He’s So Dreamy: The 15 Best-Selling Male Artists of All Time

The best-selling male artists of all time offer a unique insight into how lucrative a music industry career can be.

For every incredible female artist, such as Madonna, Rihanna, and Mariah Carey, there are countless successful male musicians, too.

Some have soared into the spotlight as the heartthrob of a generation, like Elvis Presley or Justin Bieber.

Others have changed history with nothing but their vocal prowess.

Notably, the best-selling male artists also come from various genres. Plenty of affluent rock and rollers are out there, as well as pop stars, R&B legends, and crooners.

Who Is the Biggest Selling Male Artist of All Time?

Over the years, the music industry has produced many chart-topping names.

Many famous artists have sold millions of records and earned plenty of cash.

But a handful of successful musicians stand a cut above the rest.

We’re looking specifically at male solo artists for this list, so we won’t include any boybands or rock groups.

We’re also focusing on claimed sales to rank our musicians based on data from groups like Wikipedia.

With that out of the way, let’s dive in.

1. Chris Brown

Sales: 140 million+

Total certified units sold: 218.3 million

Chris Brown might be one of the more controversial musicians in the world today, but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming one of the most successful male artists.

After rising to fame at 19, the R&B singer took the world by storm.

His debut single, “Run It,” peaked at the top of the Billboard 100 charts. Brown has the most Billboard 100 entries overall of any male singer in history.

The musician has won several awards, including a Grammy, 18 BET awards, and four Billboard Music Awards.

He’s even branched out into Hollywood over the years, appearing in various movies and TV shows.

2. Frank Sinatra

Sales: 150 million+

Total certified units sold: 41 million

While Sinatra might not have sold as many albums in recent years as more modern musicians, he’s still considered one of the greatest and most successful artists ever.

An icon among lovers of swing and oldies music, Sinatra was called the greatest singer of the 20th century.

With tunes like “Strangers in the Night” and “Something Stupid,” Sinatra quickly became one of the most acclaimed musicians in the world.

He was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom, won 11 Grammy awards, and even stood as one of Time Magazine’s most influential people.

Forty-two of Sinatra’s albums ranked in the US top 10 charts, and he even got two number-one’s on the Billboard Hot 100.

3. Phil Collins

Sales: 150 million+

Total certified units sold: 100.3 million

Legendary drummer and musician Phil Collins is one of the most famous male artists from the United Kingdom.

With successful singles like “In the Air Tonight,” Collins has captured the hearts and minds of fans worldwide. He even created music for the animated film Tarzan.

Collins is one of only three recording artists who has sold more than 100 million records as a band member and a solo artist.

He’s also won six Brit Awards, eight Grammy awards, and an Academy Award.

In 2003, he was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Two of his albums peaked at the top of the US Billboard 200: “But Seriously” and “No Jacket Required”.

4. Bruce Springsteen

Sales: 150 million+

Total certified units sold: 128.1 million

Also known as “The Boss,” rock icon Bruce Springsteen’s music career spanned over six decades and earned him incredible acclaim worldwide.

He released 21 studio albums and is considered the originator of the heartland rock genre.

Springsteen sold more than 65 million albums in the US alone, and Born in the USA is one of the best-selling albums ever.

It even produced a massive seven top-10 hit singles, matching Michael Jackson’s album, Thriller.

Despite incredible success through the years, Springsteen never had a number-one single.

However, that didn’t stop him from becoming a global phenomenon.

5. Bruno Mars

Sales: 150 million+

Total certified units sold: 204.9 million

Known for his incredible showmanship and wide range of musical styles, Bruno Mars rose to fame in 2010.

His debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans introduced a variety of international number-one hit singles such as “Grenade” and “Just the Way You Are.”

Mars’ second album, Unorthodox Jukebox, peaked at the top of the Billboard 200 charts and was certified six times platinum by the RIAA.

The next collection, 24K Magic, earned Bruno seven Grammy Awards.

Over the years, Mars has received 15 Grammy Awards, 11 American Music Awards, and four Brit Awards.

Plus, he has three Guinness World Records.

6. Ed Sheeran

Sales: 150 million+

Total certified units sold: 253.2 million

English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran first began writing songs at the age of 11.

His debut album + topped the UK albums chart and earned Sheeran a Brit Award. His second album, x, topped the charts worldwide and paved the way for two Grammy Awards.

The third album produced by Sheeran became the best-selling album worldwide in 2017. The first two singles even broke records in several countries.

Sheeran even became the first artist to debut two songs in the top 10 in the US during the same week.

As of 2022, Sheeran was also the most-followed male artist on Spotify.

7. Justin Bieber

Sales: 150 million+

Total certified units sold: 290.9 million

No matter how you feel about pop icon Justin Bieber, you can’t deny he’s achieved some amazing things.

Since bursting into the musical spotlight at 16, Bieber has broken several records. He was the youngest solo male artist to top the Billboard 200 chart in 47 years.

Bieber’s album Believe even topped the charts in 16 countries worldwide. The artist’s most famous single, “Baby,” spent 16 weeks at the top of the Billboard 100 charts.

It also helped the pop legend to earn four diamond certifications from the RIAA.

Bieber also has two Grammy Awards, 26 Billboard Music Awards, eight Juno Awards, and the most MTV Europe Awards of any artist.

8. Billy Joel

Sales: 160 million+

Total certified units sold: 134.6 million

Best-known for number-one hits like “Tell Her About It” and “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” Billy Joel hasn’t released an album in some time.

However, he still stands as one of the most successful male musicians ever.

The Piano Man is the fourth best-selling solo artist in the US, thanks to his incredible album, Greatest Hits – Volume I and II.

Joel has produced several hit singles over the years, and his album 52nd Street even peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

Plus, Joel was nominated for 23 Grammy Awards over the years.

9. Kanye West

Sales: 160 million+

Total certified units sold: 271.8 million

Yeezy is more than just a fashion icon. He has won 24 Grammy Awards and earned 75 nominations over the years.

He was also given the Billboard Artist Achievement Award and won three Brit awards for Best International Male Solo Artist.

Six of West’s albums were included on the Roling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Albums of all time.

Despite his outspoken views and arrogance, Kanye West has become a legend in the music space.

His album Graduation was the fastest-selling album in the US.

The rapper boasts 18 top-10 hits, including “Gold Digger,” which spent 10 weeks at number one.

10. Garth Brooks

Sales: 170 million+

Total certified units sold: 165.3 million

Country music fans are sure to be familiar with this best-selling male artist.

Garth Brooks is the only artist in music history to have nine albums, all certified diamond by the RIAA.

He also won several awards, including 17 American Music Awards and two Grammy awards.

Billboard even ranked Brooks as the greatest male solo artist of all time in their Billboard 200 list.

In the US, Brooks is the best-selling solo album artist of all time. He’s also second only to The Beatles regarding overall album sales.

Out of his 51 singles introduced in the ’80s, Brooks also accumulated an incredible 19 number-one hits.

11. Drake

Sales: 170 million+

Total certified units sold: 446.14 million

Aubrey Drake Graham, or Drake, is one of the most influential figures in contemporary pop music.

His first three albums, Thank Me Later, Take Care, and Nothing Was the Same, were huge critical successes.

The fourth album Drake produced, Views, also stood at number one on the Billboard 200 for 13 consecutive weeks.

With international number-one singles like “Hotline Bling,” Drake has broken records with his music.

He’s also ranked as the highest-certified digital singles artist in the USA. With five Grammy awards, a record 34 Billboard Music Awards, and six American Music Awards, Drake has transformed the world of R&B forever.

12. Eminem

Sales: 220 million+

Total certified units sold: 330.25 million

Speaking of famous rappers, Eminem has achieved fantastic success since entering the musical market.

Credited with popularizing hip-hop in middle America, Eminem’s albums and singles have earned the appreciation of critics and artists alike.

Not only is Marshall Bruce Mathers the best-selling musical artist in the US of the 2000s, but he has also had 10 number-one albums on the Billboard 200.

He was the only artist with so many consecutive number-one collections on the charts.

Eminem has had five number-one singles on the Billboard 100, including “Lose Yourself”.

He was the first hip-hop artist to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

13. Elton John

Sales: 220 million+

Total certified units sold: 210.1 million

British pianist, singer, and songwriter Elton John is the third highest-selling male artist worldwide.

Since the 1970s, John has released various chart-topping hits and albums, including his first hit single, “Your Song.”

John had over 50 top-40 hits on the UK and US Billboard charts and seven consecutive number-one albums in America.

Elton is also responsible for the best-selling chart single of all time, “Candle in the Wind.”

In 2021, he became the first solo artist in the UK to top 10 singles across six decades.

John has earned five Grammy awards, five Brit Awards, two Golden Globes, and a Tony Award.

He was even knighted for his service to music.

14. Michael Jackson

Sales: 400 million+

Total certified units sold: 284.6 million

It’s probably no surprise that the King of Pop reached the top of this list. Michael Jackson is one of the most recognized pop culture figures ever.

He stood above countless other musicians regarding album sales and chart-topping hits.

Thriller, Jackson’s sixth album, is also the world’s best-selling album.

Jackson had 13 Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles, the most of any artist included on the charts.

He was the first artist to have a top-10 single on the Billboard Hot 100 in five decades.

His honors included 15 Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, 39 Guinness World Records, and six Brit Awards.

He was also the only recording artist to be entered into the Dance Hall of Fame.

15. Elvis Presley

Sales: 500 million+

Total certified units sold: 292.7 million

No male artist epitomizes the word legend quite like Elvis Presley. Officially the number one best-selling male artist of all time, Presley created countless hits over the years.

His number-one singles range from “Heartbreak Hotel” to “Suspicious Minds”.

The King of Rock and Roll had the most RIIA-certified platinum and gold albums charted on the Billboard 200.

Elvis’s self-titled debut album was the first rock collection ever to peak at the top of the Billboard charts.

Presley entered 149 songs into the Billboard Hot 100 Pop chart, with 18 peaking at position number one.

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