Top 10 Best Selling Recording Artists in The World

Let’s have a look at the below list of top 10 Best Selling Recording Artists in The World in 2016 and 2017. ‘Music is life, which is why our hearts have beats.’ They say laughter is the best medicine, but it will be frankly very crazy if one started laughing hysterically whenever life pulls you down. So, here I propose an alternative saying, Music is the best medicine. It is true actually. At least ninety percentage of the world’s population would agree that music often works to heal, cheer or distract you from your problems. There is music for every other mood. Happy jingles, angsty metal, revolutionary hip hop, angry rock, sad melodies, melancholic lullabies, nostalgic blues and celebratory pop. You have millions of sounds of different genre served to you on the silver platter that is the internet.

You can just get your medicine by the click of a button. There are millions of aspiring music artists who rise every day to showcase their talents to the world. However, only a few of them ever get to become legends and sell millions of records even after they have passed away. Read on to find out the top 10 best selling recording artists of all time.

List of the world’s top 10 most popular best selling recording artists in 2016-2017

10. Pink Floyd (minimum documented sales: 118.4 million records) (Net Worth: $145 million)

Pink Floyd

The band from London, England is progressive rock, art rock and psychedelic rock band formed in the 1965s which were disbanded in 95 and they again came together in 2012 to 2014. They became hugely popular due to their extensive use of psychedelic lyrics and sonic experimentation which was quite new as no other band has yet done anything as such. Therefore, they became a staple favorite of the bohemians of that age. And at that time, by bohemians that meant almost the entire new generation. The band has Syd Barret on guitar and vocals, Nick Mason on drums, Roger Waters on bass and Richard Wright on keyboards.

9. Rihanna (minimum documented sales: 197.2 million records) (Net Worth: $230 million)

Rihanna Top 10 Best Selling Recording Artists in The World 2017


She has the titillating voice which is totally inimitable. From ‘Unfaithful’ to ‘We found love’ and ‘Diamonds’ she has been winning our hearts back and forth. Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty in Barbados she quickly rose the rungs of success with her much-watched videos and mixed genre of songs.

8. Celine Dion (minimum document sales: 123.5 million records) (Net Worth: $400 million)

Celine Dion

The singer who is known for her tune ‘My heart will go on’ is a Canadian singer, actress, and business person based in the US. Her most famous tracks are ‘Let’s talk about love’ and ‘Falling into You’, ‘think twice’ and ‘The Power of Love’ which are all chart toppers.

7. Mariah Carey (minimum documented sales: 131.9 million records) (Net Worth: $500 million)

Mariah Carey

The singer from New York rose to fame from when she released her album ‘Mariah Carey’ and it contained the chart-topping single ‘Vision of Love’. She also spent a record of 16 weeks on the top of the Billboard list for ‘One Sweet Day’- her collaboration with Boys II Men.

6. Led Zeppelin (minimum documented sales: 139.3 million records) (Net Worth: $120 million)

Led Zeppelin

The English rock band was formed around the 1968s in London when guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham came together to create one of the greatest bands ever. The band played several genres like Hard rock, blues rock, folk rock and heavy metal and excelled in every category. They are one of the progenitors of the heavy metal genre with their heavy metal is driven sounds. Several of their very famous albums are the Led Zeppelin albums and Physical Graffiti.

5. Elton John (minimum documented sales: 166.9 million records)(Net Worth: $450 million)

Elton John Top 10 popular Best Selling Recording Artists in The World 2018

He is the most famous of the classical musicians of recent times. But classical is not his only genre. He is also composer of rock, pop rock, R&B and glam rock music. The British artist born as Reginald Kenneth Dwight was knighted in 1998 by Queen Elizabeth II.

4. Madonna (minimum documented sales: 170 million records)(Net Worth: $800 million)

Madonna Top Best Selling Recording Artists in The World 2017

She is the original girl gone wild, long before Katy Perry or Lady Gaga even came on the scene. Born Madonna Louise Ciccone, she is a singer, actress, dancer, and business person in her right. She is the ‘Queen of Pop’ and has influenced countless other artists.

3. Michael Jackson (minimum documented sales: 181 million records)(Net Worth: $600 million)

Michael Jackson Top most Selling Recording Artists in The World 2018

He is the ‘King of Pop’ who was introduced to the world of music very young by his father as a member of the Jackson 5 band. His unique music is still on the top of every billboard list even after his untimely death. And he is not just famous for his songs. He is also known for his unique dance move and creative videos. He has a lot of different genres like pop, funk, rhythm and blues, soul, rock, disco, post-disco, dance pop and new jack swing. He is famous for his dance move, the moonwalk and is even rumored to have special anti-gravity shoes he used for his performances. He was one of the most famous cultural icons for over 40 years. His songs, ‘Billie Jean’, ‘Beat it’, ‘Thriller’ and ‘Heal the world’, ‘Black or white’ have significant value for breaking cultural barriers.

2. Elvis Presley (minimum documented sales: 210.8 million records) (Net Worth: $300 million)

Elvis Presley

He is the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ or simply the King, and aptly so. He is one of the most famous cultural icons of the 1960s and 1970s. He introduced new genres of dancing and music, and his unique voice set him aside from all other erstwhile performers.

1. The Beatles (minimum documented sales: 269.5 million records) (Net Worth: $1.2 billion)

The Beatles Top most popular Selling Recording Artists in The World 2019

The boy band from Liverpool, England was the first influential group in the world to emerge in the rock era. Their creative music drew millions of fans all over the world and introduced something called the Beatle mania. They kept experimenting with various kinds of genres from pop ballads, Indian music, psychedelia and even hard rock. Some of their songs even contained classical elements. The band had lyric powerhouses John Lennon and Paul McCartney who wrote songs which represented the counter-culture of the 1960s. The other members were George Harrison and Ringo Starr. The band split up breaking hearts worldwide in 1970. The members went their ways to establish themselves after that.

The list is compiled according to the claims made by the recording companies of their sales. Now there are countless other means of acquiring the songs without buying records. It is how most of us get our music, even though it is pirated.

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