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Biggest Selling Singles In The United States

November 15, 2008 | Music

Posted on the Y! Music Playlist Blog by Robert of the Radish is a playlist of the biggest selling singles of all time in the United States. The biggest selling single has sold almost twice as many as its closest competition. In 1997, Elton John released a remake of his classic 1973 song "Candle In The Wind" with new lyrics that paid homage to Diana, Princess of Wales after her untimely death. This single sold over 11 million copies in the United States. An incredible figure. Unfortunately, "Candle In The Wind" is not available for streaming via Rhapsody at this time, so it is not included in the final playlist here.

So what are the runners up to "Candle In The Wind 1997"? Well, only two have broken the 6 million mark ("A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis Presley & "Here Without You" by 3 Doors Down"), and only 12 have cracked the 4 million mark.

Please note that I am speaking only of sales in the USA. Look for future blog posts to reveal top sellers in other countries and worldwide.

A "single" is a song recording that has been marketed for sale as a unit, usually with a second track, or "b-side". For the most part singles also appear on a full-length album and tend to be the track(s) a record company feels have the best chance for massive sales and airplay.

1. A Little Less Conversation - Elvis Presley
2. Here Without You - 3 Doors Down
3. Another One Bites The Dust - Queen
4. Apologize - Timbaland
5. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams
6. Hey Jude - The Beatles*
7. Hound Dog / Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Presley
8. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
9. Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye
10. Low - Flo Rida
11. Macarena - Los del Rio
12. Ridin' - Chamillionaire
13. We Are The World - USA For Africa**
14. Whoomp There It Is - Tag Team

Source:Yahoo News

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theoldscudder wrote on November 15, 2008
And yet another poll. Elvis was simply the best so these polls mean nothing. They are not needed to validate his greatness. It just is.
Steve V wrote on November 15, 2008
Huh? ALLC conversation sold more than Hound Dog & Hey Jude? Really?
bajo wrote on November 16, 2008
Somebody must have taken the 6 x Platinum for the LidRock video single as 6 x million selling single! It's not! ALLC has at least earned a gold record for 500.000 units sold of the single in the US.
Jim says hello wrote on November 16, 2008
And yet it still didn't get anywhere number one on the Billboard charts... what a weird system they have where sales aren't the be all and end all for a record to reach number one... I think they include number of radio plays among other spurious methods to arrive at their decision. The travesty of Chuck Berry's 'My Dingaling" keeping Burning Love out of the number one spot is just another example.
Brian Quinn wrote on November 17, 2008
The list is not correct. The following could provide the answer: Limited Edition Elvis LidRock Available Exclusively at Select Regal Entertainment Group Theatres on October 3rdNEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 2, 2003-- Enhanced CD Includes Hit Tracks "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Trouble" Offers Exclusive Preview of Upcoming ELVIS 2ND TO NONE Album On October 3, two new digitally remastered Elvis Presley songs, "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Trouble," from the upcoming BMG Strategic Marketing release, ELVIS 2ND TO NONE, will be pre-released by LidRock on a limited-edition Elvis LidRock mini enhanced CD. Affixed to the lids of fountain drinks with LidRock's exclusive patented technology, the CD is only available at select Regal Cinemas, United Artists Theatres, Edwards Theatres and Hoyts Cinemas.The newest LidRock offering follows the triple-platinum success of 2002's ELV1S 30 #1 HITS, and is available with the purchase of a large soft drink at participating Regal Entertainment Group (REG, NYSE: RGC) theatres. The limited-edition CD not only provides a sneak peak at the highly anticipated Oct. 7 follow-up album, but also stands to be a must-have for collectors and Elvis fans."Elvis Presley is a true American entertainment icon. We're very pleased to offer those few lucky or highly motivated Regal theatre moviegoers the opportunity to own this LidRock collectors item and get a 'sneak peek' of ELVIS 2ND TO NONE," said Cliff Marks, president, marketing and sales, Regal CineMedia, the media subsidiary of REG. "During the weekend of Oct. 3, it's now or never for Elvis fans wanting this collectors edition."In addition to being the first opportunity to preview the digitally re-mastered versions of two of Elvis' most popular singles, the Elvis LidRock CD features a bonus music video of the 2002 hit re-mix of the King of Rock 'N Roll's(TM) "A Little Less Conversation," as well as additional multimedia content.LidRock's enhanced mini CDs can be played on most CD players and past titles have proven popular with Regal customers. Only 300,000 Elvis LidRock CDs will be available to the public, distributed exclusively at 248 select Regal theatres nationwide. The RIAA criteria for a Platinum Video Single Disc is 50,000 copies. Presuming the 300,000 copies all sold then this would equate to 6 x Platinum. Of course, the Elvis vs. JXL single of ALLC was also issued as a regular release in the U.S.A. and together with the above sales it is believed to have earned enough for a GOLD record selling over 500,000 copies.
ta2k wrote on November 17, 2008
According to you guys the sales figures for ALLC have been magnified...well,seeing as all the King's other sales figures do not get the correct recognition in terms of world sales in comparison to other people then i'll take this one as a truth. TCB
RonD wrote on November 17, 2008
This list is absolute nonsense. Elvis' "It's Now or Never" during inital few years attained over 9 million in US sales alone. Elvis said on stage in Las Vegas that the sales had passed twenty million which would be worldwide sales. It continued to sell even after his death with estimates being as high as 29 million. Ernst reported a couple of years ago that "Blue Christmas" accumlated worldwide sales of over 25 million. "Hound Dog bw Don't Be Cruel," Jailhouse Rock have worldwide sales of over 16 million. For an artist to sell in excess of a billion records worldwide that take a truck load million selling albums and singles. The problem is that many of Elvis' records were not submitted or resubmitted for additional gold and platinum from the RIAA and some of his biggest hits were before 1958. I blame RCA and the Colonel for not seeing that Elvis' sales were documentated. After Elvis' death in 1977 a number of other record plants other than RCA were hired to press his singles and albums. RCA reported that Elvis' sales in the prior 12 months exceeded $1.2 billion. I've since learned that these sales were not documented or submitted to the RIAA which is an additional shame. Sorry, when I see lists like this it just drives me nuts!