Nielsen SoundScan’s Best Selling Albums And Singles Of The Decade

Dec 10th, 2009 // 25 Comments

If there’s one thing to assess from looking over the list of Neilsen SoundScan’s best-selling albums and singles of the ’00s [via], perhaps it’s what a drastic shift from an albums market to a singles market the music biz became in the latter half of the decade—thanks in no small part to the advent of illegal downloading.

The tally of the Top 10 albums of the decade, sales-wise, doesn’t contain a single LP released after 2004. And if we’re to underscore the point even further, the Beatles compilation 1 was the best-seller of 2000, with over 11 million copies sold, while Taylor Swift currently stands at the top in 2009 with Fearless, which moved 2.53 million units this year.

Hop below to see what CDs (remember those?) folks were buying in the early part of the new millenium, and what singles ended up cashing in once iTunes and other digital retailers came along. (Hint: Lady Gaga and Ryan Tedder non-fans will not be pleased.)

1. The Beatles, 1 (11,499,000 copies sold)
2. *NSYNC, No Strings Attached (11,112,000)
3. Norah Jones, Come Away With Me (10,546,000)
4. Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP (10,204,000)
5. Eminem, The Eminem Show (9,799,000)
6. Usher, Confessions (9,712,000)
7. Linkin Park, Hybrid Theory (9,663,000)
8. Creed, Human Clay (9,491,000)
9. Britney Spears, Oops! … I Did It Again (9,185,000)
10. Nelly, Country Grammar (8,461,000)

1. Flo Rida feat. T-Pain – “Low” (5,214,000)
2. Lady Gaga feat. Colby O’Donis – “Just Dance” (4,690,000)
3. Jason Mraz – “I’m Yours” (4,619,000)
4. Timbaland feat. OneRepublic – “Apologize” (4,439,000)
5. The Black Eyed Peas – “Boom Boom Pow” (4,349,000)
6. Soulja Boy Tell’em – “Crank That” (4,315,000)
7. Lady Gaga – “Poker Face” (4,200,000)
8. Coldplay – “Viva la Vida” (4,140,000)
9. Taylor Swift – “Love Story” (4,005,000)
10. Katy Perry – “Hot N Cold” (3,945,000)

  1. Ranger

    Not surprising, but still amazing to see that with the exception of Usher (2004), all of those albums were released no later than 2002.

    Bands like Linkin Park must thank their lucky stars they got in right at the end of the gravy train.

  2. @Ranger: Yeah, and now it seems to make up for loss of album sales they just slap a song on each ‘Transformers’ soundtrack!

  3. In related news good taste took a pretty big hit this decade.

  4. andrew

    michael jacksons invincible has sold 13 million copies since it came out ??? so why is he not there

  5. Because Billboard is American sales.

  6. dietcoke

    Interesting that all of these singles were released after 2006…

  7. It’s nice to see The Beatles on top of all of that absolute trash that fills the rest of the top 10 albums.

  8. AB

    Why won’t Lady GaGa and Ryan Tedder’s fans be pleased? I’m pretty happy to see them both in the top 5 singles!

  9. WackoJacko


    (Hint: Lady Gaga and Ryan Tedder non-fans will not be pleased.)

  10. Baker

    there’s another big reason why a list like this is going to be dominated by older albums – because they’ve been available to buy for longer. I’ve had nearly ten whole years to get round to buying that Beatles CD, but only a few months to bother with Taylor Swift. And so on and so on…

  11. the REAL tc

    THE BEATLES STILL NO. 1. no surprise to me. Beatles and Norah Jones are the only 2 albums on the list worth a crap.

  12. patrick

    remember folks , the beatles broke up 40 years ago.and yet they still have a top seller.they do not get the every day multitude of press that the current artists get baker.and they aren;t a group of chicks showinf off their ta tas in the visual medias

  13. gregwlsn

    Digital sales…

  14. hahahah
    lady goga sucks
    SHAKIRA – HIPS DONT LIE sold 10.000.000

  15. EMIN3M

    Eminem is the bestselling artist of the '00 decade with over 80 million records sold worldwide

  16. j-smooth

    hey fuck you

  17. j-smooth

    marvin fuck you too!

  18. Georgia

    Usher sucks he’s nothing more than a Michael Jackson wannabe.

  19. GODNEY

    Britney’s BABY ONE MORE TIME is the top selling album of the decade in the US with over 14 millions (28 millions WW) You put OOPS to #9 but omited BABY which must me at top spot..

  20. kurt

    what about Eminem Show it was realesd in 2004

  21. michael

    @GODNEY: Baby One More Time was released in 1999. Idiot.

  22. conor

    this list is a load of crap
    GREEN DAY – AMERICAN IDIOT has sold 12 million copies since 2004
    nobody pay attention to this list its WRONG!!!!

  23. I personally would probably have to go along with the show BET had on pertaining to the greatest rappers of the prior Ten years. I believe that that Eminem and Lil Wayne are leading the pack. They are both near or at the top with the amount of money they earned and the number of hit the created.

  24. Tom


    list clearly says IN THE US

    American Idiot is only sold a shade over 6 million in the US. You are counting worldwide sales. Next time you think about posting, remember you are a moron and dont.

  25. Jay

    Why is Outkast’s album Speakerboxxxx: The Love Below missing from this list.

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