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The singles with the most physical sales ever in the United States: the chart

There was a time (for some it is still that time), when in order to listen to albums or singles, it was necessary to physically buy copies of records, no matter if vinyl or CD.

Today, most people listen to music digitally, so even counting sales is totally different than in the past. 

Here are the singles with the most physical sales in the United States of America, as certified by the Recording Industry Association of America.

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The singles with the most physical sales ever in the United States: the chart
There was a time (for some it is still that time), when in order to listen to albums or singles, it was necessary to physically buy copies of records, no matter if vinyl or CD. Today, most people listen to music digitally, so even counting sales is totally different than in the past. Here are the singles with the most physical sales in the US, as certified by the Recording Industry Association of America.
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Thriller - Michael Jackson (6 million copies sold)
Everything about 'Thriller' was incredibly successful: the single, the album of the same name and also the video clip of the song, perhaps one of the best ever in music history. Produced by Quincy Jones, for its unique, at times gothic style, 'Thriller' is still one of the most loved and played songs in the world (not only at Halloween)!
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The Tennessee Waltz - Patti Page (6 million copies sold)
The original version of this song dates back to 1948, but the most successful version is by Patti Page, recorded in 1950. "The Tennessee Waltz" is one of the most famous country songs ever and has inspired many other songs of this genre in the following years.
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Paper Doll - The Mills Brothers (6 million copies sold)
In the United States, 'Paper Doll' topped the Billboard chart for 12 weeks, from 6 November 1943 to 22 January 1944. Although not published in its original version before 1930, the lyrics of this song date back as far as 1915, written by Johnny S. Black.
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I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston (6,139,000 copies sold)
The original version is by Dolly Parton, but in terms of commercial success there is no comparison: Whitney Houston's rendition was an incredible success, even becoming the best-selling single ever worldwide for a female singer, surpassing 20 million copies.
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Don't Stop Believin' - Journey (6,335,000 copies sold)
Journey's biggest hit was sixth on the US Singles Chart. The song became a hit in the USA, but also in the rest of the world, going 8 platinum in Australia and 4 platinum in the UK.
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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry (7 million copies sold)
In fifth place is a Christmas song written in 1949 by composer Johnny Marks based on the story of Rudolph, Santa's reindeer with the distinctive red nose. It was Robert L. May, Marks' brother-in-law, who wrote the tale of this reindeer!
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We Are the World - USA for Africa (8 million copies sold)
The famous song composed to support the people of Ethiopia, after the disastrous famine that struck that country, holds the fourth place of the best-selling singles in the United States. The supergroup of 45 artists including Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Dionne Warwick and many others created a true masterpiece, which also won four Grammy Awards.
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Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen (8 million copies sold)
A legendary single, also and above all in terms of musical composition. In 2018, in the wake of the success of the film of the same name, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' also became the most streamed song ever recorded in the 20th century, reaching 1.6 billion plays: so many records both physically and digitally.
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Candle in the Wind 1997 - Elton John (11 million copies sold)
"Candle in the Wind 1997" is a re-adaptation of the song composed by Elton John himself in 1973 in honour of Marilyn Monroe. The 1997 version is the most famous, as it was only sung by John on one occasion, namely at the funeral of his close friend Princess Diana on 6 September 1997. From then on, the musician only sang the 1973 version, keeping the promise he made before the funeral: only with the consent of Diana's sons William and Henry would he sing the 1997 version in public one more time.
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White Christmas - Bing Crosby (25 million copies sold)
With 25 million copies sold in the United States alone and 50 million copies purchased worldwide, 'White Christmas' is the best-selling single in history, interpreted by so many artists in so many languages: among the many versions, one of the best-loved and most famous is by Bing Crosby. It is said that Irving Berlin, the author of the lyrics, said these words to his secretary the morning after completing the words to the song: "I've just written the best song anyone has ever written!"
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25/06/2024
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