The two biggest artists of the 20th century are still making their mark well into the 21st century. Elvis Presley and The Beatles both made Nielsen Music’s list of the Top 10 artists of the past decade (2010-2019) for album sales. They were the only non-contemporary artists who made the Top 10.
Adele, Taylor Swift and Eminem hold the first three spots, with The Beatles at number six and Elvis Presley at number 10. The Beatles had 10,309,000 in album sales for the decade, and Elvis had 9,278,000.
Here is the full Top 10 list of Total Album Sales for the Decade:
1) Adele 23,924,000
2) Taylor Swift 22,972,000
3) Eminem 13,862,000
4) Justin Bieber 12,098,000
5) Drake 10,526,000
6) The Beatles 10,309,000
7) Luke Bryan 9,572,000
8) Lady Antebellum 9,452,000
9) Michael Buble 9,444,000
10) Elvis Presley 9,278,000
The fairly close number of album sales between Elvis and The Beatles has been holding steady over time. According to The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), The Beatles and Elvis are among the top three artists of all time in album sales.
As of January 2020, The Beatles were at the top with 183 million albums sold, Garth Brooks was number two with 148 million and Elvis Presley was at number three with 146.5 million.
However, the RIAA only includes sales of records which sell over 500,000 units (“Gold” status). Therefore, the tabulations for total album sales are updated sporadically whenever one of the artist’s albums reach a Gold, Platinum, Multi-platinum or Diamond certification.
To contribute to their album sales, The Beatles have released new, remastered editions of several of their albums in the last decade including Sgt. Pepper, The White Album and Abbey Road.
In fact, according to the Nielsen report, The Beatles made the list of Top 10 best-selling artists of 2019 and the group was in the Top 10 for album total sales for the year (both at the number 10 spot). The Beatles’ Abbey Road was also the best-selling vinyl LP of 2019.
Want to know more about the never-ending connection and behind-the-scenes stories about Elvis and The Beatles?
Click here to read a free excerpt of my book, ELVIS AND THE BEATLES: Love and Rivalry Between the Two Biggest Acts of the 20th Century.