List of best-selling singles

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According to Guinness World Records, the holiday perennial "White Christmas" (1942) by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies. The song recognized as "the best-selling single of all time" was released before the pop/rock singles-chart era and "was listed as the world's best-selling single in the first-ever Guinness Book of Records (published in 1955) and— remarkably — still retains the title more than 50 years later." Guinness World Records states that double A-side charity single "Candle in the Wind 1997"/"Something About the Way You Look Tonight" (1997) by Elton John, a tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, is "the biggest-selling single since UK and US singles charts began in the 1950s, having accumulated worldwide sales of 33 million copies," making it the second best-selling single of all time.

The artists who have released the most singles that appear on this list are Elvis Presley and Katy Perry with six entries each, and Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Britney Spears, with five each. The cumulative sales for each are 52 million, ~40 million, ~44 million, ~35 million and 33 million, respectively.

Given the recent trend that commercial music download sites reportedly sell mostly single tracks rather than whole albums, an increase in popularity that seems to have rubbed off on physical formats, the list is split between digital singles and physical (CD and vinyl) singles.[1] Portable audio players, which make it extremely easy to load and play songs from many different artists, are claimed to be a major factor behind this trend.

Contents

Best-selling physical singles

15 million copies or more

ArtistSingleReleasedGenreSales
(in millions)
Source
Bing Crosby"White Christmas"1942Christmas, Pop50[2]
Elton John"Candle in the Wind 1997"/"Something About the Way You Look Tonight"1997Pop33[2]
Bing Crosby"Silent Night"1935Christmas, Pop30[3]
Bill Haley & His Comets"Rock Around the Clock"1954Rock & Roll25[4]
Elvis Presley"It's Now or Never"1960Pop22[5]
USA for Africa"We Are the World"1985Pop20[6]
The Ink Spots"If I Didn't Care"1939Doo-wop19[7]
Baccara"Yes Sir, I Can Boogie"1977Disco18[3]
Gene Autry"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"1949Christmas, Pop18[8]
Celine Dion"My Heart Will Go On"1997Pop15[9]

10–14.9 million copies

ArtistSingleReleasedGenreSales
(in millions)
Source
Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman"Time to Say Goodbye"1996Operatic pop12[10][11]
Band Aid"Do They Know It's Christmas?"1984Christmas, Pop11.7[12]
The Beatles"I Want to Hold Your Hand"1964Rock11[3]
Carl Douglas"Kung Fu Fighting"1974Disco11[13][14]
Cher"Believe"1998Pop, Dance10[15]
Elvis Presley"Hound Dog"1956Rock & roll10[16]
George McCrae"Rock Your Baby"1974Disco11[3][17]
Gloria Gaynor"I Will Survive"1978Disco14[18]
Kyu Sakamoto"Sukiyaki"1961Pop13[19]
Los del Río"Macarena"1995Dance-pop/Latin pop11[20]
Mariah Carey"All I Want for Christmas Is You"1994Christmas10[21]
Middle of the Road"Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep"1971Pop10[3][17]
Mills Brothers"Paper Doll"1943Country11[3]
The Monkees"I'm a Believer"1966Pop10[22]
Panjabi MC"Mundian To Bach Ke"1998Bhangra10[23]
Procol Harum"A Whiter Shade of Pale"1967Progressive Rock10[3]
Roger Whittaker"The Last Farewell"1975Pop11[24]
Roy Acuff"Wabash Cannonball"1942Country10[3]
Scorpions"Wind of Change"1991Hard Rock14[25]
Terry Jacks"Seasons in the Sun"1974Pop11.5[26]
Village People"Y.M.C.A."1978Pop, Disco12[27]
Whitney Houston"I Will Always Love You"1992R&B12[28]

7–9.9 million copies

ArtistSingleReleasedGenreSales
(in millions)
Source
a-ha"Take on Me"1985Synthpop7[29][30]
The Animals"The House of the Rising Sun"1964Rock8[31]
Aqua"Barbie Girl"1997Bubblegum dance8[32]
Ashanti"Foolish"2002R&B7.2[20]
The Beatles"Can't Buy Me Love"1964Rock7[33]
The Beatles"Hey Jude"1968Rock8[3]
Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z"Crazy in Love"2003R&B8[34]
Britney Spears"...Baby One More Time"1998Pop9[35]
Bryan Adams"(Everything I Do) I Do It for You"1991Rock8[36]
Chic"Le Freak"1978Disco7[37]
Christina Aguilera"Genie in a Bottle"1999Pop7[20]
Danyel Gérard"Butterfly"1971Pop7[17][38]
Green Day"Boulevard of Broken Dreams"2004Alternative rock7[34]
Julie Rogers"The Wedding"1964Pop7[3][39]
Las Ketchup"The Ketchup Song"2002Beach/Latin pop7[40]
Mahalia Jackson"Move On Up a Little Higher"1948Gospel8[41]
Mary Hopkin"Those Were the Days"1968Pop8[3]
Modern Talking"You're My Heart, You're My Soul"1984Synthpop8[42]
Nirvana"Smells Like Teen Spirit"1991Grunge8[43]
Paul Anka"Diana"1957Pop9[5]
Puff Daddy featuring Faith Evans and 112"I'll Be Missing You"1997East Coast hip hop, R&B7[44][45][46]
Queen"Another One Bites the Dust"1980Funk rock7[47]
Ricky Martin"Livin' la Vida Loca"1999Latin pop8[20]
Royal Scots Dragoon Guards"Amazing Grace"1972Hymn7[17]
Scott McKenzie"San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)"1967Pop7[48]
Shakira"Whenever, Wherever"2001Latin pop8.5[49]
Shocking Blue"Venus"1969Pop7.5[50]
Survivor"Eye of the Tiger"1982Hard Rock8[b][51][52]
Vernon Dalhart"The Prisoner's Song"1924Country7[3]

5–6.9 million copies

ArtistSingleReleasedGenreSales
(in millions)
Source
1910 Fruitgum Company"Simon Says"1968Pop5[53]
ABBA"Fernando"1976Pop6[54]
ABBA"Waterloo"1974Pop5[55]
The Beatles"She Loves You"1963Rock5[3]
Bee Gees"Massachusetts"1967Pop5[56]
Billy Swan"I Can Help"1974Country, Pop5[57][58]
Bonnie Tyler"It's a Heartache"1977Country rock6[59]
Bonnie Tyler"Total Eclipse of the Heart "1983Power ballad6[60]
Britney Spears"Oops!... I Did It Again"2000Dance-pop6[34]
Brotherhood of Man"Save Your Kisses for Me"1976Pop6[61]
The Chipmunks"The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)"1958Children, Christmas, Pop5.5[3]
Coolio ft. L.V."Gangsta's Paradise"1995Gangsta rap5.7[45][62][63]
Culture Club"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me"1982New Wave6.5[64]
Culture Club"Karma Chameleon"1983New Wave5[65]
Dawn"Knock Three Times"1971Pop6[66]
Dawn featuring Tony Orlando"Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree"1973Pop6[67]
Elvis Presley"Are You Lonesome Tonight?"1960Pop5[68]
Elvis Presley"Don't Be Cruel"1956Rock & roll5[69]
Elvis Presley"Love Me Tender"1956Acoustic5[70]
Elvis Presley"Surrender"1961Pop5[3][5]
Eminem"Stan"2000Alternative hip hop5[34]
Enigma"Sadeness (Part I)"1990New Age, Ambient techno5[71]
Engelbert Humperdinck"Release Me"1967Pop5[3]
Gene Austin"My Blue Heaven"1927Pop5[3]
Gene Autry"That Silver-Haired Daddy Of Mine"1939Pop5[3]
George Michael"Careless Whisper"1984Pop6[72]
Harry Simeone Chorale"The Little Drummer Boy"1958Pop6[3]
The Jackson 5"I Want You Back"1969R&B6[73]
The Jackson 5"I'll Be There"1970Pop5[74]
Janet Jackson"Together Again"1997Pop6[75]
Jeannie C. Riley"Harper Valley PTA"1968Pop, Country5.5[3]
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John"You're the One That I Want"1978Pop rock6.5[76][77][78]
Kaoma"Lambada"1989Lambada5[79]
Kylie Minogue"Can't Get You Out of My Head"2001Dance-pop5[34]
Jerry Lee Lewis"Great Balls of Fire"1957Rock and roll5[80]
Jerry Lee Lewis"Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On"1957Rock and roll6[80]
Madonna"Like a Prayer"1989Gospel, Pop rock5[81]
Madonna"Vogue"1990Dance-pop, House, Disco6[82]
Michael Jackson"Beat It"1983Rock5[e][78][83]
Michael Jackson"Billie Jean"1983R&B5.6[d][78][84]
Michael Jackson"Thriller"1984Funk6[c][78][85]
Mitch Miller"March from Bridge On The River Kwai"1957March5[3]
The Monkees"Daydream Believer"1967Pop rock5[86]
Mungo Jerry"In the Summertime"1970Pop6[3]
Musical Youth"Pass the Dutchie"1982Reggae5[87]
Neil Diamond"Cracklin' Rosie"1970Pop6[3]
The New Seekers"I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing"1971Pop/Folk6[3]
Nini Rosso"Il Silenzio"1965Pop5[3]
The Partridge Family"I Think I Love You"1970Pop5[3]
Queen"Bohemian Rhapsody"1976Rock opera5.9[h][88][89][90]
Shakira"Underneath Your Clothes"2002Pop5[34]
Simon & Garfunkel"Bridge Over Troubled Water"1970Soft rock6[17]
Spice Girls"Wannabe"1996Pop6[91]
Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler"Ballad of the Green Berets"1966Pop5[3]
Three Dog Night"Joy to the World"1971Rock5[3]
Tino Rossi"Petit Papa Noël"1946Christmas5.7[78]
Tom Jones"Delilah"1968Pop5[3]
Tommy James and the Shondells"Crimson and Clover"1968Psychedelic pop5[92]
The Tornados"Telstar"1962Pop5[3]
Wings"Mull of Kintyre"1977Rock6[93]

Best-selling digital singles

10 million copies or more

ArtistSingleReleasedGenreSales
(in millions)
Source
Adele"Rolling in the Deep"2010Soul10.38[94][95]
Bruno Mars"Just the Way You Are"2010Pop12.5[96]
Bruno Mars"Grenade"2010Pop10.2[96]
The Black Eyed Peas"I Gotta Feeling"2009Dance-pop14.6[97][98]
Flo Rida featuring T-Pain"Low"2007Hip hop10.12[99]
Gotye featuring Kimbra"Somebody That I Used to Know"2011Alternative rock, indie pop10[100]
Kesha"Tik Tok"2009Electropop13.65[97][101]
LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock"Party Rock Anthem"2011Electro-house12[96][102]
Lady Gaga"Poker Face"2008Electropop12.3[103]
Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean"Hips Don't Lie"2006Latin pop10[104]

7–9.99 million copies

ArtistSingleReleasedGenreSales
(in millions)
Source
Adele"Someone like You"2011Soul7.53[105][106]
Avril Lavigne"Girlfriend"2007Pop punk7.3[107]
Beyoncé"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"2008R&B7.47[108][109]
The Black Eyed Peas"Boom Boom Pow"2009Hip hop8.5[98]
The Black Eyed Peas"My Humps"2005Hip hop8[34][110]
The Black Eyed Peas"The Time (Dirty Bit)"2010Dance7.3[96]
Carly Rae Jepsen"Call Me Maybe"2012Pop9.1[111]
Eminem featuring Rihanna"Love the Way You Lie"2010Hip hop9.3[97]
Jason Mraz"I'm Yours"2008Pop, Folk rock9.6[98][112]
Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull"On the Floor"2011Dance8.4[96]
Journey"Don't Stop Believin'"1981Rock7.42[a][51][113]
Katy Perry"Firework"2010Dance-pop7.56[114][115]
Katy Perry"I Kissed a Girl"2008Pop rock8[20]
Lady Gaga"Bad Romance"2009Electropop9.7[97]
Lady Gaga"Born This Way"2011Electropop8.2[96]
Lady Gaga featuring Colby O'Donis"Just Dance"2008Electropop9.61[103]
Lady Gaga featuring Beyoncé"Telephone"2010Electropop7.4[97]
Leona Lewis"Bleeding Love"2008Pop7.7[116]
Lil Wayne featuring Static Major"Lollipop"2008Rap9.1[116]
LMFAO"Sexy and I Know It"2011Electro house6.93[117][118]
Madonna"Hung Up"2005Dance-pop, disco9[82][119]
Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera"Moves like Jagger"2011Pop8.5[96]
P!nk"So What"2008Pop rock7.8[20]
Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack, and Nayer"Give Me Everything"2011Electro-house, Dance-pop8.2[96]
Taio Cruz"Dynamite"2010Pop7.14[120]
Taylor Swift"Love Story"2008Country, Pop7.9[98][121]
Thelma Aoyama"Soba ni Iru ne"2008Pop8.2[116]
Utada Hikaru"Flavor of Life"2007Pop8[122]

5–6.99 million copies

ArtistSingleReleasedGenreSales
(in millions)
Source
Adele"Set Fire to the Rain"2011Pop, Soul5.01[123][124]
Akon"Don't Matter"2007Reggae fusion, folk, contemporary R&B5.7[107]
Alicia Keys"No One"2007R&B, Soul5.6[116]
Beyoncé"Halo"2009R&B, Pop5.7[125]
Beyoncé"Irreplaceable"2006Pop, R&B6.53[g][126][127]
Britney Spears"Circus"2008Pop5.5[98]
Britney Spears"Toxic"2004Pop6.5[128][129]
Britney Spears"Womanizer"2008Electropop6[34]
Bruno Mars"The Lazy Song"2011Pop6.5[96]
Cee Lo Green"Fuck You"2010Pop6.02[130]
Chris Brown"With You"2008Pop, R&B5.5[116]
Coldplay"Viva la Vida"2008Baroque pop6.41[131][132]
Eminem"Lose Yourself"2002Hardcore hip hop5.66[133]
Flo Rida"Right Round"2009Southern hip hop5.43[134]
Foster the People"Pumped Up Kicks"2010Indie pop / Alternative rock5.16[135]
Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe"We Are Young"2011Indie pop6.75[136]
Jay Sean featuring Lil Wayne"Down"2009R&B, Dance6[137]
Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys"Empire State of Mind"2009Hip-hop, R&B5.45[138]
Justin Bieber"Baby"2010Pop6.4[97]
Greeeen"Kiseki"2008Pop6.2[116]
Kanye West"Heartless"2008Pop5.5[98]
Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg"California Gurls"2010Pop6.7[97]
Katy Perry featuring Kanye West"E.T."2011Pop6.48[139]
Katy Perry"Teenage Dream"2010Pop rock, electropop5.18[140]
Katy Perry"Hot N Cold"2008Pop6.26[141]
Lady Antebellum"Need You Now"2009Country pop5.15[142]
Mariah Carey"We Belong Together"2005R&B5[34][143]
Miley Cyrus"Party in the U.S.A."2009R&B, dance-pop5.38[144]
One Direction"What Makes You Beautiful"2011Teen pop5[145]
Owl City"Fireflies"2009Pop5.39[146]
Paramore"crushcrushcrush"2007Rock6.1[97]
Rihanna featuring Jay-Z"Umbrella"2007R&B6.6[107]
Rihanna"Only Girl (In the World)"2010Europop, Dance-pop5.1[147][148][149]
Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris"We Found Love"2011Electro house6.90[150][151][152]
Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull"I Like It"2010Electropop5[153]
Shakira"La Tortura"2005Latin pop5[34][154]
Shop Boyz"Party Like a Rock Star"2007Pop5.2[107]
Soulja Boy Tell 'Em"Crank That (Soulja Boy)"2007Southern rap5.2[107]
Soulja Boy Tell 'Em"Kiss Me Thru the Phone"2007Southern rap5.7[98]
T-Pain"Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin')"2007Snap & B5.9[107]
Timbaland featuring OneRepublic"Apologize"2008Pop6.2[116]
Train"Hey, Soul Sister"2009Pop6.6[97]
Usher featuring Young Jeezy"Love in This Club"2008R&B, Synthpop5.6[116]
Usher featuring will.i.am"OMG"2010R&B, Soul6.9[97]

Notes

  1. ^ Sales figure includes 0.5 million in physical American sales.
  2. ^ Sales figure includes 3.025 million in American and Italian digital sales.
  3. ^ Sales figure includes 3.125 million in American, Australian, Italian and Mexican digital sales.
  4. ^ Sales figure includes 2.28 million in American, Australian and New Zealander digital sales.
  5. ^ Sales figure includes 1.98 million in American, Australian and New Zealander digital sales.
  6. ^ Sales figure does not include unreliably sourced estimates of 0.150 million in South Korean sales[155] or 0.35 million in updated actual British sales.[156] Were those figures included, the total would increase to 6.736 million. See this discussion for more info.
  7. ^ Sales figure includes 2.643 million in American digital sales.

See also

References

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