Timeline history of most popular music artists from 1969 to 2019 ranked by yearly certified record sales. Numbers are worldwide and adjusted to twelve months trailing average.
Recent years data includes digital singles sales as reported by online music retailers and streaming services. This data aggregates multiple sources and can serve as popularity indicator across different medias such as album sales, radio broadcasting, digital copies sales and online streaming frequency.
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Data source: RIAA, IFPI, record companies