Rihanna is the new undisputed queen of music.
In the last several weeks, Rih's ANTi cuts "Sex With Me" and "Love On The Brain" were certified Platinum in the US, but those feats pale in comparison to her latest accomplishment. According to a new report from Barbados Today, Rihanna is now officially the best-selling solo recording artist of all time with global sales of 213.2 million certified albums and singles, surpassing rock and roll legend Elvis Presley who has sold 211.5 million units.
They point out Rihanna has only released 12 albums (eight studio albums, two remix projects and two compilations) and 65 singles, compared to Elvis who released a combined total of 193 albums and 111 singles. However, it's worth mentioning the accessibility to consume music has changed drastically over the last several decades.
Rihanna is now only behind The Beatles in sales, who clock in at 270 million.
Certifications became more accurate with the advent of Soundscan in the early 90s, and even more so with the dawn of digital sales. Previously, record labels reported inflated figures to media outlets as a marketing gimmick, leading to artistes claiming sales of hundreds of millions of units which can never be accurately proven. With certifications being the only scientific method of sales accounting in the industry, this translates to Rihanna holding several high profile records at present including: Best Selling Solo Recording Artist of All Time; Best Selling Female Recording Artist of All Time; World’s Best Selling Recording Act of All Time Outside of The United Kingdom; Best Selling Recording Artiste of All Time – Americas; Best Selling Singles Artist; and Best Selling Digital Artist of All Time.
Total Certified Sales Worldwide:
The Beatles – 270 million (UK)
Rihanna – 213.2 million (Barbados)
Elvis Presley – 211.5 million (USA)
Michael Jackson – 181.2 million (USA)
Madonna – 170 million (USA)
Elton John – 167.4 million (UK)
Garth Brooks – 156 million (USA)
Taylor Swift – 149.2 million (USA)
The article also mentions Adele’s total stands at 99.7 million albums and singles sold worldwide, and Beyonce has sold a total of 76.3 million units (solo) or 136.3 million with Destiny’s Child and her solo releases combined.
Barbados Today never cites where they get their stats from, so it's all a bit suspect. In fact, none of this really makes sense, but anyway...