These are the top-selling music artists of
all-time. If Robyn Rihanna Fenty’s early success continues,
the 26-year-old superstar from Barbados will probably one day be #1 on this list. She has
already tied Michael Jackson for third all-time with 13 #1 singles. She also reigns over the
Internet and is the most streamed and subscribed artist in the world. Her home country even
celebrates an official national holiday in her honor every February 22nd. Eagles have come a long way from their first
performance at Disneyland backing Linda Ronstadt. After coming up with their name during a tequila
and peyote fueled trip in the Mojave Desert, the band decided they should simply be called
Eagles. They had five #1 singles and four #1 albums in a row in the 70’s. Eagles are
the best-selling American band ever. The massively influential Mariah Carey broke
through in 1988. Mariah was introduced to classical opera as a teenager, which clearly
influenced her unique singing style. Her voice was so fresh that her first four singles from
her debut album all went to number one on the charts, the first artist since The Jackson
5 to achieve that level of lightening-fast success. Led Zeppelin was the biggest and most innovative
band in the world in the 1970’s. The track “Stairway to Heaven” may be the most important
song in rock history. After the tragic death of their drummer, John Bonham, the band broke
up. Their 2007 reunion concert at London’s O2 Arena set the record for Highest Demand
for Tickets for One Music Concert. Garth Brooks brilliantly fused elements of
rock with country, producing hit after hit, and revolutionizing the entire genre. He is
the best-selling albums artist in the United States in the SoundScan era, the time period
after 1991 when sales figures began to me more accurately counted. Brooks has six albums
that have sold more than 10 million copies. Elton John was a prodigy on the piano since
his fingers first touched the keys as a three year old, able to playback classical pieces
that he had heard just once. Within just a three-year span, between 1972 and 1975, he
had seven consecutive albums reach number one in the US. His single honoring the life
of British Princess Diana after her death is the best-selling single in music history. Madonna Louise Cissone is the “Queen of
Pop” and is the best-selling female artist of all-time. It all started when she dropped
out of the University of Michigan to pursue a career in dance. “It was the first time
I’d ever taken a plane, the first time I’d ever gotten a taxi cab,” she remembers.
“I came here with $35 in my pocket. It was the bravest thing I’ve ever done.” Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop,” spent
virtually his entire life on top of the charts, and in the glaring spotlight. After churning
out hit after hit with his brothers, he began his prolific solo career at 13 years old.
His masterpiece, Thriller, is the best-selling album of all-time. Jackson’s legendary moonwalk
performance of “Billie Jean” in 1983 to a live television audience of 47 million Americans
launched his fame into the stratosphere. Then there’s Elvis, or simply, “The King.”
His leg shake was a result of his nerves, but soon became his signature move, driving
crowds crazy. Elvis was unlike anything anyone had seen or heard before, and his blend of
Motown and southern sounds arrived right as the civil rights movement was taking off.
At age 23, right when his career was peaking, Presley was drafted into the US Army and served
for two years in Germany. While there, he became severely dependent on drugs, which
eventually ruined his body and career, and took his life when he was just 42. The Beatles are the most successful band in
human history. They’ve sold more albums than any other act and have the most #1 hits
on the US Billboard Chart, with 20 over just a 7 year period. On February 9th, 1964, the
Beatles appeared in front of a live audience of 73 million Americans on The Ed Sullivan
Show, launching the British Invasion of the pop music charts that continues to this day. I hope you enjoyed this musical mini-doc.
Which artist’s music do you think people should be buying more of? Thanks for watching.
For TDC, I’m Bryce Plank.