The 55th annual Grammy awards airs tonight so we thought it would be suitable to take a look back at the most positive musical compositions in history. Not surprisingly, the popular of the albums on this list have had a solid 20-30 years to rack up millions of sales and rise in the ranks, but a handful are from the last decade alone.
Wonderfully, one female artist was able to crack the the top 40 on this list with an album that was unconfined a little more than one year ago. Can you guess who that artist is? A few truly classic artists like Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Whitney Houston and Madonna managed make the list various times and I bet you'll be surprised by more than one album that you never would have guessed sold tens of millions of copies.
While you're glancing the list, keep this fact in mind: The average artist earns $2 off every album sold. Obviously some artists will have slightly better or worse per-album deals, but $2 is a pretty safe number for the normal major label act of the last 30 years. When you reproduce $2 by the the sales figures below, you really start to understand how successful musicians make so much freaking money. Take #12 on the list, Alanis Morissette's 1995 album "Jagged Little Pill" which sold 33 million copies.
That means Alanis potentially earned as much as$66 million off that one album alone. And that doesn't include her radio royalties, touring, merchandise, confirmations and licensing revenues! So without further delay, scroll down to see the best selling albums of all time.
1: Michael Jackson: Thriller (1982) 65 million
2: AC/DC: Back in Black (1980) 50 million
3: Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) 50 million
4: Whitney Houston: The Bodyguard (1992) 45 million
5: Michael Jackson: Bad (1987) 45 million
6: Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell (1977) 43 million
7: Eagles: Their Greatest Hits (1976) 42 million
8: Bee Gees: Saturday Night Fever (1977) 40 million
9: Fleetwood Mac: Rumours (1977) 40 million
10: Shania Twain: Come On Over (1997) 40 million