The alphabet. Without it, we’d be trying to convey this information to you via pictograph. It can also be a convenient way to categorize information and craft lists. With that in mind, below you will find the most successful artist for every letter of the alphabet: all the classic letters, and some of the overlooked letters that get you street cred with the indie crowd.
The list is based on total album sales in the U.S. alone, though we fully recognize that statistic isn’t the end all, be all of measuring success; Celine Dion has outsold Bob Dylan, but no one thinks she occupies the same space in music history as the legend.
For sake of easy categorization, individual artists are listed by their last name, while “The” bands are listed under the letter their name begins with, not under “T.” If you can’t identify the artists in the graphic below by their picture, we’ve got a handy list at the bottom with each artist’s total album sales (numbers courtesy of the RIAA) – and before you jump to the comments and get upset, yes, Billy Joel has sold more albums than Michael Jackson.