Top 50 Best-Selling Artists of All Time

Paul McCartney of The Beatles and Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones sit opposite each other on a train at London's Euston Station.
Paul McCartney of The Beatles and Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones sit opposite each other on a train at London's Euston Station.
Victor Blackman, Express/Getty Images

Who are America’s all-time favorite musicians and bands? When it comes to the best-selling artists of all time, The Beatles still rule—yes, even a half-century after their breakup. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), these are the 50 best-selling artists of all time.

1. The Beatles

Express Newspapers/Getty Images

Albums sold: 183 million

2. Garth Brooks

Cooper Neill/Getty Images for dcp

Albums sold: 148 million

3. Elvis Presley

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Albums sold: 146.5 million

4. Eagles

Rachel Kramer via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Albums sold: 120 million

5. Led Zeppelin

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Albums sold: 111.5 million

6. Billy Joel

Albums sold: 84.5 million

7. Michael Jackson

Getty Images

Albums sold: 84 million

8. Elton John

LENNART PREISS/AFP/Getty Images

Albums sold: 78.5 million

9. Pink Floyd

Albums sold: 75 million

10. AC/DC

Albums sold: 72 million

11. George Strait

Albums sold: 69 million

12. Barbra Streisand

Terry Fincher, Express/Getty Images

Albums sold: 68.5 million

13. The Rolling Stones

Getty Images

Albums sold: 66.5 million

14. Aerosmith

U.S. Navy, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Albums sold: 66.5 million

15. Bruce Springsteen

Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

Albums sold: 66.5 million

16. Madonna

Albums sold: 64.5 million

17. Mariah Carey

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Albums sold: 64 million

18. Metallica

Albums sold: 63 million

19. Whitney Houston

By asterix611 (Asterio Tecson) via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Albums sold: 58.5 million

20. Van Halen

Albums sold: 56.5 million

21. Fleetwood Mac

Warner Bros. Records - Billboard, page 86, 25 Jun 1977, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Albums sold: 54.5 million

22. U2

Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Albums sold: 52 million

23. Céline Dion

Albums sold: 50 million

24. Neil Diamond

Keystone/Getty Images

Albums sold: 49.5 million

25. Journey

Albums sold: 48 million

26. Kenny G

Noam Galai, Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Albums sold: 48 million

27. Shania Twain

Albums sold: 48 million

28. Kenny Rogers

Albums sold: 47.5 million

29. Alabama

Albums sold: 46.5 million

30. Eminem

Kevin Winter, Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Albums sold: 46 million

31. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

By American Talent International, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Albums sold: 44.5 million

32. Guns N’ Roses

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Albums sold: 44.5 million

33. Alan Jackson

Albums sold: 43.5 million

34. Santana

By Columbia Records, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Albums sold: 43.5 million

35. Taylor Swift

Rich Fury, Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Albums sold: 43 million

36. Reba McEntire

Albums sold: 41 million

37. Eric Clapton

Albums sold: 40 million

38. Chicago

Albums sold: 38.5 million

39. Simon & Garfunkel

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Albums sold: 38.5 million

40. Foreigner

Albums sold: 38 million

41. Rod Stewart

Getty Images

Albums sold: 38 million

42. Tim McGraw

Albums sold: 37.5 million

43. Backstreet Boys

Albums sold: 37 million

44. 2 Pac

Albums sold: 36.5 million

45. Bob Dylan

Evening Standard/Getty Images

Albums sold: 36 million

46. Def Leppard

Albums sold: 35.5 million

47. Queen

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Albums sold: 35 million

48. Dave Matthews Band

Albums sold: 34.5 million

49. Britney Spears

Christopher Polk, Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Albums sold: 34.5 million

50. Bon Jovi

Albums sold: 34.5 million

Save Up to 80 Percent on Furniture, Home Decor, and Appliances During Wayfair's Way Day 2020 Sale

Wayfair
Wayfair

From September 23 to September 24, customers can get as much as 80 percent off home decor, furniture, WFH essentials, kitchen appliances, and more during the Wayfair's Way Day 2020 sale. Additionally, when you buy a select Samsung appliance during the sale, you'll also get a $200 Wayfair gift card once the product ships. Make sure to see all that the Way Day 2020 sale has to offer. These prices won’t last long, so we've also compiled a list of the best deals for your home below.

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AllModern/Wayfair

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Langley Street/Wayfair

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NutriBullet/Wayfair

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Samsung/Wayfair

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Foundery Select/Wayfair

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50 Years of Monday Night Football's Memorable Theme Music

iStock
iStock

Monday Night Football turns 50 years old today—notably on a Monday! And as the Raiders and Saints warm up for tonight's kickoff, fans will know it's game time when they hear four distinct, descending notes. But it wasn't always that way. The biggest game of the week has been soundtracked by a handful of theme songs, starting back on September 21, 1970.

When Monday Night Football premiered on ABC, it was accompanied by the thoroughly groovy, Hammond organ-heavy “Score” by Charles Fox. The composer had previously written the theme for ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and he would later make a name for himself doing the theme songs for Happy Days and The Love Boat, as well as composing Roberta Flack’s Grammy-winning “Killing Me Softly with His Song.”

“No network had ever programmed a regular sporting event in the evening in prime time,” Fox wrote in his autobiography, and though no one could know what a juggernaut the show would become, he set about writing a funky soul-jazz tune. The song was released under the alias “Bob’s Band”—presumably because Fox was employed at the time by Bob Israel’s Score Productions, a music company specializing in theme songs and background music.

Fox retained its rights over that song, but the show moved on to a new opener after a few years. “Monday Night Football is still on the air, but my theme was replaced after seven years by someone named … Bob Israel,” Fox wrote of his former boss. Well, almost. First, there was a version simply called “ABC – Monday Night Football Theme” that aired from 1976 to 1981. Then in 1982, Israel’s Score Productions was brought in to update that song. The three composers of the 1976 piece unsuccessfully sued for copyright infringement.

Then, in 1989, Johnny Pearson’s “Heavy Action” rang in a new era of watching live sports from the comfort of your La-Z-Boy. Though the company had retained the rights to the song a decade previously, they used it primarily as background music and didn't make it an official theme until '89. The first four notes of the British composer’s opener became synonymous with American football, and the song is likely one of the most widely and easily recognized themes in television history.

Also in 1989, country star Hank Williams Jr. reworked his earlier hit "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" into a bar-room blues rocker that spoke of "turning on [his] TV for some pigskin fun." The song was a huge success and ran in various forms on the program for over 20 years. Williams enthusiastically growling "Are you ready for some football?" became as identifiable to the show as the opening notes of "Heavy Action."

Unfortunately, in 2011, Monday Night Football (which in 2006 moved from ABC to ESPN) dropped Williams' theme after he made controversial statements about President Barack Obama on Fox News. The network reverted to featuring "Heavy Action" most prominently, and in 2015 they reworked the theme yet again. That intro, which ran before each of the season's games, featured archive videos and computer generated players to highlight some of the greatest plays and playmakers in the history of the broadcast.

In 2017, Hank Williams Jr. and all his "Rowdy Friends" made their way back to the top of the football broadcast, but they've been replaced again in 2020 for Monday Night Football's 50th anniversary season with a cover of Little Richard's "Rip It Up," courtesy of Butcher Brown.

Yeah, we're definitely ready for some football.