Best-selling female recording artist
400,000,000 unit(s) sold
Not Applicable ()

On an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC) on 10 August 2022, guest Madonna (USA, b. Madonna Ciccone) claimed that she had sold over 400 million records (albums and singles, including digital) during her career. Although precise sales figures are difficult to obtain and are often disputed, it is widely acknowledged that only The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson have conclusively sold more records worldwide than Madonna, with most estimates settling on a figure between 300 and 400 million.

Her biggest-selling albums include The Immaculate Collection (1990; c. 30 million copies sold), True Blue (1986; c. 25 million) and Like a Virgin (1984; c. 22 million), while a handful of her singles are estimated to have registered worldwide sales of more than 5 million units, including “Like a Virgin” (1984), “Like a Prayer” (1989), “Vogue” (1990), “Hung Up” (2005) and “4 Minutes” (2008).

In her homeland, Madonna has Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)-certified units of 65.5 million albums and 18.5 million singles, with 20 gold, 17 platinum and 12 multi-platinum album awards and 27 gold, 6 platinum and 2 multi-platinum singles awards.

Her highest-certified albums are The Immaculate Collection (11x multi-platinum) and Like a Virgin (10x multi-platinum), while the singles “4 Minutes” and “Vogue” have both been certified 2x multi-platinum by the RIAA.

In the UK, The Immaculate Collection (3.73 million) is her biggest-selling album, according to the Official Charts Company, and she leads the way among female artists for the most UK No.1 albums (12) and singles (13) in a 40-year-long career.