The Ultimate Best-selling Albums Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
3 min
The Ultimate Best-selling Albums Quiz
Image: Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty

About This Quiz

If you can never remember if Michael Jackson or the Beatles are the biggest sellers, now is the time to find out. Not only will you get it straightened out, but you'll also learn about some more surprising artists that have made history with sales.
If you've sold a million singles or albums, you earn what certification from the Recording Industry Association of America?
Platinum Record
Gold Record
Bronze Record
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

You've gone platinum if you've sold a million recordings.

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What does a gold record mean?
100,000 sales
500,000 sales
2 million sales
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If you moved 500,000 units off the shelf, you earned a gold record. Good job!

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What was the first artist to have a certified diamond record?
Michael Jackson
Lionel Richie
Carole King
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Lionel Richie's "Can't Slow Down" sold over 10 million copies, earning it the first diamond award in 1985.

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What one-hit wonder received the second diamond certification?
Jewel
Creed
M.C. Hammer
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Hammer got the distinction in 1991.

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So, let's get to it: Who has the No. 1 album sold?
The Beatles
Michael Jackson
The Eagles
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Thriller" takes the prize.

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How many copies has "Thriller" sold?
15 million
25 million
32 million
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Michael Jackson didn't just wanna be starting somethin' but also wanted to keep that somethin' sellin' for a long, long time.

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The next best-selling album has sold how many units?
31 million
29 million
19 million
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Thriller" is secure in its spot, it appears, for the time being.

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The Eagles have the distinction of having the second-most best-selling album. Which album is it?
a greatest hits compilation
"Hotel California"
"Desperado"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Which is kind of a cheat, right?

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To recognize that digital downloads count as sales, what did the RIAA do?
developed a digital single gold, platinum and diamond certification
added digital sales to the album award
both
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Because it's pretty absurd to ignore digital sales as CD sales fall.

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Who was the first artist to receive two digital diamond awards?
Rihanna
Beyoncé
Eminem
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 2014, Eminem was the first artist to have two songs go (digitally) diamond.

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What country artist has the best-selling album in the genre?
Dixie Chicks
Shania Twain
Garth Brooks
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While all three have platinum records, Garth Brooks is at the top of the list with his live album that sold 21 million copies.

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What was the first single to get a platinum designation?
"Stayin' Alive"
"Disco Lady"
"Born in the U.S.A."
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Johnnie Taylor had the hit in 1976.

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What was the first album certified multi-platinum in 2016?
Ed Sheeran, "X"
Carrie Underwood, "Greatest Hits: Decade # 1"
Adele, "25"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Keep in mind Adele had already gone platinum the month before, but was certified 6x platinum in January of 2016.

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What artist does NOT have a diamond album?
Tupac Shakur
Britney Spears
Beyoncé
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

That's right, Queen Bey doesn't yet have a diamond album to her name.

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Besides Mr. Hammer (ahem), what rap album was the first to reach diamond?
2Pac, "All Eyez On Me"
Notorious B.I.G., "Ready To Die"
Eminem, "The Slim Shady LP"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Tupac Shakur's 1996 album went diamond in 2014.

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What female artist was the first to nab a diamond award?
Carole King
Whitney Houston
Aretha Franklin
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Although "Tapestry" was released in 1971, it didn't get diamond recognition until 1995.

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What's the best-selling soundtrack, according to the RIAA?
"The Bodyguard"
Dirty Dancing"
"High School Musical"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Thanks to Ms. Houston, "The Bodyguard" wins handily with 17 million sold.

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What artist has the most units sold across the board, according to the RIAA?
Garth Brooks
Michael Jackson
The Beatles
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Beatles win, with 178 million units sold.

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What woman has the most units sold?
Madonna
Barbara Streisand
Mariah Carey
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Babs is the top female seller, with over 68 million units sold.

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What non-vocal recording artist has sold the most units?
Mannheim Steamroller
Kenny G
John Tesh
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

With over 48 million units sold, the RIAA crowns Kenny G its biggest musical act.

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What Kenny G album has gone diamond?
"Miracles: The Holiday Album"
"Duotones"
"Breathless"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The 1992 album has sold 12 million copies.

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What was the first soundtrack to be certified Diamond?
"Dirty Dancing"
"Saturday Night Fever"
"The Bodyguard"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The "Dirty Dancing" soundtrack was the third album to ever reach diamond, in 1994.

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What female artist was the first to get two diamond digital singles?
Taylor Swift
Lady Gaga
Katy Perry
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Firework" and "Dark Horse" earned her the honors in 2015.

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What was the first digital single to go platinum?
Usher, "Yeah!"
Gwen Stefani, "Hollaback Girl"
Kelly Clarkson, "Since U Been Gone"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

People definitely hollered back at Gwen.

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What artist has the most digital singles sold?
Rihanna
Taylor Swift
Kanye West
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Rihanna is on top with 102 million.

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What is the oro, platino and diamante system?
The Spanish counterpart of the RIAA
the RIAA program in Mexico
for albums that are over half Spanish-language
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The RIAA set up the distinction in 2001.

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A diamante album is certified after what amount of sales?
100,000
1 million
600,000
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Over 30,000 copies sold nets a gold album, and 60,000 copies bestows the platino honor.

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What artist earned their second diamante award in 2016?
Marc Anthony
Romeo Santos
Selena
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Santos also had a diamante awarded in 2015.

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What Spanish-language artist has sold the most units, according to the RIAA?
Selena
Gloria Estefan
Mana
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Over 3.3 million units of Selena's music have been sold.

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Women hold the top four spots of what chart?
most gold albums
most digital singles sold
most platinum singles
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Kanye finally comes in at No. 5.

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You Got:
/30
Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty