How Do You Find Data on Total Albums Sold by Artists?

The Recording Industry Association of America publishes data on the total number of albums sold by artists. The RIAA website features the top-selling 100 certified albums, top artists and top artists with digital singles as well as artist tallies. It also includes a searchable database of artist information, including information on album sales, awards and number of gold or platinum certified albums.

To find information about total album sales, follow the steps below.

  1. Navigate to the RIAA website
  2. From the home page, click on the Gold & Platinum tab. Click on the searchable database link from the options displayed. Enter an artist's or group's name into the database, and click on the Search button to begin searching the database's files. The website suggests entering the artist's last name first and putting quotes around the names of groups. Use the Advanced search feature to search for an artist by more specific search variables.

  3. Search the database
  4. After entering the search criteria, choose the artist from the search results to view statistics about the artist.

  5. View other information
  6. Click on the Top Tallies tab to see the top-selling albums of all time, and then click on Artist Tallies to see the number of times the artist has produced gold or platinum albums. Clicking on Top Artists (Albums) reveals the number of certified units in millions that each artist has sold. For example, The Beatles have sold 178 million units, while Garth Brooks has sold 135.5 million units.