The Biggest Album Sales of All Time: Does Your Favorite Artist Make the Cut?

October 18, 2012  |  

Fans are known to make outlandish claims defending the supremacy of their chosen idol. When debates get heated and tempers flair, it’s time to face the facts. As the song goes, “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.”

Album sales don’t come as easily as they used to. Purchasing an album is a commitment only the best artists can persuade audiences to make. Compiled below are the best selling black artists in Pop/R&B and Hip-Hop, as tallied by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). How does your favorite measure up to the best?

Hip-Hop #5 – Notorious B.I.G.

17 million units

A gift for storytelling and a penchant for humorous, violently detailed narratives of Brooklyn street life launched the Notorious B.I.G. to stardom and paved the way for the return of East Coast rapper after the Dr. Dre era. His untimely death in 1997 raised his impact to mythic proportions.

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