List of Best-selling Singles
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List of Best-selling Singles

1942 10-inch 78 rpm release of the single "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby.

This article is a compendium of the best-selling music singles. The criterion for inclusion on the list is to have sold at least five million copies worldwide. The singles listed here were cited by reliable sources from various media, such as digital journalism, newspapers, magazines, and books.

It is notable that, according to Guinness World Records, "White Christmas" (1942) by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies.[1] 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". Also, 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.[1]

The list is split between physical (mainly CD and vinyl) singles and digitally downloaded tracks which first became available to purchase in the early 2000s.

Best-selling physical singles

15 million copies or more

10-14.9 million copies

8-9.9 million copies

7-7.9 million copies

6-6.9 million copies

5-5.9 million copies

Artist Single Released Sales
(in millions)
Source
Tino Rossi "Petit Papa Noël" 1946 5.7 [86]
Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa and Pink "Lady Marmalade" 2001 5.2 [87]
1910 Fruitgum Company "Simon Says" 1967 5 [88]
ABBA "Waterloo" 1974 5 [5]
Gene Austin "My Blue Heaven" 1927 5 [5][89]
Gene Autry "That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine" 1935 5 [5]
The Beatles "She Loves You" 1963 5 [5]
Bee Gees "Massachusetts" 1967 5 [90]
Culture Club "Karma Chameleon" 1983 5 [91]
Enigma "Sadeness (Part I)" 1990 5 [92]
George Harrison "My Sweet Lord" 1970 5 [5]
Engelbert Humperdinck "Release Me" 1967 5 [5]
Terry Jacks "Seasons in the Sun" 1974 5 [5]
The Jackson 5 "I'll Be There" 1970 5 [93]
Tommy James and the Shondells "Crimson and Clover" 1968 5 [94]
Tom Jones "Delilah" 1968 5 [5]
Jerry Lee Lewis "Great Balls of Fire" 1957 5 [78]
Kaoma "Lambada" 1989 5 [95]
Madonna "Like a Prayer" 1989 5 [96]
Ricky Martin "María" 1995 5 [97]
Michael Zager Band "Let's All Chant" 1977 5 [98][99]
Mitch Miller "March from the River Kwai" 1957 5 [5]
Kylie Minogue "Can't Get You Out of My Head" 2001 5 [100]
The Monkees "Daydream Believer" 1967 5 [101]
Musical Youth "Pass the Dutchie" 1982 5 [102]
The Partridge Family "I Think I Love You" 1970 5 [5]
Elvis Presley "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" 1960 5 [103]
Elvis Presley "Surrender" 1961 5 [5][104]
Jeannie C. Riley "Harper Valley PTA" 1968 5 [5]
Nini Rosso "Il Silenzio" 1965 5 [5]
David Seville and the Chipmunks "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" 1958 5 [5]
Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler "Ballad of the Green Berets" 1966 5 [5]
Billy Swan "I Can Help" 1974 5 [105]
Three Dog Night "Joy to the World" 1971 5 [5]
The Tornados "Telstar" 1962 5 [5]

Best-selling digital singles

15 million digital copies or more

12-14.99 million copies

10-11.99 million copies

8-9.99 million copies

Artist Single Released Sales
(in millions)
Source
Twenty One Pilots "Stressed Out" 2015 9.9[b] [108]
P!nk featuring Nate Ruess "Just Give Me a Reason" 2013 9.9[b] [111]
Katy Perry "Roar" 2013 9.9[b] [111]
Bruno Mars "That's What I Like" 2017 9.7[b] [106]
Lady Gaga "Bad Romance" 2009 9.7 [130]
fun. featuring Janelle Monáe "We Are Young" 2011 9.6 [113]
Pitbull featuring Kesha "Timber" 2013 9.6[b] [112]
Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers "Get Lucky" 2013 9.3[b] [111]
Taylor Swift "Blank Space" 2014 9.2[b] [107]
Maroon 5 "Payphone" 2012 9.1 [113]
Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX "Fancy" 2014 9.1[b] [112]
Lil Wayne featuring Static Major "Lollipop" 2008 9.1 [131]
Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea "Problem" 2014 9[b] [112]
Madonna "Hung Up" 2005 9[c] [79]
Thelma Aoyama "Soba ni Iru ne" 2008 8.7 [132]
Imagine Dragons "Radioactive" 2012 8.6[b] [111]
Magic! "Rude" 2014 8.6[b] [112]
Black Eyed Peas "Boom Boom Pow" 2009 8.5 [118]
Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull "On the Floor" 2011 8.4 [116]
Kendrick Lamar "Humble" 2017 8.3[b] [106]
Charlie Puth "Attention" 2017 8.3[b] [106]
Bruno Mars "When I Was Your Man" 2013 8.3[b] [111]
OMI "Cheerleader" 2014 8.3[b] [107]
Lady Gaga "Born This Way" 2011 8.2 [116]
Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack, and Nayer "Give Me Everything" 2011 8.2 [116]
Jason Derulo "Want to Want Me" 2015 8.1[b] [107]
will.i.am featuring Britney Spears "Scream & Shout" 2012 8.1[b] [111]
Utada Hikaru "Flavor of Life" 2007 8 [133]
Enrique Iglesias featuring Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona "Bailando" 2014 8[b] [112]

7-7.99 million copies

6-6.99 million copies

5-5.99 million copies

IFPI best-selling single worldwide by year

The charts of the best-selling singles by year in the world are compiled by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry annually since 2007. These charts were published in their two annual reports, the Digital Music Report and the Recording Industry in Numbers. Both the Digital Music Report and the Recording Industry in Numbers were replaced in 2016 by the Global Music Report.[157]

Units sold include single-track downloads, audio and video mastertones, ringback tones, full track downloads to mobile and, starting in 2013, track-equivalent streams. All versions of the same song are combined in these charts.

Year Single Artist Nationality Sales
(in millions)
Source
2007 "Girlfriend" Avril Lavigne  Canada 7.3 [135]
2008 "Lollipop" Lil Wayne featuring Static Major  United States 9.1 [131]
2009 "Poker Face" Lady Gaga  United States 9.8 [118]
2010 "TiK ToK" Kesha  United States 12.8 [130]
2011 "Just the Way You Are" Bruno Mars  United States 12.5 [116]
2012 "Call Me Maybe" Carly Rae Jepsen  Canada 12.5 [113]
2013 "Blurred Lines" Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell  United States 14.8 [111]
2014 "Happy" Pharrell Williams  United States 13.9 [112]
2015 "See You Again" Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth  United States 20.9 [107]
2016 "One Dance" Drake featuring Wizkid & Kyla  Canada 12.5 [108]
2017 "Shape of You" Ed Sheeran  United Kingdom 26.6 [106]

See also

Notes

  • a.^ Sales figure includes digital sales.
  • b.^ Sales figure includes 'equivalent track streams'.
  • c.^ Sales figure includes physical sales.
  • d.^ Sales figure includes ringback tone sales not counted by the IFPI.

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Bibliography


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