It was never easy for artists to get a record deal, release their debut albums and build an audience but there are musicians who were able to do that incredibly well during their careers. A lot of famous bands from all music genres sold more than 100 million records worldwide when music was still a physical product.
That number is already absolutely incredible and really hard to achieve but there are artists who were able to go even further. Because they were lucky enough to have sold more than a 100 million records also on their solo career. However it’s a very select group of artists, with only 3 musicians.
The 3 artists who sold more than a 100 million records both as member of a band and as a solo act
Probably the artist that not many people would expect to see on this list would be Phil Collins. But he is one of the three who sold more than a 100 million records worldwide both as a solo artist and as a member of Genesis. He first achieved fame after he joined the Progressive Rock group in 1970. Five years later, after Peter Gabriel quit, he also became their lead vocalist. It was the beginning of a big change in Genesis’ sound that developed over the years, being more clear after the guitarist Steve Hackett left in 1977.
As a trio, with Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford, the group approached a more commercial sound. That was crucial to make them one of the best-selling bands of all time. According to their official Youtube channel bio, the group has sold an estimated amount of more than 100 million records worldwide.
Collins’ solo career started in 1981 with the release of the album “Face Value”. That record was followed by massive hit albums like “No Jacket Required” released in 1985, which was his best-selling record. It sold an estimated amount of more than 25 million copies sold worldwide. Although he released only 8 studio albums while Genesis released 15, it was Collins who sold more records. According to his official website, the artist sold an estimated amount of more than 150 million records worldwide.
- Genesis: More than 100 million records sold worldwide
- Phil Collins: More than 150 million records sold worldwide
The Beatles are the best-selling band of all time with an estimated amount of more than 600 million records sold worldwide according to CBS. They influenced countless generations of musicians, changing the course of music in the 60s.
His solo career started in 1970 when The Beatles came to an end after one decade together. The Fab Four released 12 studio albums and the best-selling one is the influential 1967 record “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. It has sold an estimated amount of more than 32 million copies worldwide according to Best Selling Albums.
As a solo act, considering also his band Wings, McCartney released 43 studio albums. As pointed by Chron, he sold more than 100 million records with those releases. His best-selling album is “Band On The Run” released with The Wings in 1973. It has sold an estimated amount of more than 7 million copies.
Another musician who sold more than 100 million copies with a band and as a solo artist is the late Michael Jackson. Born in Gary, Indiana back in 1958, he is the only American artist who made it to the select list. He started his musical career when he still was a kid in 1964 as a member of the band The Jackson 5, which was formed alongside his older brothers.
He was part of the band until 1984 when he left the band to focus on his successful solo career. According to ABC, The Jackson 5 sold more than 100 million records worldwide. It is three times less than what Michael sold with his solo work.
His classic album “Thriller” from 1982 still is the best-selling album of all time. It has sold an estimated amount of more than 70 million copies worldwide. It helped Jackson to have sold more than 300 million records all over the world.