The music industry is properly flooded with female artists in the last few decades. While that’s primarily a good thing, that does make the market somewhat oversaturated and makes it harder for people to know who’s got a career that will last and who doesn’t.
But since we’re here to help, let’s take a walk down history lane and take a look at some of the best female artists of all time. And the best way to determine this is by simply counting record sales. You might have heard of some of these.
Lady Gaga hasn’t been a part of the music business for very long, but she has already sold a whopping 114 million records. She’s known mostly for her extravagant style and in recent years we’ve discovered that she can pretty much make whatever kind of music she likes and it’ll be good.
The only singer being able to effortlessly use the whistle register of the voice, Mariah Carey has sold 200 million records over her career. She had most of her successes in the 1990s and has somewhat faded away since then.
It’s hard to imagine Taylor not being on this list. She’s been on top of the music scene for over a decade, and her 175 million sold records represent this nicely. This makes her one of the best-selling modern musicians, and she could easily double this number for the rest of her career.
One of the most recognizable voices of a generation, Whitney Houston had one success after another in her music career. She sold 200 million records in total, and is sadly the only artist on this list that has already passed away.
Move over, Taylor Swift! Rihanna’s whopping 230 million record sales effectively make her the most successful modern female artist. Considering how it’s been a while since we got new work from Rihanna, I’d imagine a new record is just around the corner. If it sells anything like the last ones, this should push her over 250 million easily.
While having only 100 million records sold seems like a small number compared to some of the other artists on this list, Katy Perry has earned a spot in the list of the most successful female artists of all time. She became a household name despite having started her career – not so successfully – as a gospel artist. After reinventing herself, she went on to conquer the world.
There’s no female artist more successful than Madonna, and her 300 million sold records worldwide are the perfect example of this. She has had the longest active career of anyone on this list, so I guess time will have to tell how long Madonna can stay at the top spot. Her last album was a bit of a downer, so it’s safe to assume that unless something really wild happens – and it’s Madonna, so it could – her career is as good as over.
Another artist that sold 200 million records worldwide, Céline Dion started off as a French singing artist that had to swap languages to really make a big career for herself. She hasn’t done too bad at that, and after only being seen performing in Las Vegas residency shows, she’s now ready for another world tour.