The 63nd Annual Grammy Awards were postponed. They were supposed to take place at the end of January, as they do every year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, “music’s biggest night” was postponed until March 14.
The awards show is intended to showcase and honor the talents and contributions of the best musicians across all genres active in the recording industry.
While many of the 2021 Grammy nominees top the Billboard charts and are some of the best-selling musicians today, only a few rank among the best-selling artists ever. These artists, having extraordinary commercial and critical success, are often among the most famous musicians in recent history.
While many of the best-selling Grammy winners have had long, storied recording careers — in some cases dating back to the 1950s and 1960s — many contemporary artists have already joined the top sellers. Musicians such as Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift continue to release some of the country’s most popular music while being recognized by respected critical bodies such as the Recording Academy.
To determine the best-selling Grammy Award winners of all time, 24/7 Tempo analyzed certified album and digital singles sales data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Artists were ranked by their combined album and digital single sales and were only considered if they have won at least one Grammy Award. The number of Grammy Awards won was used to break ties in the ranking.
The RIAA tracks sales and sales equivalents such as streams in the U.S. only in order to calculate certification sales. Compilation albums were skipped over when identifying each artist’s “best-selling album.”