Top 10 Best-Selling R&B Albums Ever

So, you're an R&B aficionado and think you know the top 10 best-selling R&B albums ever? It may surprise you when you see the list. Women own four of the spots, a bankrupt preacher holds the tenth spot, and a white redneck holds the number 6 spot. See how many of the 10 best-selling R&B albums ever you can spot in your own record or CD collection.

  1. Michael Jackson–"Thriller." Jackson's 1982 Epic Records release went 29 times platinum as of August 2009. That translates into selling between 75 and 110 million copies worldwide. Not bad for an album that cost Jackson just $750,000 to make. The best-selling R&B album of all time produced the hits "Beat It," "Billie Jean," and "Human Nature."
  2. Whitney Houston–"The Bodyguard (Soundtrack)." The Arista Records soundtrack to Houston's popular 1992 movie with Kevin Costner went 17 times platinum as of November 1999. It is not only the second best-selling R&B album ever, it's also the top-selling soundtrack of all time.
  3. Whitney Houston–"Whitney Houston." Houston's debut album, released on Arista Records in 1985, went 13 times platinum as of July 1999. It is the third best-selling R&B album ever, with hits such as "How Will I Know" and "The Greatest Love of All."
  4. Prince and the Revolution–"Purple Rain (Soundtrack)." The Purple One's 1984 Warner Brothers release went 13 times platinum as of May 1996. The editors of "Vanity Fair" called it the best soundtrack ever, with hits such as "I Would Die 4 U" and "Let's Go Crazy" helping to make it the fourth best-selling R&B album ever.
  5. Boyz II Men–"II." The Philadelphia group's 1994 Motown release, their second album, went 12 times platinum as of June 1996. They were only the third group in history to replace themselves at number 1. Singles such as "I'll Make Love To You" and "On Bended Knee" helps make this the fifth best-selling R&B album ever.
  6. Kid Rock–"Devil Without A Cause." Kid Rock's 1998 Atlantic Records, release went 11 times platinum as of April 2003. It was his fourth record and his most popular, with hits like "Bawitdaba" and "Cowboy." This album ranks sixth among the top 10 best-selling R&B albums ever.
  7. TLC–"CrazySexyCool." The female trio's 1994 release on LaFace Records, their second album, went 11 times platinum as of July 1999. It contained the hits "Waterfalls" and "Creep." This ranks seventh in the top 10 best-selling R&B albums ever.
  8. OutKast–"Speakerboxxx/The Love Below." The fifth studio album by the duo OutKast on LaFace Records in 2003 went 11 times platinum as of May 2006. This double album is over 2 1/2 hours long and contains the hits "Hey Ya!" and "The Way You Move."
  9. Mariah Carey–"Music Box." Carey's 1993 Columbia Records release went 10 times platinum as of November 1997. Her fourth album, "Music Box" included the singles "Dreamlover" and "Without You," both of which helped propel its sales to make it the ninth best-selling R&B album of all time.
  10. MC Hammer–"Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em." Surprised to see Hammer's 1990 Capitol Records release on this list? Don't be. It went 10 times platinum as of April 1991. His third album occurred prior to his bankruptcy and other personal problems, and contained the hit "U Can't Touch This" (which sampled Rick James' "Superfreak," among others). This album stayed at number one for an astonishing 21 weeks, helping to land it at number 10 in the best-selling R&B albums ever.



What Others Are Reading Right Now.

  • Speakeasy

    Acting, comedy and strong spirits converge in Speakeasy. When host Paul F. Tompkins interviews entertainers—Key and Peele, Alison Brie, Rob Delaney, Zach Galifianakis—about all sor …

  • 21 Fantastic Facts About Ronda Rousey

    This trivia’s like her fights: quick and jarring.

  • 21 Hairstyles Women Love

    Female experts reveal the ’dos that drive them wild.