They Went Platinum and Then Some: The Top Black Pop Artists Of The Last 20 Years

November 8, 2012  |  
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We’re going to tell you right now that this list is going to surprise you. Billboard put together a list of the top pop artists of the last twenty years between 1992 and 2012, based on hit singles and album sales. Times have changed so much over the past two decades in terms of how people consume music that it’s hard to define success by album or single sales. Selling one million albums in 1992 means totally something different from selling one million albums in 2012. In any case, it’s still fun to look at how different artists have charted over the years. Here are the top pop Black artists of the last two decades.


35. TLC

Named one of the best groups of all time, TLC has ten top ten singles, four Grammy Awards, four number one singles and four multi-platinum albums. They have sold 55 million albums and are the best selling R&B female group of all time, and second best selling female group.

29. Boyz II Men

The group’s single “End of the Road” was their No. 1 hit, remaining on top of the charts for 13 weeks.  Boyz II Men has sold over 60 million albums worldwide, and has won four Grammy Awards.

27. Flo Rida

His debut single “Low” hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts and remained there for 10 weeks.  His second most successful single “Right Round” topped the charts for six weeks.

26. Destiny’s Child

Destiny’s Child has sold over 50 million albums, achieving huge success with the release of their album “The Writing’s on the Wall.” The group has won three Grammy Awards.

22. Chris Brown

Breaking into the music scene with his debut single “Run It!” Chris Brown has won one Grammy Award, and sold millions.

21. Nelly

Ranked third as the Top Artist of the Decade in 2009 by Billboard, Nelly has sold 21 million albums, and has won two Grammy Awards.

16. Beyonce

Beyonce has won 16 Grammy Awards and has sold 75 million albums worldwide. She was named the top female artist of the 2000s.

9. Janet Jackson

She has sold over 100 million albums, she has 27 top 10 hits on the Hot 100 chart, and 31 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart.

7. Usher

Selling over 65 million albums worldwide, he has won seven Grammy Awards, and is certified four times platinum.  He is the second most successful artist of the 2000s decade, according to Billboard.

5. Mariah Carey

With a comeback we’re all still talking about, Mariah has sold over 200 million records, and was the world’s best belling artist of the 90s. She has five Grammy Awards, 31 Billboard Music Awards and 17 World Music Awards to name a few.

1. Rihanna

Rihanna has sold over 25 million albums and 60 million digital singles, making her the highest selling digital artist in American history.  She has won five Grammys.

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