From the Eagles to The Beatles, records by pop music groups dominate the all-time list of best-selling albums. So in the interest of learning which artists didn't have to share beaucoup album royalties with pesky, undeserving bandmates (we see you, no-name bassist of Hootie & the Blowfish), we've narrowed the focus and shone a spotlight on the twenty best-selling solo albums ever.
Worldwide album sales are notoriously tough to track accurately. Instead we've gone with U.S. sales only and consulted the tried-and-true Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and its Gold & Platinum Certification Program. The criteria (includes both physical and digital albums):
- Gold — 500,000 Units
- Platinum — 1,000,000 Units
- Multi-Platinum — 2,000,000 Units (increments of 1,000,000 thereafter)
- Diamond — 10,000,000 Units (increments of 1,000,000 thereafter)
In addition, note that when it comes to double albums and multi-disc box sets, the RIAA counts each individual disc as a unit sold.
With the particulars out of the way, let's kick out the jams.