List of best-selling singles

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

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

It is notable that, according to Guinness World Records, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1942) as performed 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". Guinness World Records also states that double A-side charity single "Candle in the Wind 1997"/"Something About the Way You Look Tonight" (1997) by Elton John (rewritten as a tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, rather than the Marilyn Monroe of the original 1973 version), is "the biggest-selling single since UK and US singles charts began in the 1950s, having accumulated worldwide sales of 33 million copies". This makes it the second-best-selling physical single of all time.[1]

There are three best-selling singles lists displayed here:

  1. Best-selling physical singles (mainly CD and vinyl) singles)
  2. Best-selling digital singles (digitally downloaded tracks which first became available to purchase in the early 2000s)
  3. Best-selling streaming singles (post-2015 singles where tracks streams are converted to sales using the streaming equivalent method)

Best-selling physical singlesEdit

15 million physical copies or moreEdit

Artist Single Released Sales
(in millions)
Source
Bing Crosby "White Christmas" 1942 50 [1]
Elton John "Candle in the Wind 1997" 1997 33 [1]
Mungo Jerry "In the Summertime" 1970 30 [2][3][4]
Bing Crosby "Silent Night" 1935 30 [5]
Bill Haley & His Comets "Rock Around the Clock" 1954 25 [6]
Whitney Houston "I Will Always Love You" 1992 20 [7]
Elvis Presley "It's Now or Never" 1960 20 [5][8]
USA for Africa "We Are the World" 1985 20 [9]
The Ink Spots "If I Didn't Care" 1939 19 [10]
Celine Dion "My Heart Will Go On" 1997 18 [11]
Baccara "Yes Sir, I Can Boogie" 1977 18 [12]
Mariah Carey "All I Want for Christmas Is You" 1994 16 [13]
Bryan Adams "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" 1991 15 [14]
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John "You're the One That I Want" 1978 15 [15]
Scorpions "Wind of Change" 1991 15 [16]

10–14.9 million copiesEdit

Artist Single Released Sales
(in millions)
Source
The Andrews Sisters "Bei Mir" 1937 14 [17]
Gloria Gaynor "I Will Survive" 1978 14 [citation needed]
Prince Nico Mbarga "Sweet Mother" 1976 13 [18]
Kyu Sakamoto "Sukiyaki" 1963 13 [19]
Trio "Da Da Da" 1982 13 [20]
Gene Autry "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" 1949 12.5 [21]
The Beatles "I Want to Hold Your Hand" 1963 12 [5]
Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman "Time to Say Goodbye" 1996 12 [22]
Village People "Y.M.C.A." 1978 12 [23]
Band Aid "Do They Know It's Christmas?" 1984 11.7 [24]
Cher "Believe" 1998 11 [25][26]
Carl Douglas "Kung Fu Fighting" 1974 11 [27][28]
George McCrae "Rock Your Baby" 1974 11 [5]
Mills Brothers "Paper Doll" 1943 11 [5]
Roger Whittaker "The Last Farewell" 1975 11 [29]
ABBA "Fernando" 1976 10 [30]
Roy Acuff "Wabash Cannonball" 1942 10 [5]
Paul Anka "Diana" 1957 10 [31][32]
Toni Braxton "Un-Break My Heart" 1996 10 [33]
George Harrison "My Sweet Lord" 1970 10 [34]
Los del Río "Macarena" 1995 10 [35]
Middle of the Road "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" 1971 10 [5]
The Monkees "I'm a Believer" 1966 10 [5][36]
Panjabi MC "Mundian To Bach Ke" 1998 10 [37]
Patti Page "Tennessee Waltz" 1950 10 [38][39][40]
The Penguins "Earth Angel" 1954 10 [41]
Elvis Presley "Hound Dog" 1956 10 [42]
Procol Harum "A Whiter Shade of Pale" 1967 10 [5]
Britney Spears "...Baby One More Time" 1998 10 [43]


Best-selling digital singles

15 million digital copies or moreEdit

Artist Single Released Sales
(in millions)
Source
Adele "Rolling in the Deep" 2010 20.6[b] [44]
Lady Gaga "Poker Face" 2009 20.3[e] [45]
Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera "Moves Like Jagger" 2010 20.1[b] [46]
Ed Sheeran "Thinking Out Loud" 2014 19.5[b] [47]
Eminem featuring Rihanna "Love the Way You Lie 2010 18.7 [48]
Carly Rae Jepsen "Call Me Maybe" 2011 18 [49]
Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling 2009 17.7[b] [50]
Adele "Someone Like You" 2011 17.4[b] [51]
Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars "Uptown Funk" 2014 17[b] [52]
Bruno Mars "Just the Way You Are" 2010 16.2 [53]
Eminem "Lose Yourself" 2002 15.9 [54]
Various Artists "Frozen" 2014 15.5[b] [47]

12–14.99 million copiesEdit

Artist Single Released Sales
(in millions)
Source
Black Eyed Peas "Boom Boom Pow" 2009 14.4[b] [55]
Coldplay "Viva La Vida" 2008 14.2 [56]
Kesha "TiK ToK" 2009 14 [57]
Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa "Payphone" 2012 14[b] [58]
Lady Gaga featuring Colby O'donis "Just Dance" 2008 13.6 [59]
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz "Thrift Shop" 2012 13.4 [60]
Journey "Don't Stop Believin'" 1981 13.1[b] [61]
Beyoncé "Halo" 2008 13.1[b] [62]
Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris "We Found Love" 2011 13[b] [63]
Katy Perry "Firework" 2010 12.8[b] [64]
Bruno Mars "Grenade" 2010 12.5[b] [65]
Lady Gaga "Bad Romance" 2010 12.3[b] [66]
Taylor Swift "Love Story" 2008 12.2 [67]
Imagine Dragons "Radioactive" 2012 12.1 [68]

10–11.99 million copiesEdit

Artist Single Released Sales
(in millions)
Source
Beyoncé "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" 2008 11.9[b] [69]
Katy Perry "I Kissed a Girl" 2008 11.8[b] [70]
Katy Perry "Hot n Cold" 2008 11.8[b] [71]
Katy Perry "Roar" 2013 11.8[b] [72]
Avril Lavigne "Girlfriend" 2007 11.6[b] [73]
Eminem "Not Afraid" 2010 11.6[b] [74]
Ed Sheeran "Thinking Out Loud" 2014 11.4[b] [75]
Rihanna featuring Jay-Z "Umbrella" 2007 11.3[b] [76]
Justin Timberlake featuring Timbaland "SexyBack" 2006 11.3[b] [77]
Adele "Hello" 2015 11.3[b] [78]
Beyoncé "Irreplaceable" 2006 11.1[b] [79]
Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris "Baby" 2010 11.1 [80]
Shakira featuring Freshlyground "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" 2010 11.1 [81]
Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean "Hips Don't Lie" 2006 11.1 [82]
Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg "California Gurls" 2010 11.1 [83]
Adele "Set Fire to the Rain" 2011 10.4 [84]

Best-selling streaming singles

30 million streaming units or moreEdit

Artist Single Released Sales

(in millions)

Source
Ed Sheeran "Shape of You" 2017 41.5[b] [85][86]
Xiao Zhan "光点 (Spotlight)" 2020 40.2[e] [87]
Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee "Despacito" 2017 36.1[b] [85][86]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  • 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.

ReferencesEdit

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BibliographyEdit