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Best Selling Artists by Letter Quiz

Name the best-selling musical act that starts with each letter.
U.S. sales only
Ignore "The". For example, "The Clash" would start with C
Use first names. For example, "Elton John" would start with E
Quiz by Quizmaster
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First submittedSeptember 17, 2012
Last updatedNovember 14, 2018
Times taken29,695
Rating3.78
5:00
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Sales
Song
Musical Act
A
72 m
Thunderstruck
AC/DC
B
178 m
Hey Jude
The Beatles
C
50 m
My Heart Will Go On
Celine Dion
D
35 m
Pour Some
Sugar On Me
Def Leppard
E
136 m
Heartbreak Hotel
Elvis Presley
F
50 m
Landslide
Fleetwood Mac
G
137 m
Friends in Low Places
Garth Brooks
H
23 m
Baracuda
Heart
I
16 m
Between the Sheets
Isley Brothers
J
48 m
Any Way You Want It
Journey
K
48 m
Forever in Love
Kenny G
L
112 m
Stairway to Heaven
Led Zeppelin
M
79 m
Man in the Mirror
Michael Jackson
N
50 m
Girl, You'll Be a
Woman Soon
Neil Diamond
 
Sales
Song
Musical Act
O
27 m
Crazy Train
Ozzy Osbourne
P
75 m
Comfortably Numb
Pink Floyd
Q
35 m
Bicycle Race
Queen
R
67 m
Wild Horses
The Rolling Stones
S
48 m
That Don't Impress
Me Much
Shania Twain
T
38 m
Humble and Kind
Tim McGraw
U
52 m
Beautiful Day
U2
V
57 m
Hot for Teacher
Van Halen
X
 
 
 
W
57 m
I Will Always
Love You
Whitney Houston
Y
14 m
Owner of a Lonely
Heart
Yes
Z
25 m
Sharp Dressed Man
ZZ Top
+1
level 34
Oct 11, 2012
Does this include current artists?
+1
level ∞
Oct 11, 2012
Yes
+1
level 43
Oct 11, 2012
Can you add "XTC"?
+1
level 72
Sep 3, 2016
YEAH - I lapped them up (this song, anyway) as a teenager. The only problem is I can't find the RIAA figures for them. Also note these "certified" figures are only generated by the RIAA if the band's record label requests it!
+1
level 60
Sep 3, 2016
I was thinking the same thing. I imagine they were excluded because most people don't know them, but not every answer needs to be easy. They're certainly famous enough to be a fair answer.
+1
level 70
Jun 28, 2018
Xzibit? X Japan? People want X! ...and if it's unknown, well, then you must be learning.
+1
level 40
Jan 12, 2013
Tough... but really good quiz. Great to see the Aussie boys slotting into A.
+1
level 56
Mar 29, 2016
Band made in Oz, founders made in Scotland.
+1
level 67
May 9, 2016
The band members came from Australia and all round UK (Scotland, England, Wales) as well as others from USA. Quite a mixed bunch. Maybe that's what helped them style-wise.
+1
level ∞
Jul 2, 2016
With the latest version, we added a song to this quiz to make it easier.
+1
level 53
Apr 1, 2014
Only 10% got Yes?
+4
level 73
Sep 2, 2014
Yes
+1
level 81
May 27, 2014
Yep. Forgetting the King was smart.
+1
level 68
Oct 14, 2014
Pretty sure Michael Jackson has sold more than that, but he's unquestionably the right person for M so it's no big deal.
+1
level 46
Apr 18, 2015
I know it is in notes but it would be nice to mention in headline that this is only about 1 country of 196. Nobody in the rest of the world has heard about some of these bands. Like Garth Brooks in G, not Genesis or Guns'n roses. Kenny who? Tupac Shakur? Its like asking best selling artists of Armenia or Swaziland without mentioning it in the headline. Otherwise this is nice quiz, thanks about making it.
+1
level 76
May 9, 2016
Tupac is famous everywhere. I just saw some graffiti in Tbilisi honoring the man. And I had many students in Riyadh who idolized him.
Garth Brooks has a (smaller) following around the world. Which surprised me, too, to be honest. But it's there. You may be right about Kenny Loggins. When I read "Kenny who?" my first thought was Kenny G, who actually does sell quite a few records overseas, but then I looked up and saw who it was.

If this list was made international I strongly doubt the statistics would change much, if at all. Outside of the US and Japan music isn't sold as much. In the past this had to do with economics and now it's mostly about easy piracy. Also, the American market has always been so much bigger until recently. And they tend to become popular internationally while many others are only popular in one region. If someone was huge in China or Japan they might manage to outsell one of these artists. X is a more popular letter in China, as well.
+1
level 76
Sep 3, 2016
Interestingly enough, now Kenny Loggins has indeed been replaced by Kenny G, and Tupac is off while much-less-internationally-famous Tim McGraw is on.
+1
level 58
Jul 12, 2015
Wow, Led Zep!
+1
level 55
Aug 27, 2015
Since this is going by first names, wouldn't it make sense to allow type ins of just the first names?
+1
level ∞
Jul 2, 2016
Okay
+1
level 62
Mar 10, 2016
There are no artists that start with X?
+1
level 30
May 9, 2016
Yes, there is X, for starters.
+1
level 67
May 9, 2016
XAVIER RUDD ....... Australian, Just completed a 5 week tour in Europe..... sold out at every Venue. Last show in Utrecht.
+1
level 71
Sep 27, 2016
Oh, yes – X is awesome. Those were the days.
+1
level 40
Nov 2, 2018
not anymore...a man lost his life
+1
level 32
Mar 29, 2016
Taylor Swift?!?!?!?
+2
level 54
Jun 27, 2016
Country singer outselling Guns N Roses...shameful.
+1
level 75
Sep 3, 2016
Look at the numbers. Garth is second only to the Beatles, and comes in ahead of Elvis. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks Garth is great.
+3
level 73
Aug 3, 2016
Are you really accepting "G" for Kenny G? Come on man...
+1
level 71
Aug 18, 2016
I thought the same thing, had to re-look at the screen to realize that arth wasn't accepted.
+1
level 79
Sep 12, 2016
Yeah, started to type "Garth" and it filled in Kenny G.
+1
level 72
Sep 18, 2016
Yep, would never have got Mr G had it not given it me for free on typing Garth...
+1
level 77
Aug 5, 2016
There are clearly musical acts beginning with X, but maybe it's hard to tell which one sold the most...
+1
level 21
Sep 3, 2016
Wow! Nirvana didn't make the cut?
+1
level 79
Sep 12, 2016
Only had 3 studio albums. If Cobain had not committed suicide and they played for another 10-20 years, maybe they'd be past Neil Diamond.
+1
level 68
Sep 3, 2016
I was looking at the screen and Kenny G just pops up. I must have accidentally hit the g key by accident.
+1
level 50
Sep 3, 2016
Is there any reason why W and X are switched?
+1
level 47
Sep 3, 2016
Yes sold more records than Neil Young?
+1
level 60
Sep 3, 2016
Neil Young would be filed under N, per the rules of this quiz.
+1
level 72
Sep 16, 2016
Neil Diamond sold more records than Neil Young?
+1
level 71
Sep 27, 2016
Never underestimate the evil power of easy listening.
+1
level 66
Sep 3, 2016
Taylor Swift has sold 40 Million albums. Why isn't she ahead of Tim McGraw?
+1
level 71
Sep 27, 2016
Because Tim McGraw has sold 42 million albums, apparently.
+1
level 29
Sep 4, 2016
Thanks to whoever mentioned Xavier Rudd, he is amazing!
+1
level 61
Sep 7, 2016
The Dave Clark Five had a hit with "Any Way You Want It" and hit #14 on the US charts in 1964 (pretty tough since the Beatles controlled the top 10 in that year. The song, written by Dave Clark was covered by tom Petty and the Ramones. Eddie Vedar also covered it when he wasn't playing with Pearl Jam. In contrast, the Journey song of the same name peaked at #23 and some of us have never heard it. Why don't you use a James Taylor song for J, or another artist that's not hard rock -- they are more than well represented. Also, "I will Always Love You" was a big hit for Dolly Parton a generation before Whitney Houston sang it, although Dolly appreciates the residuals. And although I play sax and love a good saxophonist, Kenny G. sucks. So many good bands and other acts begin with K, why him?
+2
level 67
Mar 30, 2018
This quiz is based on sales, that's why. If Kenny G is the highest-selling artist whose name starts with "K," then he's going to be on the quiz regardless of anyone's personal feelings. Similarly, they can't just arbitrarily take out Journey and replace them with someone who didn't sell as much. And what does the fact that Dave Clark wrote a song with the same name have to do with anything? His name doesn't start with "J," so you know he's not the answer. And Whitney Houston is definitely the artist for "W," and her cover of "I Will Always Love You" is one of the top ten selling singles of all time, so I think it's fair to list it as a song for her.
+1
level 51
Jan 4, 2017
Have Iron Maiden not sold more than 16 million albums in the US?
+1
level 22
Nov 29, 2018
"Barracuda" is the song title by Heart.
+1
level 54
Dec 15, 2018
good quiz and everything but how can you not have Don't Stop Believing as the song for Journey?