 2 figures, if an addendum at the bottom with a note specifying full sales by these artists be created it will be better and easier. Salmoria 19:29 4 July 2007 (UTC)

alphabetical order ???

please, what's the definition of "alphabetical order" in this article ?!?!???!?!? anyhow, at the moment it's VERY wrong ordered!!! or it's a joke 21:32, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

George Michael

Wham! was George Michael, so shouldnt those sale figures (aprox. 40 million) be added to his solo-sales of 85? Wham! was essentially a solo-project with Andrew playing the guitar. 18:41, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Unreliable sources

Firstly, and dramatic changes as has been done has to go through discussion. You do not just go ahead and do it. Secondly, wikipedia is about 'verifiable sources', and all these are verifiable. The fact that they are from official sites does not amke them a conflict of interest, as the actual artists did not participate in the sites. Thirdly, if the ones selected were to be removed, then the same can be said for MJ's (conveniently left on, as User is part of the MJ Project). Forthly, if wikipedia were to use unreliability as a criteria, then the entire article would need to be removed. The only reliable source is the sales data, and nobody collects these globally. UWC is the most referred to, but only annual sales. Maggott2000 00:46, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

y are you bringing up the fact that I am a member of the mj project? what does that have to do with anything? infact there were a few from official sites I left in place not so much because I didnt want to delete them but because it would cause to much conflict. People are entitled to join whichever project they choose and should not be judged or thought of as less reliable because of these offiliations. It is not your place to tell others of my edit history or direction unless I am a vandal to wikipedia, behaviour like this will not be tolerated. Realist2 09:50, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree. It was not professional. My apologies. Maggott2000 09:35, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Christina Aguilera??

Just wondering but hasnt she sold enough to be on this list? Yeah id say she has too need a good reference :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alanjohns (talkcontribs) 20:20, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

David Bowie

He is not glam rock whatsover. Dude's made four albums that are in the genre of glam rock which would be Diamond Dogs, Ziggy Stardust, Pin-Ups, and Aladdin Sane. Hell, if you want to put Scary Monsters in as glam rock, go right ahead. That's five. He's had twenty three solo albums all together. So, there's eighteen albums right there not in the genre of glam rock. David Bowie is avante garde pop.

Should Britney Spears be put in the 100 million category?

I was thinking about this recently and i decided to share it with all you... Dont you think that britney has sold over 100 million records. i mean there isn't any source that claims total sales for her less than 100 million. just take a look at that.

... baby one more time: 28 million oops i did it again: 24 million britney: 15 million in the zone: 10 million greatest hits: my prerogative: 8 million B in the mix: 1 million

total: 86 million albums! + about 50 million singles = 136 million!!!

she has surely sold over 100 million records worldwide! what do others say!?

You cant include single sales with album sales if so then this hole page needs re sorting.

proof about the album sales:

[2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

--Mysterious Spy 10:21, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

If there is a single undisputed source then yes, im sure she has, i remember a documentary resently that said she had sold 75 million albums so its very possible. Realist2 18:05, 28 July 2007 (UTC)


(The Elfoid 15:54, 21 October 2007 (UTC))

Frank Sinatra (again)

The website used as a source states "Sinatras Songs, darunter "New York, New York", sollen weltweit mit etwa 600 Millionen Schallplatten verkauft worden sein." "Sollen" means "is supposed to" or "is said to" in this context, and no source is given. This cannot be regarded as a good quality reference for this information.

The RIAA[1], surely a reliable source, states that Sinatra sold 25.5 million certified units in the US (cf. 170 million for the Beatles). It seems extremely unlikely that Sinatra sold over 600 million in the world, but only 25.5 million in the US. It is much more plausible to place Sinatra in the 100 million plus category. AussieBoy 13:05, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Sinatra falls into the same catagory as Crosby, in that he was a big seller prior to RIAA was set up in 1952, so none of his sales will be credited except those after 1952. So comparing to The Beatles is not valid. Maggott2000 11:13, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

What happened to Bing Crosby?

Bing is generally estimated to have sold approximately 1 Billion disks.

Even if you feel there isn't enough documentation from the 1930s and 40s to justify the 1 Billion claim, he should at least *appear* somewhere on the list.

Bing Crosby should indeed be on the list. A reference stating that he sold 900 million records is Best Selling Musicians: Top selling musicians of all time ranked by number of albums sold This has previously been removed by an apparently one-eyed Michael Jackson supporter, on the basis that Bing is pictured with other musicians. There are plenty of pictures of Michael Jackson with the Jackson 5 too--so what? The reference clearly indicates a sales total of 900 million for Bing Crosby. And btw, I am most certainly NOT a Bing Crosby fan. I just think his contribution (supported by an appropriate reference) should be noted. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by AussieBoy (talkcontribs).
Have seen this link also, but the problem is that all the detail from this almanac is derived from wikipedia, so is a wiki clone, so cannot be used. The point is not that he belongs on the list, the point is that it is hard to find a reference that states it. Although your comment about MJ sales being inclusive of J5 is true, removing J5 sales he remains in the same sales bracket. There is another reference I found from Time magazine from 1945 saying Bring had sold 75 million worldwide back then[13], but it is hard to get from 75 million to 900 million. Good luck in finding a good reference. Maggott2000 11:00, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I am not a "one eyed michael Jackson supporter" Im getting quite fucked off with people like Aussieboy and Maggott 2000 judgeing how valid my edits are based on my offiliation to the michael jackson wiki project, if you look at my edits on this page I am a major positive contributor so how dare you put that on me, frankly the source blatantly suggested that it was a combination of group and solo work which cant be counted on this article as its either one or the other. As for michael Jacksons hes so amazing that even without the Jackson 5 he still remain in the top 500 mill section. As I have said before this sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable, it is not your place to tell others of my edit history unless I am a vandal on wikipedia (which Im not) I suggest an apology is in order. Realist2 11:13, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

What is unacceptable, and deserves an apology is the language used in the above comment. Maggott2000 18:51, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I am not sure what evidence you have that the Noblemind link is based on Wikipedia. I am happy to accept that this is so if you have evidence. In any case, another link stating sales of 400 million at the time of his death is [14] This looks OK to me so I will go ahead and use it. AussieBoy 01:16, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
The evidence is in the articles about each of the artists. You will note they are word for word what wikipedia has, therefore the article has been derived from wikipedia. The new link provided is exactly what is required, so should not cause any issues. Good finding Maggott2000 09:07, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Pink Floyd

I moved Pink Floyd from the 250 million bracket to the 100 million bracket. The cite for the 250 million claim was circular linking. It was merely a page that copied text from Pink Floyd's own wikipedia page, which listed the 250 million figure while the cite for the claim, at, says 200 million. I also edited Pink Floyd's page to reflect the figure from the cite used. 20:52, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Why the heck are you putting Pink Floyd in the 250 million bracket when the citation you're using claims 200 million? With that cite, they belong in the 100 million bracket. Stop reverting. 22:22, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Pink Floyd claimed 250 million, edit please. has old information.

The first two links are wikipedia based articles i.e the information is directly from the wikipedia Pink Floyd page. The third link also closely resembles this list, but does not specify as such - just says it was gathered from various sources. There is enough doubt to suggest it is from wiki also. Therefore none of these links are relevant. 04:20, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

-- Try this link: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Walrus89PF (talkcontribs) 15:30, 2 September 2007 (UTC) -- Or this: not based on Wikipedia information —Preceding unsigned comment added by Walrus89PF (talkcontribs) 15:41, 2 September 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Walrus89PF (talkcontribs) 15:44, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Are you think that every resource that say Pink Floyd have sold more 250 million albums is based on Wikipedia? Edit, please your list. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Walrus89PF (talkcontribs) 16:10, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

two links are valid references. The hitzonly is forum based, so is not. There is a policy on what constitutes a verified source and what does not. It is not decided by upon editors to this list, and they are just trying to keep within the boundaries. '10:56, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

semi protection

can we semi protect this page im tired of having to revert vandals. Ideas anyone.Realist2 20:20, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

It is an easy process. Just list it on Wikipedia:Requests for page protection. I agree that this needs protection due to the rampant vandalism, but it should be noted that this protection will only stop those from anonymous IP addresses, whereas the vandalism is across registered Users also. Same can be said for List of best-selling albums worldwide Maggott2000 00:12, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Its better than nothing surely. Realist2 19:38, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Didn't say it wasn't. Said I agreed with your decision Maggott2000 10:56, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Excellent we reach a consensus (something thats rare between me and you) (im being humours) would you mind dealing with it as well as the other article, I cant completely understand the page (I dont no the meanings of some of those english words) , cheers. Realist2 18:09, 5 September 2007 (UTC)


watha hell happened to eminem...?? pls somebody add eminem back to the list--Frans Adiesha 13:02, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Will do some hater keeps deleting him - alanjohns


okay who deleted Shania Twain off the list? She has sold over 75 million copies worldwide but she's not on any of the list. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:38, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

1 billion sales caterogry

Someone keeps removing the 1 billion sales for no apparent reason. Both the artists in this cateogry are backed up by readily verifiable sources, one from guiness world records and the other from the official website. These sourced figures are twice as high as the previous 500 millions section, so it should warrent its own. And before anyone even starts up on debating the truthfulness of these figures remember, wikipedia is based on verifiability, not truth. -- 11:08, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

  • im not removing the 1 billion category but i have to say that there is absolutely NO artist or band that has sold over 1 billion.
  • michael jacksons sales are put to over than 750 million
  • elvis prisleys sales are about 500-600 million 'cause none of his albums has charted in the best selling list therefore it whouldn't be wrong to say that elvis has sold WAY less than 50 million.
  • The Beatles according record guiness have sold over 1 billion COUNTING their solo careers.


there is need for a billion category since there is no artist to be placed there.

--Mysterious Spy 13:58, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

  • ok i cant accept this nonsense! there is no logical claim and there is no claim in general that puts an artists sales to surpassthe 1 billion mark and i explained this befor!!!! i just removed the one billion section!

--Mysterious Spy 14:14, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

  • Good decision to remove the one billion section!! Christo jones 14:25, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

I am re-instating the one billion sales category, because your arguments/ramblings are based purely on unsourced speculation. According to VERIFIABLE sources, there are two artists who have claimed to have over 1 billion in sales. And I will state this again, wikipedia is based on VERIFIABILITY not truth. And furthermore, if that 750 million claim by Jackson's PR folk that you so proudly proclaim is allowed, then I see no reason why a 1 billion category based on a source from GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS shouldn't be included.-- 23:52, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

People people people, it doesn`t matter weither or not we personally believe the 1 billion claims, the point is some organisations that have a good reputation are saying they have sold 1 billion. As for michael Jackson the 750 million was not made by his PR it was announced at the world music awards in 2006, beyonce announced it, if you go on the michael Jackson article it is actually sourced to youtube and beyonce clearly announces it [[15]]. I removed the 1 billion catagory resently not because I have a problem with the 1 billion claims, I might not believe it personally but I do accept the claim was made by a very reliable source such as guiness world records. The reason I deleted it was because a consensus had previously been reached not to have a 1 billion catagory. That said consensus can be changed, if enough people want the new 1 billion catagory included a new consensus can be reached and it should be included. Realist2 17:50, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

ALL EDITORS SHOULD VOTE ON THE ONE BILLION TO STAY OR GO TO MAKE LIFE EASIER. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:43, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Dixie Chicks

Aren't the Dixie Chicks the greatest selling female band in history? Where are they?

AChrispy 17:08, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Bruce Springsteen

Why is he not on the list? Hes sold more than 60million records in the US alone. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:51, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Celine Dion

I have no idea why Celine Dion is not even near the top of the 100 million albums section. Her Wikipedia page, and her record label announced that she has sold over 200 million albums worldwide. She had released 36 albums and 139 singles. She outsold Madonna and The Backstreet Boys. Why is she so low on the chart? She was higher the last time I checked, which was a couple of days ago.



Now please move it into it's appropriate place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:03, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

30 Million category

I think there should be one for 30million because I added people like SWV, TLC, EN VOGUE, BEYONCE, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE and etc to the 50 Million and under category..then you guys erased it which he pretty dumb because it says 50 million and under. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:20, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Quality of music?

"Bias of fans, who feel that quantity of records sold, equates to quality of music" - Why is this a constraint on determining which artists are best-selling? This is, if anything, only a constraint on determining which artists have the highest-quality music, which is entirely outside the scope of this page. -Silence 04:34, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Robbie Williams

why is robbie williams not on the 50 million list —Preceding unsigned comment added by BERTIE LOST FAN (talkcontribs) 15:02, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Because he's a faggot hack, that's why. --Shifty86 17:26, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Confusing headings

"100 million records or more/less"
"75 million records or more/less"
"50 million records or more/less"

Is it me, or does this not make any sense? What is "more/less" supposed to mean?? Does it mean "approximately" (as in the phrase "more or less")? Needs clarifying in the article I think. Matt 18:30, 5 December 2007 (UTC).

The Beatles - 1 billion table

The Beatles are under the 500 million table. But in the reference link to "", it says, and I quote: EMI and the Guinness Book of World Records estimate that more than 1-billion Beatles albums, singles and CDs have been sold worldwide". Surely this is good enough for them to be put into a '1 billion or more' table as when reading the article it sounds like all the artists in that table (Beatles, Crosby, Presley, Jackson and Sinatra) have sold between 500-999 million. Poiuytre (talk) 16:39, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

please start new discussions at the bottom of the page. This issue has been discussed many times before and the decision was to leave them all at that place. Realist2 (talk) 16:44, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Elvis Presley is the best-selling artist of all time with 1.2 billion albums sold worldwide. The Beatles are just over 1 billion, and Garth Brooks is at around 800 million. These figures come from industry sources, which are subject to hype, but are entirely believeable in my mind when you consider the number of years, number of albums, and the untold millions sold by pirates. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:55, 17 May 2008 (UTC)


I know its not as important as everything else, but theres some typos in the article. Could anyone fix it up, or should I do it???Rakhtael (talk) 13:10, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Michael Jackson has sold more than the Beatles. You cannot consider albums and singles. Just albums.

Sources need cconfirmation on reliability

On checking just a few random entries another editor and myself have found several of the citations are nothing more than links to Wikipedia mirros or blog entries which do not meet up to WP:RS policy. Wikipedia cannot be used as a reference for its own content. Some degree of scrutiny should be undertaken to verify the weblinks used in this article. As for now its standing as a reliable resource for information has been compromised by the Wiki-mirror links. It has been an unstable article for as long as its been around on Wikipedia. If the reliability of the content can't be improved the article may have to go to an AfD to decide its fate. (talk) 19:44, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I found and removed a few that did not have references. Furthermore, is this article even necessary? (talk) 13:47, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
I think so. As long as all artists' sales in it are sourced, it's a fairly good resource. Funeral 13:51, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Are we to keep artists single-sourced, I see some of the multiple sources have been removed because I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to have more than one source if they seem reliable. Also, I don't think we should simply remove artists at least the popular ones the source of which may be outdated or nonfunctional instead we should help the page by locating sources or simply place [citation needed] as I had next to the source of Adriano Celentano which is still there and nonfunctional.--Harout72 (talk) 18:34, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

There is no such thing as too many sources as long as they meet up to WP:RS and support WP:V. Book/Pro publication sources are better than web sources since most web sources are either unreliable, masked Wiki mirrors, or peacock self-refs with ballooned sales figures coming directly from the artists themselves. (talk) 20:31, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Many of the extra sources were either dead/non-reliable/unneeded. This article receives a lot of sneaky vandalism, so a special thanks to those editors that try keeping it free of vandalism, and in a neutral point view. There are indeed many musicians from around the world missing from this list. Unfortunately, finding reliable sources is not easy. Even for musicians such as Fela Kuti, and Bob Dylan. (talk) 02:58, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Most of the info given is crap! Either the fans are inflating or the record companies are! there should be a way to at least put the fans' continuous attempts to inflate the numbers of their favorite artists to an end... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:47, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

185 sources seems to be impressive, but in fact is unreliable and hopelessly outdated. e.g. number 21 regarding the "rolling stones" is from 1990, some 18 years ago. ( but the stones are still rocking and rolling more successful than ever. a newer source may be: (reliable?) i understand that collecting these numbers is not easy and needs a real 'musicologist' & serious researcher, not a fan. but please keep it and keep it updated, because it is a wonderful scale to measure popularity and mainstream taste and culture. (talk) 13:26, 20 March 2008 (UTC) stephan


This whole thing makes me sick. Even sources that meet WP:RS criteria are dated AFTER they were first posted on Wikipedia. Led Zeppelin and AC/DC are just two examples. Those bands' respective Wiki articles claimed 300 million and 150 million albums sold long before more "reputable" sources published those figures as "fact". Now those "reputable sources" are used as citations on Wikipedia to back up figures that were started on Wikipedia in the first place. It's disgusting. Lazy journalists have been using Wikipedia as a source and now we have to swallow these figures because they're subsequently published in "reputable" sources? Please see the Talk Pages of Led Zeppelin and AC/DC to see what I'm dealing with. And it's far from just them. This disease has infected the articles for Pink Floyd, The Who, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Queen, and on and on. What can be done about it? (talk) 03:57, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

There seems to some trend towards building some artifical league table of record sales so as to prove 'my favourite band is better than yours'. What can be done is for someone with some Wiki authority to declare that there is no one who compiles data on worldwide sales and all this nonsense can be removed. Will this ever happen.........--Egghead06 (talk) 08:40, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
God, I hope it happens, because this thing is a farce. And people are calling me a vandal for removing this garbage. (talk) 08:50, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
What about the Michael Jackson claim of 750 million sales worldwide? His main article lists a news article as a reference. Iam (talk) 00:59, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
I have seen this exact thing on many websites, even so called creditable ones. This is why sales data provided by the record companies is most important. Their data is audited for tax purposes. The data by a recording industry association is from the record companies and undergoes another audit for their awards (assuming the record company wants to do that) I personally do not like this website, I have noticed many false statements and biographies for Japanese musicians, an industry that I'm familiar with since it is part of my career. So I have been at war with many other editors over those articles, and finally made some progress to change things. Also it took me a long time, but I found a few reliable sources for Japanese musicians for this article, which dispelled nonsense written in other articles. I think wiki articles for musicians should be basic, and include nothing but official information, and not allow stupid things such as "rolling stone magazine listed him as 5th greatest guitarist of all time" and other such nonsense. (talk) 17:04, 18 February 2008 (UTC)


Can someone please explain this? "Note also, that with the exception of the 500 Million level, artists within each category are sorted alphabetically, NOT by rank.". It isn't by sales data, not by alphabetical listing, or any other order that I can make out for the 500m section. Why separate it differently to the rest of the list? Why not just keep it all alphabetical? (talk) 08:54, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

I corrected the alphabetical order within the 500 mil. section. Since artists were neither by rank nor alphabetically, I thought we should have at least one.--Harout72 (talk) 18:13, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Best Selling Artists

It states as fact that three artists have been nominated in the past as being the worlds best-sellers, yet there is no reference or evidence to suggest this (in the artical). As such it is open to vandalism, as anyone can add lesser known groups as they are as open to the speculation and non validity of those listed. Curiously, if you read the MJ page, it states he was awarded the "Artist of the Millennium" award, but read the reference, and he wasn't. Therefore does such a reference to him being the world's best-seller exist? Also take into account, the award for "Most Successful Artist" has not been stated as being for best-selling. Success can be attributed to many things. If non-referenced, I think it should state that the best-selling artist is unknown - fullstop. (talk) 09:20, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes I have mentioned that before, and tried to remove it from the article. I also read that his album "thriller" sold more than 100 million copies, which according to the record company is not true, because they mentioned the album sold around 45 million copies (that is a huge difference) this whole article garbage. I quickly received this in a few minutes [16] it is interesting that in Michael Jackons own market, his thriller album is the second best selling album with just over 20 million copies sold. That means it had to sell more than 80 million copies in foreign markets to reach such a statement, and where is the audit from those markets to acknowledge such a claim? (talk) 16:39, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Michael Jackson has sold over 750 million albums worldwide also, —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jmesmith1892 (talkcontribs) 00:24, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Not according to his record company. In addition, they stated his album "thriller" selling around 25 million. Information that is audited for legal reasons. (talk) 12:16, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Page protection

I requested for page protection as the vandalism is at ridiculously high level from anonymous IPs mostly. Semi-protection will expire on the 16th of August, 2008. --Harout72 (talk) 01:43, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Great now I can't edit the article anymore. Would of been better to request those editors to be banned from editing. Many of the vandals include new accounts as well, which is likely someone being a sock-puppet. (talk) 17:08, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I know you help out a lot keeping vandals out, but I just felt that it was really going out of control. Frankly, it's quite annoying to put all the time into reverting versions over and over when we could put that time to toss out those artists with unreliable sources or locate better/more reliable sources, because as far as I am concerned it's impossible to fight against every single whelp.--Harout72 (talk) 01:16, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Yeah So Why Aint Tupac On There

His Sold Well Over 75 Million Albums + Over 15 Million Singles / Check His Wikipedia Page For Sources —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ibringgoodnews (talkcontribs) 22:43, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Tupac was a criminal who laundered drug money through his record companies. His figures are inflated by roughly 1000%. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:49, 17 May 2008 (UTC)


Dylan still plays music. so it has to be "60s - Present". -- (talk) 21:08, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

The Jacksons/ Jackson 5

What happen to the jacksons didnt the sell over 100 million. The were on the list prior why havce thge been removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:45, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Find a source and ill add it for you. Realist2 (talk) 18:05, 7 April 2008 (UTC) (talk) 00:02, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Here is the evidence that the Jackson 5 sold that much: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jmesmith1892 (talkcontribs) 00:31, 14 April 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Herbert von Karajan

While he's not exactly the most well-known name on this list, Karajan is very much in the wrong category. He should be moved up into the 200-500 million section. The source used for his placing in the 100-200 million section is a 1990 New York Times article that has the disadvantages of being both nearly 20 years out of date and significantly under-researched. In his 2007 book The Life and Death of Classical Music, (p.137) musicologist Norman Lebrecht suggests that the number is at least 200 million. Moreover, even his figures do not take into account compilation CDs where Karajan was not necessarily the main artist; I think it's certainly justifiable to consider these just as valid as 'single' recordings, which is a luxury this list affords to pop artists. And he doesn't take into account internet downloads, which are significant because classical music sales represent a big chunk in that market - as much as 12%. Karajan's main record label (Deutsche Grammophon) was also the first to open their own dedicated download store, alongside what iTunes etc offer, and the majority of Karajan's recordings are available to download. Karajan also remains one of their top selling artists on an annual basis. Even if the number were something like 205 million, and I would suggest it's a good deal higher than that (closer to 225-30), he should still qualify for the 200-500 category. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:52, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Provide a source for his higher sales and ill add it. Realist2 (talk) 18:08, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I shall have a look around. The figure of 'over 200' million pops up a lot - see here, for example. And I myself read it in the aforementioned Lebrecht book. But I'll see what I can find. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:55, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Okay, here is an article which puts the figure at a flat 200 million:

The article is from last year, so unless Karajan's record sales have actually gone backwards in the last 18 months are so, I would hope this counts as sufficient evidence to get him into the 200-300 million category. He sells 300,000+ recordings a year anyway, so the number will keep going up. As an aside, Pavarotti is in the 100-200 million section, and his recording total is listed as a flat 100 million. So there is precedent for HvK to move up.

Ill add it in now. Realist2 ('Come Speak To Me') 16:02, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

What is his nationality and when did his career begin and end?Realist2 ('Come Speak To Me') 16:11, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Many thanks for putting him in the new bracket. He was indeed Austrian. As for the dates, I believe they need a bit of tinkering. His last recording was indeed in 1989 - made in April. This is the information from the record company website:

However, I recently bought a set of what are said to be his first recordings, and in there there's a recording of some Mozart from December 1938:

So 1938 - 1989 looks like the most accurate dates for those. Quite a career, no? ;) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:11, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Done, cheers again. Realist2 ('Come Speak To Me') 15:00, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

David Bowie

It says [2] that Bowie has sold over 140 million albums. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:11, 12 April 2008 (UTC) Sorry,my link didn't work but it says on Bowie wonderworld he sold over 140 million albums.

Green Day

Green Day has sold over 60 million albums worldwide.


mariah carey has sold over 240m record according to wikipedia. and she sold actualli around 250m but she missed the certification line just... anyway please correct it. mariah carey has sold over 240m records.

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden has only sold 60 million albums(reference from a norwegian tv show). The source in this article isn't specific, and Metallica(thrash metal) has been stated in the movie "Metal - A Headbangers Journey" to the best selling metal band ever, Iron Maiden is Heavy Metal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:32, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Michiya Mihashi

According to the source shown, Michiya Mihashi (Japan) has sold only 10 million records, but he is mistakenly ranked among the "100 million to 200 million records". This person needs to be deleted.

I removed the artist Michiya Mihashi from the list after verifying whether the sales figure within the source really read only 10 million. --Harout72 (talk) 17:14, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
The source clearly states he sold more than 100 million records in 1983. (talk) 11:50, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Could someone thoroughly translate who speaks/reads Japanese and verify whether this source does mention anything about 100 million records having been sold by 1983 as User:Katsuya claims (in edit history) after reverting my edit. I translated the content of the source through the help of Google-Language-Tools, wherein I didn't come across any such number as 100 million records.--Harout72 (talk) 18:54, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

If it cant be read by the users it should be removed. Realist2 ('Come Speak To Me') 16:01, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Excite Translate Katsuya (talk) 08:13, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Ill seek an admins advise on this one.Realist2 ('Come Speak To Me') 15:03, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Per administrative advise seen here, on my talk page, the claim will be removed. Realist2 ('Come Speak To Me') 17:05, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

They are a little more reliable, but still completely unreadable. Realist2 ('Come Speak To Me') 14:58, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Michiya Mihashi sang about 40 hits and sold 10 million copies by debut the eighth year.

> デビュ-8年で約40のヒット曲を歌い、1000万枚のレコードを売り上げた。

  • Michiya Mihashi was the first in history of Kayōkyoku to sale 100 million records by 1983.

>昭和58年には、歌謡界史上初のレコード売り上げ 「1億枚」を突破。Katsuya (talk) 00:50, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Sorry it means nothing, please either find a source that is reliable or take it up with admins. Cheers. Realist2 ('Come Speak To Me') 00:54, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Reliable sources with a clear citation mean nothing? Nonsense! It is editors like you that give the wikipedia a poor reputation. (talk) 11:19, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

In addition, Oricon and goo claim Mihashi Michiya sold over 100 million copies. Katsuya (talk) 11:32, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

It was already confirmed by various persons, including myself a long time ago. Terrible editing, and utter vandalism by deleting it. This was well known back in 1983 since there was a "war" among the record labels when certain singers were nearing the 100 million mark. (talk) 11:17, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
An English source [17]. Katsuya I am sorry for their conduct and poor attitude, there are many Japanese musicians that can be added to the list, but it is difficult with people like Harout2 and Realist2, they destroy the wikipedia. The same problem was with other non-English musicians, such as Wei Wei. (talk) 12:20, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
  • You must assume some good faith here. Wikipedia policy on using non-English sources is quite clear:

    Where editors use non-English sources, they should ensure that readers can verify for themselves the content of the original material and the reliability of its author/publisher.

This means, in the case of Japanese sources, an indication of the authority to be assigned to the source; an artist's own record company would not be regarded as reliable, for example, but some disinterested body (comparable with, for example the RIAA) or a page similar to AllMusic would. Once that is satisfied, the policy requires that it be translated into English reliably. With the best will in the world, a Wikipedia editor's translation is, for these purposes, not regarded as the preferred option; neither is an automated translation produced, as the one I saw, by a website engine such as Excite. The reasons for this should be so self-evident that they don't need explanation. However,

Where editors use a non-English source to support material that others might challenge, or translate any direct quote, they need to quote the relevant portion of the original text in a footnote or in the article, so readers can check that it agrees with the article content

. If this can be achieved, your problems are over. It is not a question of "destroying the Wikipedia", and such comments are unhelpful. It is a question of satisfying the core policies of reliability and verifiability, and these policies are not negotiable. --Rodhullandemu 13:00, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Assume good faith against constant vandalism, and prejudice? The above user Katsuya quoted the reference, provided a translation, and received an answer "nah that means nothing" which is unacceptable. Katsuya then provided other reliable sources, which were ignored. That was not necessary as the original source is completely acceptable and reliable. This type of behaviour has continued on this article for a long time, particularly with artists that don't come from the United Kingdom or the United States, and yet have respectable references. In addition, you do not remove disputed content from the wikipedia which has a reference, you tag it. (talk) 13:32, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Sometimes I think we forget that we are writing an encyclopedia- specifically in the English language- for readers of that language. Such readers are entitled to say to themselves "how can I be sure that fact is true?" and that is why we are required to provide reliable and verifiable sources. This is not negotiable. I have reviewed the sources cited above, and am not persuaded that any fulfills those criteria. The Excite translation, even if its source is reliable, is so full of strange language that no reader could reasonably be expected to believe it. Another two are in Japanese and illegible to an English reader. Another, in English, is of uncertain provenance- it could be a blog or fansite, for example- but that cites no references itself. The whole purpose of verifiability is to establish truth, and if that cannot be done within the policies we have, we cannot have the content. It is also policy that it is the responsibility of an editor seeking to add content to justify its inclusion. I suggest that anyone seeking to have this statistic in this article should raise it here. --Rodhullandemu 14:01, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
That is nonsense, the other two sources not valid? A source from Oricon, one of Japans leading music ranking sales companies, and GOO one of Japans leading music sites owned by one of the worlds largest telecommunications companies is questionable? (a blog or fansite?) They have more respect as a reference than and many English sources used throughout this article, since they are in association with the recording labels. The translation is full of strange language? It looks rather simply to understand what is says. [18] Does this look like strange language as well? Translated using the basic google service, it clearly states "For the first time in 1983, the total record sales exceeding 100 million copies." Your administration is appalling, and I will be taking this to the complaint board tomorrow after work when I have the time, including your conduct. This is not acceptable. I also provided an English reference myself, although it shouldn't be necessary as the other sources are provided by much more respectable sources from leading companies, and easily translated using google (what many people would be using) (talk) 14:25, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Wow, you might just about be the rudest ip address i have come across (aside the one that called for my lynching), threatening two editers who have both made over 14,000 contributions to wikipedia isnt going to get you anywhere though. Not when you act with such incivility and lack of policy knowledge. Realist2 (Come Speak To Me) 14:37, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

WP:AGF, please & WP:NPA. I'm quite happy to be complained about for applying policy, which is my (unpaid) job as an admin here. The Google translation is better, although it's still difficult to assess the reliability of its source. That's why I suggested taking this to the Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard, where there are experienced editors who are used to assessing this sort of thing. As for the above IP's post, the editor does not seem to have read my preceding comments with sufficient care. However I'll leave it for WP:ANI or WP:RFC or wherever it ends up. Paradoxically as it may seem, I do have other stuff to do. --Rodhullandemu 14:48, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Agree, ill wait till im summoned to serve my sentance. --Realist2 (Come Speak To Me) 14:54, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Excuse me, but Google isn't the only means of verifying the text. WP has plenty of users who can verify the text. You can start here.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 20:56, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your input Randy2063, however "apparently" other editors are not accepted translators. Moreover Katsuya already translated it which can be seen above, and it was replied with "thats means nothing" (even though thats exactly what it says, and is an excellent English translation) Such a thing has forced me into creating a incident report. (talk) 21:28, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Then I can't imagine the incident report not being resolved in your favor -- unless they revise WP policy.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 22:22, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, and it has been resolved justifiably, as evident here. [19] (talk) 12:07, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

This discussion needs to be resolved through the help of Administrators who have dealt with a similar incident before. As for the Non-English sources, it clearly states: Because this is the English Wikipedia, for the convenience of our readers, editors should use English-language sources in preference to sources in other languages, assuming the availability of an English-language source of equal quality, so that readers can easily verify that the source material has been used correctly. Where editors use non-English sources, they should ensure that readers can verify for themselves the content of the original material and the reliability of its author/publisher. How is this then justifiable when in the case of List of best-selling music artists we constantly question the reliability of the sources, in fact, when the suggested sources for Michiya Mihashi are simply illegible.--Harout72 (talk) 15:42, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Rodhull, above is an admin and he thinks they shouldnt be used as sources. Realist2 (Come Speak To Me) 15:51, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

It seems that the real problem, as so often, with non-English sources is not so much verifiability, but assessment of the reputability of the sources. I suggest requesting other Japanese speaking contributors/editors to help to assess the reputability. Andries (talk) 17:57, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Every source was explained, and it received approval from the reliable source board. The reference Katsuya used, is from the JRT musuem. One of the oldest television networks in the world, and where this milestone was first announced. You do not get a better reference than that! Harout72 also removed a reference for Hibari Misora, which is for a book published in 2001 and listed on the Shizouka goverment website. (talk) 18:49, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Instead of being incivil and accusing us of committing crimes against wiki, why not lay out all your sources together and we can look of them. Realist2 (Come Speak To Me) 18:53, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
I am taking a firm stand towards you and Harout72, who were incivil to Katsuya. Katsuya remained civil in his/her conduct and it got nowhere. I do not believe you have honest intentions due to your incivil responses to Katsuya. The information was deleted instantly without using a dispute tag and using the talk page first. Katsuya remained civil, and provided translations, directly cited the sentence, and found further references. The references are clearly reliable due to their websites. The reliable sources board agrees that they are completely acceptable. This was still ignored, and futher claims made that they are illegible. Rodhull also agrees it is acceptable [20] and mentions there is no reason at all the information should be deleted. If you do not like the outcome, then you should take your complaints to the board. This is what Rodhull suggested. (talk) 20:07, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

I have no problem with any outcome, im asking you to show which source you want to use so that we can discuss it. Realist2 (Come Speak To Me) 20:04, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

The original reference provided by Katsuya, from the JRT musuem. There is also the issue of Harout72 removing the source for Hibari Misora, which is from the Shizouka goverment website. (talk) 20:49, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

this one? If not can you show me, i honestly cant find anything in this maze. Realist2 (Come Speak To Me) 20:56, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that is the original reference. (talk) 21:27, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
OK, and whats reliable about it, im not familiar with this source, who is it from etc. Realist2 (Come Speak To Me) 21:31, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
That has already been explained above multi-times. Moreover it has already been accepted by the reliable sources board and the admin. (talk) 22:16, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

I didnt say it cant be used, im just asking what it is, ive never heard of it, im sure its fine but id like to know where it came from. Realist2 (Come Speak To Me) 22:23, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

It was stated many times that it is from Japan Radio Television, which is part of Nippon News Network, which is owned by NTV. It is one of the oldest television broadcasters in the world, and owned by Yomiuri Shimbun. That is the worlds largest newspaper company. There was a "war" among record labels as to whose "great" singer would be the first to surpass 100 million sales, as the top singers were reaching that milestone. It was a big news story in the early 80's. After a long audit, King Records announced Michiya was the first to reach 100 million sales, and reported it exclusive on Nippon News. This is why it is part of JRT archives. (talk) 23:40, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
OK, prove to me its from Japan Radio Television, because i cant see it from that translation unless im missing something? --Realist2 (Come Speak To Me) 23:51, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Look at the web-address. (talk) 00:08, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
Below, within the section of David Bowie, you mentioned that someone has removed the source by The New York Times you provided for Hibari Misora some time ago, correct? I went ahead and checked to see if there really was a source published by The New York Times, and there was, which I strongly believe is more acceptable than the former. Since this is an English-language Wikipedia we should first land on sources that are in English. And in the case of Hibari Misora, this source is both more reliable and acceptable than this one, especially with this in mind. --Harout72 (talk) 22:32, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Then I suggest you place her in the correct bracket, or revert your edit. I will simply not argue about this, and will return to the incident board where I will seek more than support. It was well known that Lady Misora had sold more than 100 million records in 1986. However, the NY Times article does not mention that the 68 million records are LP's. That article is now 20 years old, as it was published in 1989. The other reference is more recent, and mentions she had sold more than 80 million records. Due to the nature of this article, the NY Times reference is not of equal quality. I am fine to have Hibari in the 75 million bracket, until I can find a solid reference that clearly mentions her surpassing 100 million records. There are also many other musicians I am still trying to find internet references for. Also I have yet to see you include Michiya Mihashi back into the article, this would show you have good intentions for this article, since you are the user who deleted the information and reference claiming there is no mention of 100 millon. This has more than been proven wrong. (talk) 23:20, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
You still havent said where the excite translation comes from, what is the original source? Realist2 (Come Speak To Me) 23:25, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

I am fine with having Hibari Misora within the 75 million bracket as well, as long as you locate another source published in English-language that is coming from alike reliable arena. However, until that time we should stick to the first and closest English-language source as this one that I already have found. And since you care so much about the comments made here, read the first lines of the suggestions made by Neon White Foriegn language sources are usually ok as long as the same informations isn't available in english. See WP:RSUE It's not usually a good thing to use a machine based translator as they often make mistakes. --Harout72 (talk) 23:43, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

The NY Times does not provide the same information, as it was published 20 years ago at the time of her death. Your conduct really questions your intentions, as do comments such as "Mihashi has sold only 10 million records. This person needs to be deleted." and "after verifying the sales figure" and "This discussion needs to be resolved through the help of Administrators" and "How is this then justifiable (regarding the reliable sources board)" and then followed by your comment "sources for Michiya Mihashi are simply illegible" and now "since you care so much about the comments made here (at the reliable sources board)" this really raises questions as to your purpose. Maybe you should present your arguements at the board! (talk) 00:06, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Tupac Shakur

  • Tupac Shakur sold more than 75 mio. copies, so every normal human would put him in the list "75 to 100", the 67 mio. that are statet are probably wrong or they just counted the albums and not also the singles f.e. the single Dear Mama sold 3 mio. alone....and all people who dont believe it read the xxl magazin from october 2006.......or watch resurrection...... —Preceding unsigned comment added by DjDoubleR (talkcontribs) 07:52, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

I dont think you understand wikipedia, you need to give a reliable source. Realist2 ('Come Speak To Me') 16:48, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Green Day

why ever deleted green day from the list? they have sold nearly 60 million copies, and i put them almost 5 times in their correspondet place with a huge source, and ever deleted them.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Maul day (talkcontribs) 00:28, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

David Bowie (2)

I have here a reliable source which says that David Bowie has sold 136 Million albums worldwide, please add him to to respective catergory on the list.

Source: —Preceding unsigned comment added by GigashadowX (talkcontribs) 16:00, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Since is a unit of The New York Times Company, then the suggested source is reliable enough. I added David Bowie into the list, within the section of 100-200 million.--Harout72 (talk) 04:20, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
However, when I added Hibari Misora to the list, with an article written by the NY Times, it was removed? She has sold more than 100 million these days, but can't use television or radio as a reference. (talk) 12:26, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

If you are referring to an article published by New York Times, it shouldn't have been removed as it's a reliable source; however, they are to be removed if there is no sales figure within regardless who the article is published by. If you perhaps still could locate the source and post it here, I'll add it if the sales figure is over 50 million and it's published by NYT as you claim. --Harout72 (talk) 03:34, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

This article [21] was about her death and was published in 1989, and it clearly states in English that she had sold 68 million records at that time, including 45 million singles. It was told the NY Times is not a reliable reference, so I had to find another reference. The new reference is more recent (but still 10 years out of date) and it only mentions her record sales (which were at that time 80 million) and not the sales of her singles. So she had to remain in the 75 million bracket. (talk) 12:52, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Agree, since many artists continue to sell records after their deaths, a source almost twenty years old is not as good as a more recent one, even though the latter is not in English, but can satisfy WP:RSUE. Accordingly, the last edit will be reverted and should not be replaced. Take it to the RS noticeboard if you think it's a faulty reference but if there is any more edit-warring on this article, it will be fully-protected until the parties achieve consensus. --Rodhullandemu 01:21, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
Im actually quite lost now, there are three different arguments going on, its getting silly, one at a time please lol. Realist2 (Come Speak To Me) 01:28, 25 May 2008 (UTC)


Eminem is still in the music industry he has a new album coming out end of 2008.(according to wkipedia). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:03, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

OK. --Realist2 (Come Speak To Me) 21:33, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Eminem source

How is a reliable source? (talk) 12:33, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Dame Shirley Bassey

Bu January 2008, Dame Shirley Bassey had sold 135 million records, but is not included in this list. Can we please amend it? Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:41, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Sure, with a source, otherwise it cant be added im afraid. --Realist2 (Come Speak To Me) 20:59, 23 May 2008 (UTC)


can we say that the eagles were active from 1971–1980 then from 1994–present beccause the gap counts against them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:36, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

No, sorry. Michael jackson only releases teo albums a decade, does that mean hes in and out of retirement, i think not. --Realist2 (Come Speak To Me) 14:10, 24 May 2008 (UTC)