Best Selling Songs of All Time

best-selling-songs-of-all-time
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Due to our innate love for music, especially good music, most of us often wonder in discussions that lead to arguments about the best-selling songs of all time, from the best-selling historical songs to the best-selling artists of all time.

Some of the older band and artist names mentioned here may not surprise you, but others from recent times will make you wonder, “how in the world did they pull that off?” and got into the list of the best-selling songs of all time.

In light of this, makedailyprofit has conducted in-depth research to show you who comes first and who follows who in the hall of fame and progress.

This article is for those interested to know about the best-selling songs or highest-selling artists of all time.

But before we dig in, let’s take a look at the meaning of best selling, for you might have a different view all this while.

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What Do We Mean by Best Selling?

According to the Cambridge dictionary, best selling is (of a product) highly popular and selling in large quantities.

Furthermore, with music, books, or anything else, there is no exact definition of “best-selling.”

It’s usually a catch-all phrase for something that sells well. It’s largely sales speech; efforts to drive further sales by stating that the item is popular and has a large number of purchasers.

What are Best Selling Songs/Album

‘Best-selling songs/album’ refers to an album that has the highest sales in a given group or kind of record, or it refers to an album that has strong sales but does not claim to have the greatest sales of a specific album.

As a result, because there are so many methods to assess this number when applied to a single album, artist, or category, the customer is left to determine the credibility of a claim that an album is “best-selling.”

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10 Historical Best Selling Songs of All Time

1. “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby

“It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley
“It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley

Crosby’s version of “Christmas White” is still the world’s best-selling song, with over 50 million physical copies sold globally.

Indeed, Bing Crosby‘s record debuted on Christmas Day in 1941 on his NBC radio show The Kraft Music Hall.

“White Christmas” by Bing Crosby was released prior to the pop/rock singles chart period and was “listed as the world’s best-selling song in the first-ever Guinness Book of Records (issued in 1955).”

So, here’s a fun tidbit about the best-selling song of all time: Crosby and the Ken Darby Singers and the John Trotter Orchestra recorded “White Christmas” in only 18 minutes on May 29, 1942. This is one of the best-selling historical songs of all time.

2. “Candle in the Wind”/”Something About the Way You Look Tonight” by Elton John

“It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley
“It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley

Elton John‘s double A-side single is the second best-selling song of all time, selling 33 million physical copies worldwide.

The double album was released in 1997 as a charitable memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales, who died that year.

“Candle in the Wind”/”Something About the Way You Look Tonight” was dubbed “the best-selling tune since the UK and US singles charts began in the 1950s.”

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3. “Silent Night” by Bing Crosby

“It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley
“It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley

This is one of the best-selling historical songs of all time. Bing Crosby‘s song version of “Silent Night” is the world’s third best-selling song of all time, with over 30 million physical copies sold globally.

The classic Christmas carol’s original title is “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht,” and it was created in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber for the poetry lyrics penned by Josep Mohr.

On Christmas Eve 1818, it was first performed in the Church of Saint Nicholas in Oberndorf, Austria.

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4. “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and His Comets

“It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley
“It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley

“(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock,” released in 1954, is the fourth best-selling single of all time, selling over 25 million copies worldwide.

The next year, it was used as the opening theme for the 1955 picture Blackboard Jungle, marking the first time this music genre was employed in the cinema business.

Bill Haley effectively introduced rock ‘n’ roll into mainstream society throughout the world with his rendition of the soundtrack “Rock Around the Clock.” This is one of the best-selling historical songs of all time.

5. “I Will Always Love You (IWALY)” by Whitney Houston

“It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley
“It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley

“I Will Always Love You” is the best-selling single by a woman and the fifth best-selling song of all time, with over 20 million physical copies sold worldwide.

In 1993, it was the tenth best-selling book in the United Kingdom in 1990. Whitney Houston‘s version of the song was featured in her debut film, The Bodyguard, which was released in 1992.

Dolly Parton wrote and sang the original version of the song “IWALY” in 1973. This is one of the best-selling historical songs of all time.

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6.  “It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley

“It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley

This is one of the best-selling historical songs of all time. Elvis Presley‘s pop ballad “It’s Now or Never,” released in 1960, is the sixth best-selling song of all time, with over 20 million physical copies sold worldwide.

While serving in Germany, Elvis heard “‘O Sole Mio” and was inspired by the tune of the classic Neapolitan song, decided to borrow it for “It’s Now or Never.” 

E. Presley pitched the new idea to his music publisher, who contacted composers Aaron Schroeder and Wally G., who created the lyrics in less than an hour.

7. “We Are the World” by United Support of Artists (USA) for Africa

We Are the World” by United Support of Artists (USA) for Africa
We Are the World” by United Support of Artists (USA) for Africa

We consider this song one of the best-selling historical songs of all time. With estimated worldwide sales of 20 million physical copies, the charity anthem “We Are the World” became the fastest-selling American pop single in history and the seventh best-selling song of all time.

Indeed, in 1985, the USA for Africa produced a charity song for African famine victims, which shockingly raised more than $60 million.

So, Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson composed the renowned lyrics for “We Are the World,” which was produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian.

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8. “If I Didn’t Care” by The Ink Spots

If I Didn’t Care” by The Ink Spots
If I didn’t care by the ink spots

Their distinct musical style became well-known as a result of this song, which is the eighth best-selling single of all time, with over 19 million physical copies sold worldwide.

In February 1939, the Ink Spots recorded the song “If I Didn’t Care.” “If I Didn’t Care” was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1989, 50 years after its debut, and number 271 on the list of “Songs of the Century.” This is another best-selling historical song of all time.

9. “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie” by Baccara

“Yes Sir, I Can Boogie” by Baccara

Baccara recorded and released the disco song “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie” in 1977, which is currently the 9th best-selling song of all time. This is also the best-selling song ever by a female group, with worldwide sales of 18 million hard copies.

Mayte Matee and Maria Mendillo, two Spanish flamenco dancers, founded the Bacara company.

They were singing music for visitors on the island of Fuerteventura before getting found.

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10. ”My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion

”My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion

Celine Dion released the song in December 1997, and it quickly became her biggest global smash.

With over 18 million physical copies sold globally, it is the 10th best-selling song of all time and the 2nd best-selling single by a female singer.

Celine Dion’s song “My Heart Will Go On” was a huge success as the primary theme song for the blockbuster movie Titanic. This is one of the best-selling historical songs of all time.

Highest Selling Artists of All Time

The list contains the top 10 highest-selling Artists of all time from the early 1950s to the late 2000. This means these artists have released some of the best-selling songs ever heard.

So, the Beatles, active from 1960–1970, top our list with total sales of $600 Million. Elvis Presley, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, follows next also with a total sales of $500 Million active from 1953–1977.

Certainly, the King of Pop takes the third lead with a total of $400 Million, active from 1964–2009.

PositionArtistSalesNationality
1The Beatles$600 MillionUK
2Elvis Presley$500 MillionUSA
3Michael Jackson$400 MillionUSA
4Drake$395.2 MillionCanada, USA
5Rihanna$328.5Barbados, USA
6Eminem$321.4 MillionUSA
7Elton John$300 MillionUK
8Madonna$300 MillionUSA
9Led Zeppelin$300 MillionUK
10Justin Bieber$261.4 MillionCanada
Highest Selling Artists of All Time

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Best Selling Songs of All Time List

This is a list of the best-selling songs of all time from the 1800s till date.

  • Harry Crosby (a.k.a. Bing Crosby) “White Christmas” 1942- 52 million copies sold.
  • Ed Sheeran “Shape of You” 2017- 42 million copies sold.
  • Luis Rodriguez (a.k.a. Luis Fonsi) & Ramon Ayala (a.k.a. Daddy Yankee) “Despacito” 2017- 38 million copies sold.
  • Elton John & Bernie Taupin “Candle in the Wind” 1997- 33 million copies sold.
  • Raymond Dorset and the most successful version sung by: Mungo Jerry (band) “In the Summertime” 1970- 31 million copies sold.
  • Harry Crosby (a.k.a. Bing Crosby) “Silent Night” 1818- 30 million copies sold.
  • Bill Haley & His Comets (band) “Rock Around the Clock” 1954- 25 million copies sold.
  • Written by: Dolly Parton, the most successful version sung by: Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” 1982- 24 million copies sold
  • The Chainsmokers & Coldplay (bands) “Something Just Like This” 2017- 23 million copies sold.
  • Ed Sheeran “Perfect” 2017- 22 million copies sold.

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Selling Songs of All Time (FAQs)

What is the number 1 selling song of all time?

According to Guinness World Records, Bing Crosby’s version of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” (1942) is the best-selling single in the world.

What is the best-selling digital single of all time?

On April 25, 2020, Xiao Zhan released “光点” (Spotlight). Within 24 hours of its release, the song sold over 25.48 million copies. It became the fastest-selling digital tune in China, breaking the Guinness World Record.

Who has the top 10 songs of all time?

Mariah Carey is 27
Elton John is 27
Stevie Wonder 28
Michael Jackson 29
Rihanna 31
The Beatle 34
Madonna is 38
Mariah Carey 27
Janet Jackson 27
Elton John 27
Stevie Wonder 28
Michael Jackson 29
Rihanna 31
The Beatles 34
Madonna 38

What is the most perfect song ever written?

1968 track ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da‘ by The Beatles.

What is the most famous song?

Happy Birthday to You” is the most famous song in the world.

Conclusion

We have come to the end of our beautiful lists of best-selling historical songs. However, becoming a best seller takes a lot of hard work and commitment, for nothing good comes easy.

These artists put in a lot of work to get to the peak of their careers in showbiz.

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