This list of the top 10 most successful Artists/Bands of all time will be correlating with the amount of units that the certain act sold. Although the exact amount cannot be 100% verified, the statistics shown next to each act are near accurate.
These acts are all known by most of the public and will continue to be known for the near future. Some of these acts are breakouts and some had to really work their way up the corporate ladder to get to the position as musical stars.
A couple of these performers stories show that they had to really fight for their position or for a record deal. Where as others proved to show that anybody with a talent can be picked up once they are known to the wider public.
Most of our acts are either English or American, and this is probably because the mainstream music market belongs in both the U.K. and the U.S. As data shows that the majority of the music bought in the U.K. and U.S. was made inside both of the countries and not elsewhere.
21 million songs are downloaded every day from the iTunes store and at least 60% of this market is from the U.K. and U.S. This shows how big the market share is within these two worldwide leaders. The iTunes store has a 29% market share of the whole music market, which makes it the biggest market share holder as a company.
So if you are looking to break out into the mass market of music then you need to get your music onto iTunes for mass exposure. Throughout this list, the acts have sold over 2.9 billion units. This equates to nearly 2/10th of all music downloaded in the last two decades. That just shows how massive some of these artists and acts are and were.
Let’s get started with number 10 on our list:
10 Whitney Houston
9 Celine Dion
8 Mariah Carey
7 Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd founded in 1965 with four initial members. Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Richard Wright started playing as a band at college and went into the London underground scene during the late 1960’s. Their career as a band lasted for around 30 years, and they finally split up but reunited for Live 8. They sold around 200 million units and this has given them the 7th spot on our list. They released 14 studio albums and went on 12 live international tours.
6 Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin formed in London, England in 1968. The main four members were Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham. Their careers together lasted 12 years (without small reunions) and the band went on to sell 220 million units. They released nine studio albums and three official live albums. They have been credited as the 2nd most successful rock band in the U.S. after The Beatles.
5 Elton John
Reginald Kenneth Dwight A.K.A Elton John’s career has spanned over five decades. Born in 1947 in Middlesex, England, John started playing the piano at the age of 3. Both of his parents could see the talent that their son had which later led to John getting a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music. Throughout his time in the music industry, John has sold 300 million records and has had over 50 top 40 singles in the charts. In Billboard he was ranked as the number 3 male solo artist of all time and he ranks at number 5 on our most successful due to the amount of units sold.
3 Michael Jackson
2 Elvis Presley
1 The Beatles
The Beatles were an English pop group from Liverpool. Forming in 1960, the four band members were Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They signed to EMI's Parlophone label through their producer George Martin. Ever since they signed to EMI their careers never lost momentum. In total The Beatles claimed to have sold over 600 million units and had a very successful decade as a group. They won 14 international awards, all within the space of 10 years together. They are hailed as the most successful band ever and the statistics back them up.