By John Mitchell
Rihanna dropped her sixth album Talk That Talk in November and it’s since been certified Gold with over 500,000 copies sold, but the 23-year-old pop star is breaking all sorts of records this year. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the Barbados-born performer is the best-selling digital artist of all time. The Talk That Talk diva has moved an incredible 47.5 million digital downloads since bursting onto the scene in 2005, giving her a comfortable lead over second-place Black Eyed Peas, who have career digital sales of 42.4 million.
Eminem trails BEP by just 100,000 for third place with over 42.29 million in sales. Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift came in at fourth and fifth, respectively, with career digital sales of 42.08 million and 41.82 million. Katy Perry, Lil Wayne, Beyoncé, Kanye West and Britney Spears round out the top 10.
Rihanna can add the title to her ever-increasing list of chart accolades. Late last year, she leapt past Janet Jackson and Stevie Wonder on the list of artists with the most #1 singles when “We Found Love” topped the charts, becoming her 11th #1 and tying her with Whitney Houston. Only the Supremes, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and the Beatles have more chart-toppers. The single also helped the pop star make Billboard history as the solo artist to reach 20 top tens the fastest. It took her six years and four months to reach that total, five less than it took Madonna.
While Rihanna leads in overall combined sales, none of her songs placed individually on the all-time list of top-selling digital songs, which is led by BEP’s “I Got a Feeling.” “Feeling” has sold 7.68 million downloads, besting the second-place track — Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” — by more than a million downloads. “Face” and another Gaga hit, “Just Dance,” both boast digital sales of approximately 6.5 million, more than another BEP jam, “Boom Boom Pow,” which took fourth place with 6.2 million in sales.
Further down the list at #7 is MTV’s Song of 2011, “Rolling in the Deep.” Adele’s chart-topping, Grammy-nominated smash has moved more than 5.9 million downloads since its late-2010 release. Flo Rida’s “Low,” Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok” and Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” also appear on the list of best-selling digital tracks.