List of best-selling albums worldwide

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This is a list of the world's best-selling albums. The criteria are that the figure must have been published by a reliable source and the album must have sold at least 20 million copies worldwide. Most albums have different estimates of sales. In this list, the highest sales reported for an album is added to the list. Groupings are based on different sales benchmarks. The highest benchmark is for claims of at least 100 million copies, and the lowest are for claims of 20–29 million copies. Albums are listed in order of number of copies sold and by the artist's first name. This list contains all types of albums, including studio, greatest hits, compilation, various artists, soundtrack and remix.

A number of issues make exact figures difficult to calculate, as historical data before the 1980s and from developing countries is incomplete. Also, fans, record companies and the media are prone to making the sales figures higher than they actually are to boost the image of the act. The list also does not take into account the resale of used albums or as the emergence of illegal downloading of digital music.

Michael Jackson's Thriller is the best selling album of all time. The album is cited as selling as many as 110 million copies worldwide.[1]

Legend[change | edit source]

Colors

Studio Albums

Greatest Hits & Compilations

Soundtracks

Over 50 million copies[change | edit source]

Artist Album Released Genre Sales (millions) Source
Michael Jackson Thriller 1982 Pop / R&B / Rock 110 [1][2]

40–49 million copies[change | edit source]

Artist Album Released Genre Sales (millions) Source
Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon 1973 Progressive rock 50 [3]
AC/DC Back in Black 1980 Hard rock / Heavy metal 49 [4]
Whitney Houston / Various artists The Bodyguard 1992 Soundtrack 44 [5]
Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell 1977 Rock 43 [6]
Eagles Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) 1976 Rock 42 [1]
Various artists Dirty Dancing 1987 Dance / Pop 42 [7]
Backstreet Boys Millennium 1999 Pop 40 [8]
Bee Gees / Various artists Saturday Night Fever 1977 Disco 40 [9]
Fleetwood Mac Rumours 1977 Rock 40 [10]

30–39 million copies[change | edit source]

Artist Album Released Genre Sales (millions) Source
Shania Twain Come On Over 1997 Country / Pop 39 [11]
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV 1971 Hard rock / Heavy metal 37 [12]
Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill 1995 Rock 33 [13]
The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 1967 Rock 32 [14]
Celine Dion Falling into You 1996 Pop 32 [15]
Mariah Carey Music Box 1993 Pop / R&B 32 [16]
Michael Jackson Dangerous 1991 Pop / R&B / New jack swing 32 [17]
The Beatles 1 2000 Rock 31 [18]
Celine Dion Let's Talk About Love 1997 Pop 31 [19]
Britney Spears ...Baby One More Time 1999 Pop 30 [20]
Bee Gees Spirits Having Flown 1979 Disco / Pop 30 [21]
Bruce Springsteen Born in the U.S.A. 1984 Rock 30 [22]
Dire Straits Brothers in Arms 1985 Rock 30 [23]
James Horner Titanic 1997 Soundtrack 30 [24]
Madonna The Immaculate Collection 1990 Pop / Dance 30 [25]
Michael Jackson Bad 1987 Pop / R&B 30 [17]
Pink Floyd The Wall 1979 Progressive rock 30 [26]

20–29 million copies[change | edit source]

Artist Album Released Genre Sales (millions) Source
ABBA ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits 1992 Pop 28 [27]
Backstreet Boys Backstreet's Back 1997 Rock 28 [28]
Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet 1986 Hard rock 28 [29]
Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction 1987 Hard rock / Heavy metal 28 [30]
Various artists Grease 1978 Pop 28 [24]
Santana Supernatural 1999 Rock 27 [31]
Nirvana Nevermind 1991 Grunge / Alternative rock 26 [32]
Carole King Tapestry 1971 Pop 25 [33][34]
Iron Butterfly In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida 1968 Rock 25 [35]
Mariah Carey Daydream 1995 Pop / R&B 25 [36]
Queen Greatest Hits 1981 Rock 25 [37]
Simon & Garfunkel Bridge over Troubled Water 1970 Folk Rock 25 [38]
U2 The Joshua Tree 1987 Rock 25 [39]
Whitney Houston Whitney Houston 1985 Pop / R&B 25 [40]
Backstreet Boys Black & Blue 2000 Pop 24 [28]
Linkin Park Hybrid Theory 2000 Nu metal / Rap metal / Alternative rock 24 [41]
Madonna True Blue 1986 Pop 24 [42]
Britney Spears Oops!...I Did It Again 2000 Pop 24 [43] Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP 2000 Hip Hop 23 [44]
Ace of Base Happy Nation/The Sign 1994 Pop 23 [45]
Spice Girls Spice 1996 Pop 23 [46]
Oasis (What's the Story) Morning Glory? 1995 Britpop / Rock 22 [47][48]
Dido No Angel 1999 Pop 21 [49]
Madonna Like A Virgin 1984 Pop / Dance 21 [50]
Andrea Bocelli Romanza 1997 Pop / Operatic Pop 20 [51]
Billy Ray Cyrus Some Gave All 1992 Country 20 [52]
Bob Marley & The Wailers Legend: The Best of Bob Marley & The Wailers 1984 Reggae 20 [53]
Blondie Parallel Lines 1978 Rock 20 [54]
Bon Jovi Cross Road 1994 Rock 20 [55]
align="center"
Cher Believe 1999 Pop 20 [56]
Def Leppard Hysteria 1987 Rock 20 [57]
George Michael Faith 1987 Pop / R&B 20 [58]
Janet Jackson janet. 1993 Pop / R&B 20 [59]
Madonna Ray of Light 1998 Pop / Electronic 20 [60]
Mariah Carey #1's 1998 Pop / R&B 20 [61]
Michael Jackson HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I 1995 Pop/Rock/R&B 20 [62]
Michael Jackson Off the Wall 1979 Pop/Disco/R&B 20 [62]
Norah Jones Come Away with Me 2002 Jazz 20 [63]
Prince & the Revolution Purple Rain 1984 Rock 20 [24]
Spice Girls Spiceworld 1997 Pop 20 [64]
Tina Turner Private Dancer 1984 Rock 20 [65]
Usher Confessions 2004 R&B 20 [66]

Related pages[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

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