The following is an independently verified list of best-selling music artists those with claims of 75 million or more record sales from the second half of the 20th century to the present. Only artists whose claimed sales figures can be cross-referenced with music recording certification systems the first of which appeared in the late s are included. The tables are listed with both their claimed sales figure along with their total independently certified units and are ranked in descending order, with the artist with the highest amount of claimed sales at the top. If two or more artists have the same claimed sales, they are then ranked by certified units. The claimed sales figure and the total of certified units for each country within the provided sources include sales of albums, singles, compilation-albums, music videos as well as downloads of singles and full-length albums. Sales figures, such as those from Soundscan , which are sometimes published by Billboard magazine, have not been included in the certified units column. As of [update] , based on both sales claims and certified units, The Beatles are considered the highest-selling band. Elvis Presley is considered the highest-selling individual artist based on sales claims and Drake is the highest-selling individual artist based on certified units. The more recent the artist, the higher the required percentage of certified units; this is because more music markets instituted certification systems after the s and s.
The Billboard charts tabulate the relative weekly popularity of songs and albums in the United States and elsewhere. The results are published in Billboard magazine. Billboard biz, the online extension of the Billboard charts, provides additional weekly charts,  as well as year-end charts. The charts can be ranked according to sales, streams, or airplay, and for main song charts such as the Hot song chart, all three data are used to compile the charts. The weekly sales and streams charts are monitored on a Friday-to-Thursday cycle since July ; previously it was on a Monday-to-Sunday cycle. Radio airplay song charts, however, follow the Monday-to-Sunday cycle previously Wednesday-to-Tuesday.
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