Music Industry

Use This for a Bar Bet: Which Artist Has the Most 10 Million-Sellers in America?

The highest-known sales certification is the Diamond Award. While a gold album is nice (500,00o copies sold; all figures deal with US levels) and a platinum album is even better (1 million) and multi-platinum (1 million +), nothing beats getting a Diamond: certification by the Recording Industry Association of America that your album has sold more than 10 million copies. Lofty stuff.

Examples of Diamond records include Nevermind, Metallica’s black album, Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette, Thriller and several dozen more.

But here’s the question: which artist has the most Diamond awards? But don’t say Michael Jackson. Don’t even think of mentioning the Beatles or Elvis.

The answer? Garth Brooks.

As of this week, Brooks has seven albums that have sold 10 million or more.

  • Garth Brooks (1989)
  • No Fences (1990)
  • Ropin’ the Wind (1991)
  • The Hit (1994)
  • Sevens (1997)
  • Double Live (1998)
  • The Ultimate Hits (2007)

Best guesses are that Brooks has sold a total of 143 million records in his career, second only to the Beatles.

I tried this question out on a bunch of people and none of them go the answer right. This could win you a bunch of bar bets this weekend.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38457 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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