Solo Artists Who Were More Successful Than Their Bands

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25. Sting (The Police)
> Billboard entries as solo artist: 20 songs, 21 albums
> Billboard entries with group: 13 songs, 11 albums
> Biggest album as solo artist: Brand New Day (1999) (1 week at No. 9)
> Biggest album with group: Zenyatta Mondatta (1980) (6 weeks at No. 5)

British rock trio The Police broke in the UK in 1978 and became popular in America in the early 1980s. Sting decided to pursue a solo career in the middle of a 1983 concert at Shea Stadium, releasing his debut studio album the following year. He recently sold his songwriting catalog – which includes The Police material – for an estimated $300 million.

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24. Lionel Richie (Commodores)
> Billboard entries as solo artist: 20 songs, 14 albums
> Billboard entries with group: 25 songs, 18 albums
> Biggest album as solo artist: Can’t Slow Down (1983) (3 weeks at No. 1)
> Biggest album with group: Commodores (1977) (3 weeks at No. 3)

Singer Lionel Richie wrote or co-wrote a number of Commodores’ biggest hit singles before embarking on a solo career in 1982. His chart-topping and Grammy-winning sophomore effort “Can’t Slow Down” remains one of the best-selling albums of all time. He still tours to this day.

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23. Wyclef Jean (Fugees)
> Billboard entries as solo artist: 10 songs, 8 albums
> Billboard entries with group: 3 songs, 2 albums
> Biggest album as solo artist: Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival Featuring Refugee Allstars (1997) (1 week at No. 16)
> Biggest album with group: The Score (1996) (4 weeks at No. 1)

Haitian-American artist Wyclef Jean followed the Fugees’ best-selling album “The Score” with his solo debut, “Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival.” Hit songs such as “We Trying to Stay Alive” and “Gone till November” helped bolster his subsequent solo career.

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22. Jeff Beck (The Yardbirds)
> Billboard entries as solo artist: 3 songs, 19 albums
> Billboard entries with group: 9 songs, 6 albums
> Biggest album as solo artist: Truth (1968) (1 week at No. 15)
> Biggest album with group: Yardbirds Greatest Hits (1967) (1 week at No. 28)

Beck was one of three legendary guitarists to pass through British rock band The Yardbirds, the others being Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. He formed The Jeff Beck Group in 1967 with Rod Stewart on vocals for their two most successful albums. On Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists, he holds the #5 spot.

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21. Phil Collins (Genesis)
> Billboard entries as solo artist: 27 songs, 12 albums
> Billboard entries with group: 22 songs, 21 albums
> Biggest album as solo artist: No Jacket Required (1985) (7 weeks at No. 1)
> Biggest album with group: Invisible Touch (1986) (2 weeks at No. 3)

After the departure of Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel, drummer Phil Collins began honing his skills as a lead singer and songwriter. By the early 1980s, he was penning major hits for both the group and as a solo artist. He officially left the band in 1996 and later won an Oscar for the song ​​”You’ll Be in My Heart,” from the soundtrack to Disney’s “Tarzan.”

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