What songs come to mind when you think of the 10 best-selling singles of all time? You might be surprised to find that some of your favorites didn't make the cut. Because there is no international recording body to note the top-selling music singles of all time, data has to be compiled from various sources, including the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Billboard charts, and the Guinness Book of World Records. This list reflects the time period in which each single was released, what was going on in the world at that time, and popular culture of the era. Whether or not you agree with each entry, you can't deny the fact that each single has sold an astounding number of copies since its release.
- Elton John: “Candle In The Wind '97.” Sir Elton's remake of his classic "Candle In the Wind," as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales upon her death, has sold 37 million copies worldwide to date. According to the Guinness Book of Records 2007, this song holds the title of best-selling single worldwide of all time.
- Bing Crosby: “White Christmas.” What's a Christmas song doing on this list, you might ask? "White Christmas" is not just any old Christmas tune. This Christmas song was sung by Bing Crosby (written by Irving Berlin) and released in 1942 has since sold 30 million copies worldwide. Not bad for a seasonal carol!
- Bill Haley and His Comets: “Rock Around the Clock.” One of the first songs termed "rock and roll," this 1954 ditty that brings back memories of the 1970s television sitcom "Happy Days" has sold 17 million copies worldwide. Ask your parents (or grandparents) if you can't quite place this one.
- The Beatles: “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Surprisingly, the Beatles' best-selling song from 1964 has sold a mere twelve million copies worldwide. It was also the band's first number one Billboard hit and ushered in the British invasion of the U.S. music charts.
- Elvis Presley: "It's Now or Never." Another surprising fact is that this is Elvis' most popular song. The melody of "It's Now or Never" is based on "O Sole Mio." Presley's version has sold ten million copies worldwide since its release in 1960.
- Whitney Houston: "I Will Always Love You." Whitney's popular little ditty from the 1992 movie "The Bodyguard" has sold 10 million copies worldwide. Penned by Dolly Parton and originally released in 1973, this song went to number one on the country charts but didn't make a splash on the pop charts until almost 20 years later when Houston re-recorded it.
- Elvis Presley: "Hound Dog." Presley's 1956 Presley classic is actually a remake of Big Mama Thornton's song from 1952. Presley's version has sold nine million copies worldwide. "Hound Dog" has since been recorded by at least 26 other musical acts.
- Paul Anka: "Diana." Paul Anka took this song to number one in 1957. Since that time, the song which was inspired by Anka's high school friend Diana Ayoub has sold 9 million copies worldwide.
- The Monkees: "I'm A Believer." Written by Neil Diamond, this song was number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for seven weeks and was the biggest selling single of 1967. It has sold 8 million copies worldwide, and went gold two days after it was released.
- Bryan Adams: "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You." The Canadian-born singer's epic from the movie "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" has sold eight million copies worldwide since its 1991 release. It was the top selling single in the U.S. for 17 weeks.
What Others Are Reading Right Now.
15 Shirts Women Simply Can’t Resist—and Why
From Ts to button-downs and beyond, these must-haves will get her everlovin’ attention.
As Boogie Nights Turns 20, Here’s What You Didn’t Kno...
Fun facts about Paul Thomas Anderson, Dirk Diggler, Rollergirl and more.
19 Men’s Grooming Gaffes That Totally Turn Women Off
And what to do about them.