This Is the Best-Selling Platinum Artist of All Time, and It Isn't The Beatles

The Beatles © David Magnus/REX/Shutterstock
The Beatles © David Magnus/REX/Shutterstock
Photo of Ryan Kristobak
Music Editor12 July 2017

We recently looked at the best-selling albums from the year you were born (starting in 1956 with Billboard‘s records), but which artist has accrued the most platinum albums throughout their career?

Prior to streaming platforms, artists had to sell 1 million physical copies of their album to go platinum; the rules are quite different now.

While one would expect The Beatles to top the list (Wikipedia suggests the Liverpool quartet is the best-selling act in terms of total records), as Business Insider notes, they come in second place.

Artists like Madonna, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and Led Zeppelin failed to crack the top 10 platinum artists, but a few surprising names, like Garth Brooks, who even made it into the top five, did. Find out who beat The Beatles below.

10. Alabama – 20

Platinum albums: 20
Multi-platinum: 10
Best-selling album: “Mountain Music” (5 million copies)

9. AC/DC – 20

Platinum albums: 20
Multi-platinum: 12
Diamond: 1
Best-selling album: “Back In Black” (22 million copies)

8. Neil Diamond – 21

Platinum albums: 21
Multi-platinum: 12
Best-selling album: “The Jazz Singer” (5 million copies)

7. Elton John – 27

Platinum albums: 27
Multi-platinum: 14
Diamond: 1
Best-selling album: “Greatest Hits” (17 million copies)

6. The Rolling Stones – 28

Platinum albums: 28
Multi-platinum: 11
Diamond: 1
Best-selling album: “Four Flicks” (19 million copies)

5. Barbra Streisand – 30

Platinum albums: 30
Multi-platinum: 12
Best-selling album: “Greatest Hits Volume II” (5 million copies)

4. Garth Brooks – 30

Platinum albums: 30
Multi-platinum: 16
Diamond: 7
Best-selling album: “Double Live” (21 million copies)

3. George Strait – 33

Platinum albums: 33
Multi-platinum: 13
Best-selling album: “Strait Out Of The Box” (8 million copies)

2. The Beatles – 42

Platinum albums: 42
Multi-platinum: 26
Diamond: 6
Best-selling album: “The Beatles (The White Album)” (19 million copies)

1. Elvis Presley – 53

Platinum albums: 53
Multi-platinum: 25
Diamond: 1
Best-selling album: “Elvis’ Christmas Album” (10 million copies)

Head over to Business Insider to check out the artists that round out the top 30.

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