When figuring out the 10 Best-Selling Artists of the 90's, it is important to realize that there are a number of measures for album and single sales. The two most important are the Billboard charts and, since 1990, Nielsen SoundScan. Each of these methods reveals a different list of the 10 Best-Selling Artists of the 90's. Our list of the 10 Best-Selling Artists of the 90's is a combination of the two.
- Garth Brooks – With more than 45 million albums sold in the 90s, and three of the top 10 selling albums of the decade, this country superstar had the decade on lockdown.
- Mariah Carey - The winner of the Billboard Artist of the Decade (given to Billboard's top-selling chart performer for the decade) sold more than 30 million albums in the 90s. This has her topping their list of 10 Best-Selling Artists of the 90's even though according to SoundScan Brooks sold more titles.
- Shania Twain – Her "Come on Over" was the best-selling album of the decade, putting her very high up on the list.
- Whitney Houston – Whitney's soundtrack to the film "The Bodyguard" was the second-biggest seller of the decade.
- Elton John – His "Candle in the Wind 1997," a tribute to Princess Diana, was the biggest-selling single of the decade, placing him high on the 10 Best-Selling artists of the 90's list.
- Backstreet Boys – With two albums in the decade selling more than 10 million copies each, this boy band ushered in a new era of big sellers.
- Alanis Morissette – Her "Jagged Little Pill," which sold nearly 20 million copies, ensured her position on the 10 Best-Selling Artists of the 90's list.
- Hootie & The Blowfish – It seemed every household in America had a copy of their "Cracked Rear View."
- Celine Dion – Another artist with multiple albums selling more than 10 million copies a-piece.
- Metallica – Their huge-selling self-titled "Black Album" combined with sales from the subsequent "Load" and "Reload," puts them on the 10 Best-Selling Artists of the 90's list.
Other top-selling artists included Nirvana, Santana, Britney Spears and Jewel.