Top 10 Best Selling Singles of All Time

Top 10 Best Selling Singles of All Time

Discover the timeless hits that have stood the test of time! Explore the top 10 best-selling singles of all time, and delve into the fascinating stories behind each chart-topping masterpiece. From iconic melodies to record-breaking sales, this article is your ultimate guide to the world’s most celebrated singles.

Record sales, or digital streaming figures of the modern age, don’t correlate with artistic merit or creative dynamism, but shifting anything over ten million records is certainly an achievement. Whether it can be attributed to rigorous financial and promotional backing or just plain old catchy songwriting, the artists listed here found a knack for selling singles in mind-bending profusion.

Top 10 Best-Selling Singles of All Time

In the ever-evolving realm of music, certain singles transcend boundaries, captivating audiences and etching their names in history. The journey through the top 10 best-selling singles of all time promises a melodic odyssey, where each note is a chapter in the grand book of musical triumphs.

1. White Christmas

Dreaming of a “White Christmas (1942),” the timeless classic that has captured hearts for generations? Bing Crosby’s soulful rendition of Irving Berlin’s holiday anthem takes us on a nostalgic journey, painting a picturesque scene of festive joy and snowy landscapes. Released during World War II, the song became an instant hit, resonating with listeners yearning for the warmth and comfort of home.

Top 10 Best Selling Singles of All Time

Crosby’s velvety voice, coupled with Berlin’s evocative lyrics, transcends time, making “White Christmas” not just a song but a cherished tradition. Its enduring popularity has solidified its place among the top-selling singles of all time, a testament to the magic of music that transcends generations and brings a touch of holiday magic to our hearts.

Also, read: Top Ten Best Songs of All Time

2. Candle in the Wind and Something About the Way You Look Tonight

Released in 1997, “Candle in the Wind 1997/ Something About the Way You Look Tonight” stands as a unique entry in the history of best-selling singles. This double A-side single by Elton John holds the position of the second best-selling single of all time, with estimated global sales exceeding 33 million copies. Its success stems from a dual force: one driven by the emotional weight of a tribute and the other fueled by the timeless quality of a classic.

“Candle in the Wind 1997” was a reimagining of John’s 1973 song, rewritten to commemorate the sudden death of Princess Diana. Its poignant lyrics resonated with millions worldwide, capturing the grief and admiration for the beloved “People’s Princess.” The single became an instant phenomenon, topping charts and breaking sales records.

Top 10 Best Selling Singles of All Time

The flip side, “Something About the Way You Look Tonight,” offered a stark contrast. This timeless classic by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields, originally written for the 1936 film “Swing Time,” received a fresh lease on life through John’s elegant rendition. Its romantic charm provided a welcome respite from the somber tone of the other track, yet still resonated with audiences seeking solace and beauty.

3. Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody (1975),” a groundbreaking masterpiece by the legendary rock band Queen, stands as an epitome of musical innovation and artistic audacity. This iconic six-minute rock opera, composed by the band’s enigmatic frontman Freddie Mercury, defies conventional song structures, seamlessly blending rock, opera, and ballad elements. The result is an epic journey that takes listeners through operatic highs, reflective balladry, and thunderous rock crescendos.

Top 10 Best Selling Singles of All Time

Released as a single from the album “A Night at the Opera,” the song challenged industry norms with its complexity and unorthodox composition. “Bohemian Rhapsody” not only topped charts worldwide but also became a cultural phenomenon, inspiring countless artists to push the boundaries of creativity. Its enduring popularity and universal appeal secure its place among the top 10 best-selling singles of all time, a testament to the timeless impact of Queen’s musical genius and the unparalleled charisma of Freddie Mercury.

4. I Will Always Love You

Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” is not just a song; it’s an experience. Released in 1992 for the film “The Bodyguard”, this powerful ballad quickly transcended its cinematic origins to become a global phenomenon.

Top 10 Best Selling Singles of All Time

Written by Dolly Parton in 1973, “I Will Always Love You” received a new life through Houston’s soulful interpretation. Her soaring vocals, coupled with the song’s heartfelt lyrics of love and sacrifice, resonated deeply with audiences worldwide. The song shattered sales records, becoming the best-selling single by a female artist and the best-selling soundtrack single of all time.

5. Macarena

Few songs have captured the world’s attention quite like “Macarena.” Released in 1995 by the Spanish duo Los Del Rio, this infectious dance tune took the globe by storm. Its simple yet catchy melody, coupled with its easy-to-follow dance moves, sparked a global craze that transcended language and cultural boundaries.

Top 10 Best Selling Singles of All Time

The song’s success was fuelled by its infectious energy and universal appeal. The lyrics, celebrating joy and freedom, resonated with listeners of all ages and backgrounds. The accompanying dance, a combination of arm movements and hip sways, was easy enough for anyone to learn, fueling impromptu dance parties on streets and in clubs worldwide.

6. Shape of You

“Shape of You (2017),” a contemporary chart-topper by the multifaceted Ed Sheeran, emerged as a global sensation, leaving an indelible mark on the music landscape. With its infectious beat, clever lyrics, and Sheeran’s soulful delivery, the song became an anthem of love and connection. Released as part of his album “Divide,” “Shape of You” quickly ascended to the zenith of music charts worldwide.

Top 10 Best Selling Singles of All Time

Its cross-genre appeal seamlessly blended pop, R&B, and dancehall, captivating a diverse audience. The song’s success extended beyond its commercial achievements, earning critical acclaim and numerous accolades. Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” not only showcases his songwriting prowess and vocal mastery but also exemplifies the evolving dynamics of contemporary pop music, earning its well-deserved place among the top 10 best-selling singles of all time.

7. Hey Jude

“Hey Jude (1968),” a timeless anthem by The Beatles, stands as an enduring testament to the band’s musical genius and cultural impact. Written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon-McCartney, the song is a masterclass in songwriting, blending heartfelt lyrics with a melodic journey that transcends generations. Clocking in at over seven minutes, “Hey Jude” was a departure from conventional radio-friendly singles, yet it became a global phenomenon.

Top 10 Best Selling Singles of All Time

The emotionally charged ballad served as a comforting balm during turbulent times, resonating with audiences worldwide. Released during a period of cultural and social upheaval, the song’s universal message of love and resilience captured the spirit of the late ’60s. “Hey Jude” not only topped the charts but became an iconic part of The Beatles’ legacy, solidifying its place among the top 10 best-selling singles of all time and etching itself into the collective memory of music enthusiasts across the globe.

8. You’re the One That I Want

“You’re the One That I Want,” the electrifying duet from the iconic 1978 film Grease, has become a timeless love anthem that continues to capture hearts and inspire dance moves decades after its release.

Sung by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, the song perfectly encapsulates the rollercoaster of teenage love and rebellion. The high-energy track bursts with catchy tunes and witty lyrics, showcasing the chemistry between the two characters, Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson, as they navigate the ups and downs of their high school romance.

Top 10 Best Selling Singles of All Time

“You’re the One That I Want” became an instant pop culture phenomenon, topping charts around the world and selling over 15 million copies. It remains a staple at karaoke bars, weddings, and dance parties, forever linked to the iconic image of Sandy in her black leather attire and Danny in his slicked-back hair. The song’s enduring popularity is a testament to its infectious energy and its ability to capture the universal yearning for young love and self-discovery.

9. Despacito (Remix)

“Despacito (Remix),” featuring Justin Bieber, is a cultural phenomenon that transcended language barriers and dominated the airwaves in 2017. This vibrant remix of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s original hit injected a dose of pop energy into the Latin pop genre, propelling it to unprecedented global success.

The infectious melody, seamlessly blending Latin rhythms with modern pop beats, was impossible to resist. Bieber’s addition brought a fresh perspective to the track, attracting a wider audience and solidifying its international appeal. The accompanying music video, showcasing vibrant visuals and captivating dance moves, further fueled the song’s virality.

Top 10 Best Selling Singles of All Time

“Despacito (Remix)” broke countless records, topping charts in over 90 countries and becoming the first Spanish-language song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Its massive streaming numbers and global sales exceeding 11 million copies cemented its place as one of the best-selling singles of all time.

10. Happy

“Happy (2013), the upbeat and infectious anthem by Pharrell Williams, emerged as a global phenomenon, spreading joy and positivity across the airwaves. Released as part of the “Despicable Me 2” soundtrack, the song’s lively melody and feel-good lyrics captured the hearts of listeners worldwide. Pharrell’s soulful vocals, coupled with a rhythm that invites dancing, turned “Happy” into more than just a song—it became a cultural phenomenon.

Top 10 Best Selling Singles of All Time

The accompanying music video, featuring people from various walks of life dancing and expressing happiness, further solidified its impact. Beyond its chart-topping success, “Happy” became a symbol of resilience and celebration, earning its place among the top 10 best-selling singles of all time. In a world that often craves positivity, Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” continues to resonate, reminding us of the power of music to uplift and unite.


Q. What defines a best-selling single?

A best-selling single is determined not only by the number of copies sold but also by its cultural impact and enduring popularity. These singles resonate across generations, standing the test of time.

Q. Are these singles only from a specific genre?

No, the top 10 best-selling singles of all time span various genres, showcasing the universal appeal of music. From pop and rock to disco and Latin rhythms, these singles defy genre boundaries.

Q. How did the Beatles influence the list?

The Beatles, with multiple entries, played a significant role in shaping the list. Their global impact and unparalleled success contributed to the enduring popularity of their singles.

Q. What makes “Bohemian Rhapsody” unique?

“Bohemian Rhapsody” stands out for its fusion of opera and rock, defying traditional song structures. Its uniqueness, coupled with Queen’s musical prowess, contributed to its chart-topping anomaly.

Q. Is “Despacito” the only non-English single?

Yes, “Despacito” holds the distinction of being the only non-English single in the top 10 best-selling list. Its global appeal transcends language barriers, making it a cross-cultural phenomenon.

Q. How has technology impacted best-selling singles?

Advancements in technology, from vinyl records to digital downloads and streaming, have influenced how singles are consumed. Despite these changes, the timeless quality of these top-selling singles endures.


The top 10 best-selling singles of all time are more than just records; they are cultural milestones, each with a unique story and impact. From the Beatles’ invasion to modern Latin rhythms, these singles have shaped the musical landscape, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of listeners.

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