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Here Are the 50 Best-Selling Albums of All Time

Picture of Ann Lee
Music Editor
Updated: 9 August 2017
Michael Jackson’s Thriller has been named the best-selling album of all time.

The 1982 release topped Business Insider’s epic list with Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits Volume 1 & Volume 2 coming second and Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) in third place.

The top 50 was compiled using Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)’s data for the best-selling albums in US history, which is measured in the number of ‘certified units’ sold.

Adele is one of the most recent entries, at number 30 with her 2011 album 21 selling 14 million certified units.

Jacko’s Thriller, which features ‘Beat It’, ‘Billie Jean’ and ‘The Girl Is Mine’, shifted a staggering 32 million certified units.

The King of Pop’s still got it.

The 50 best-selling albums of all time:

50. Phil Collins – No Jacket Required

Certified units: 12 million

49. Matchbox Twenty – Yourself or Someone Like You

Certified units: 12 million

48. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II

Certified units: 12 million

47. Kenny Rogers – Kenny Rogers’ Greatest Hits

Certified units: 12 million

46. Kenny G – Breathless

Certified units: 12 million

45. Jewel – Pieces of You

Certified units: 12 million

44. Dixie Chicks – Wide Open Spaces

Certified units: 12 million

43. Def Leppard – Hysteria

Certified units: 12 million

42. Boyz II Men – II

Certified units: 12 million

41. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet

Certified units: 12 million

40. Whitney Houston – Whitney Houston

Certified units: 13 million

39. Prince & The Revolution – Purple Rain

Certified units: 13 million

38. Pearl Jam – Ten

Certified units: 13 million

37. Bruce Springsteen – Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band Live 1975-’85

Certified units: 13 million

36. Backstreet Boys – Millennium

Certified units: 13 million

35. Steve Miller Band – Greatest Hits 1974-1978

Certified units: 13 million

34. Simon & Garfunkel – Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits

Certified units: 14 million

33. Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell

Certified units: 14 million

32. Garth Brooks – Ropin’ The Wind

Certified units: 14 million

31. Britney Spears – …Baby One More Time

Certified units: 14 million

30. Adele – 21

Certified units: 14 million

29. Backstreet Boys – Backstreet Boys

Certified units: 14 million

28. The Beatles – The Beatles 1962-1966

Certified units: 15 million

27. Santana – Supernatural

Certified units: 15 million

26. Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon

Certified units: 15 million

25. Journey – Greatest Hits

Certified units: 15 million

24. Bruce Springsteen – Born In The U.S.A.

Certified units: 15 million

23. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Legend

Certified units: 15 million

22. Bee Gees – Saturday Night Fever (Soundtrack)

Certified units: 15 million

21. Metallica – Metallica

Certified units: 16 million

20. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti

Certified units: 16 million

19. Hootie & The Blowfish – Cracked Rear View

Certified units: 16 million

18. Eagles – Hotel California

Certified units: 16 million

17. Alanis Morisette – Jagged Little Pill

Certified units: 16 million

16. Whitney Houston – The Bodyguard (Soundtrack)

Certified units: 17 million

15. The Beatles – The Beatles 1967-1970

Certified units: 17 million

14. Garth Brooks – No Fences

Certified units: 17 million

13. Elton John – Greatest Hits

Certified units: 17 million

12. Boston – Boston

Certified units: 17 million

11. Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction

Certified units: 18 million

10. The Beatles – The Beatles (The White Album)

Certified units: 19 million

9. Shania Twain – Come On Over

Certified units: 20 million

8. Fleetwood Mac — Rumours

Certified units: 20 million

7. Garth Brooks – Double Live

Certified units: 21 million

6. AC/DC – Back In Black

Certified units: 22 million

5. Pink Floyd – The Wall

Certified units: 23 million

4. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV

Certified units: 23 million

3. Billy Joel – Greatest Hits Volume 1 & Volume 2

Certified units: 23 million

2. Eagles – Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)

Certified units: 29 million

1. Michael Jackson – Thriller

Certified units: 32 million

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