|First posted 12/29/2011; last updated 2/29/2020.|
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The World’s Best Sellers by Year
Figuring out the best-selling song for each year isn’t as easy as it seems. A variety of sources for sales figures (see here) were tapped in the absence of an official agency to track worldwide sales. As such, some figures have likely been inflated by record companies or other vested parties.
On top of that, reported figures don’t always strictly represent sales. In the 21st century especially, other figures such as such as the number of times songs were streamed via Spotify, YouTube or other services have been factored in. That means a song certified for 10 million in sales may not have actually “sold” that many copies.
Nonetheless, this list has been assembled in the hopes of offering some idea of the bestselling song of each year from 1900 to present. The numbers in parentheses indicates the number of sales in millions.
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