The only three musicians who have sold 100 million records in a band and as a solo artist

Most artists can only dream of selling 100 million records. It’s a scale of demand that, to many of us, seems impossible to imagine, but for a select few artists, it has become a reality. From Elton John to Elvis Presley, there are several huge names throughout music history who have garnered so much admiration and acclaim that they’ve tipped their sales past the 100 million mark.

This is already a mammoth achievement in and of itself. It’s an impressive feat to create something that hundreds of millions of people are willing to go out of their way to purchase and play at home. But there are a few artists who have gone one step further. Refusing to limit their success to just one project, there are three musicians who have managed to achieve this level of demand both in a band and as a solo artist.
Perhaps expectedly, one of those names is Paul McCartney. Alongside his songwriting partner John Lennon, the Liverpudlian lyricist led The Beatles into worldwide fame in the 1960s, securing their place as the biggest band of all time. Sparking a never-ending wave of Beatlemania and changing the industry as we know it, McCartney is one of the most influential figures in music history.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that The Beatles have sold over 100 million records. After making their debut in 1963 with Please Please Me, McCartney and his bandmates would go on to pen and produce some of the most successful records of all time. From the experimental Revolver to the iconic White Album, their albums remain staples in every record collection.

But McCartney has enjoyed similar commercial success as a solo artist, too. His work without the help of Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison has maintained the interest of the masses, earning him 100 million record sales of his own.

Unsurprisingly, Michael Jackson also takes his place on the list of artists to secure 100 million record sales in a band and as a soloist. He started out as part of the Jackson Five, a band which also featured his brothers, who enjoyed huge success with singalong-worthy hits like ‘I Want You Back’ and ‘ABC’.

Jackson would go on to secure even more fame in his solo career, becoming one of the most well-known names in pop. Between hit singles like ‘Thriller’ and ‘Smooth Criminal’, he extended his commercial success beyond the band with his brothers.

Perhaps the most surprising entry into the list comes in the form of Phil Collins. Though Collins is undoubtedly a huge artist, he exists within a slightly different realm to McCartney and Jackson. Rather than penning transformative rock and roll or pop hits in his band days, Collins found his place in the world of progressive rock with Genesis.

Alongside his success within this genre, Collins secured 100 million record sales in his solo career, too. Between the iconic, thumping drums of ‘In The Air Tonight’ and the jangly ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’, Collins won over countless audiences, securing himself the same title as a Beatle and the ‘Beat It’ singer.

Currently, McCartney, Jackson and Collins are the only three artists to have earned this title, to have secured 100 million record sales in a collaborative project and in their solo work. It’s a particularly impressive feat, to have enough creativity and pull to secure so many sales across your career.

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