Special Report

100 Best Pop Albums of All Time

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Pop music provides the soundtrack to our lives. It’s heard on the radio and on television; it plays at clothing stores as we shop and in restaurants while we eat. It’s captivating; it’s energetic; and — while we may not all love every hit song — it has a very wide appeal.

As implied by its name, pop music is the genre of music that produces the most popular — hit — songs. These songs tend to have catchy melodies, memorable lyrics, and energetic rhythms, often suited for dancing. And while pop music often focuses on single songs — reaching the No. 1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 is a sure sign of a hit — artists have consistently released pop music albums throughout recent history.

24/7 Wall St. has identified the 100 best pop albums of all time based on an album’s performance on the Billboard 200 chart, which ranks the weekly 200 most popular albums across all genres, and the album’s lifetime sales as reported by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The sounds of pop music have changed drastically over the years. Technology and creative innovation moved the genre away from its roots in early rock and roll to the dance music of Madonna and Michael Jackson. Today, artists such as Ed Sheeran, one of the 50 best selling Grammy winners, Twenty One Pilots, and Beyoncé carry the torch.

While not all popular songs are “pop,” the genre has been influenced by all other genres. Sometimes the joining of genres is front and center: Shania Twain, one of the most popular country musicians, has released numerous crossover albums that sound as natural on country radio as they do on pop stations. More recently, rapper and R&B Canadian artist Drake has found success in his meshing of genres, releasing albums packed to the brim with pop hits.

Click here to see the 100 best pop albums of all time.
Click here to read our methodology.

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100. Big Willie Style (1997)
> Artist: Will Smith
> Copies sold: 9 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 99

“Big Willie Style” was the debut solo album from versatile entertainer Will Smith, released in 1997. It was certified nine times platinum — selling 9 million copies — by the RIAA in July 2000. Smith samples funk, disco, and soul on “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It,” one the album’s more famous songs.

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99. Lionel Richie (1982)
> Artist: Lionel Richie
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 140

“Lionel Richie” is the singer’s debut album as a solo artist following his time as a member of the Commodores. The album, which features Richie’s unique style of pop ballads, found success with the singles “My Love,” “Truly,” and “You Are.”

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98. Red River Blue (2011)
> Artist: Blake Shelton
> Copies sold: 2 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 166

Country/pop singer Blake Shelton, who is a judge on the television talent show “The Voice,” had a big hit with his album “Red River Blue.” It became his first Billboard 200 No. 1 album and debuted in the top spot. The album produced the hit singles, “Honey Bee,” “God Gave Me You,” and “Drink on It.”

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97. The Sign (1993)
> Artist: Ace Of Base
> Copies sold: 9 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 102

Swedish pop group Ace of Base’s strength was making catchy dance music. This was most clear on their 1993 album “The Sign,” which includes the singles “All That She Wants,” “The Sign,” and “Don’t Turn Around.” The record was certified nine times platinum in the U.S.

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96. Surfacing (1997)
> Artist: Sarah McLachlan
> Copies sold: 8 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 108

“Surfacing,” performed by Canadian singer and songwriter Sarah McLachlan, reached 8 million in sales by December 2001, just over four years after it debuted. Four singles from “Surfacing” reached the top 30 on the Billboard Hot 100, among them “Adia” and “Angel.” Another song, “Building a Mystery,” earned her a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

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95. Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (2002)
> Artist: Elton John
> Copies sold: 6 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 145

Elton John’s 2002 greatest hits collection spans over three decades of the English musician’s work. The double album contains 34 songs, including “Rocket Man,” “Crocodile Rock,” and “Bennie and the Jets.”

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94. Back To Black (2007)
> Artist: Amy Winehouse
> Copies sold: 2 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 164

“Back To Black,” an album from Amy Winehouse, the late singer from England who mixed soul, rhythm and blues, and jazz genres, sold 2 million copies within a year after it was released in 2007. The album spawned the song “Rehab” that detailed Winehouse’s struggle with addiction. The song reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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93. Up! (2002)
> Artist: Shania Twain
> Copies sold: 11 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 93

Five years passed between the release of Shania Twain’s smash hit “Come On Over” and her follow-up “Up!” The latter album cemented Shania’s reputation as a pop master, with the 19-track album released in three different versions for different audiences: country, pop, and international.

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92. Gold – Greatest Hits (1993)
> Artist: Abba
> Copies sold: 6 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 150

“Gold,” the greatest hits album from the Swedish group Abba, one of the biggest pop acts of the 1970s, was certified a six-time platinum album in 2002, about nine years after its release. The album included such Abba favorites as “Dancing Queen,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” and “Waterloo.”

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91. Purpose (2015)
> Artist: Justin Bieber
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 152

The Bieb’s fourth studio album, “Purpose” is said to have taken the Canadian-born singer-songwriter two years to develop as he worked toward finding a new musical direction. He has named Chris Brown’s 2012 album “Fortune” as a major inspiration of the results. Four singles from “Purpose” were released, three of which — “What Do You Mean?,” “Sorry,” and “Love Yourself” — hit the No. 1 slot on both the Billboard Hot 100 and U.K. Singles charts.

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90. Vessel (2013)
> Artist: Twenty One Pilots
> Copies sold: 2 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 168

“Vessel” was the third album by the Columbus, Ohio-based duo Twenty One Pilots. The album featured the singles “Holding on to You,” “House of Gold,” and “Car Radio.” “Vessel” reached 2 million in sales this past February, about six years after its release.

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89. Dangerous (1991)
> Artist: Michael Jackson
> Copies sold: 8 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 119

Pop music idol Michael Jackson released his eighth studio album, in November 1991. “Dangerous” debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 1 within a week, and by January 1992 it had sold 7 million copies worldwide and was certified quadruple platinum for sales of over 4 million in the U.S. In 2018 this amount increased to 8 million.

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88. The Cars (1978)
> Artist: The Cars
> Copies sold: 6 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 139

The Boston-based band that rode the new wave trend in the late 1970s had its biggest success with its debut album “The Cars.” Seventeen years after its debut in 1978, “The Cars” was certified a six-time platinum album. Three singles were released from the album — “Just What I Needed,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” and “Good Times Roll” — all of which charted in the Billboard Hot 100.

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87. Country Grammar (2000)
> Artist: Nelly
> Copies sold: 10 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 104

“Country Grammar” was the Texas-born, St. Louis-based rapper’s first studio album. Four hit singles came out of the album, including the almost-title song (the single appended an unprintable slang expression to the album name). Six years after its release, “Country Grammar” became the ninth hip hop album ever certified diamond, having sold 10 million copies in the United States.

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86. Speak Now (2010)
> Artist: Taylor Swift
> Copies sold: 6 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 137

Seven years after its debut, Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” reached 6 million albums sold in December 2017. The album debuted at No. 1 on the on the Billboard 200. Six singles were released from “Speak Now,” and all either received a platinum or multi-platinum designation from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

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85. Hozier (2014)
> Artist: Hozier
> Copies sold: 2 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 176

Irish R&B performer Andrew Hozier-Byrne, who records as Hozier, rocketed to international stardom with “Take Me to the Church,” a song from his first EP, originally released as a free download in late 2013. The following year, the song became the lead single from this eponymous album, Hozier’s first LP, and was nominated for a Grammy as Song of the Year in 2015.

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84. Like A Virgin (1984)
> Artist: Madonna
> Copies sold: 10 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 109

The pop icon who defied convention and helped define 1980s pop and dance music had a 10-time platinum album with “Like a Virgin,” after reaching 10 million in sales in 1998. The album featured hits such as the Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping title song “Like a Virgin,” “Dress You Up,” and “Material Girl.”

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83. Mariah Carey (1990)
> Artist: Mariah Carey
> Copies sold: 9 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 113

Noted pop singer Mariah Carey’s self-titled debut studio album spent 11 of its 113 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart in the No. 1 position and was certified nine-times platinum, signifying U.S. sales of 9 million copies. Four singles from the album hit nNo. 1 consecutively on the Hot 100, tying a record set 20 years earlier by The Jackson 5.

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82. Songs About Jane (2002)
> Artist: Maroon 5
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 158

“Songs About Jane” was Maroon 5’s debut studio album and the band’s biggest selling album to date, reaching 4 million in sales in 2005. The album generated five singles, among them “This Love,” which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Harder to Breathe,” and “She Will Be Loved.”

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81. Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em (1990)
> Artist: M.C. Hammer
> Copies sold: 10 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 108

Still one of the best selling rap albums of all time, spending 21 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, “Please Hammer” became the first hip-hop album to sell over 10 million copies. Its popularity is sometimes attributed to its accessibility, characterized by its sampling of earlier hits by Rick James, Prince, Marvin Gaye, and others.

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80. The Colour Of My Love (1993)
> Artist: Celine Dion
> Copies sold: 6 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 149

“The Colour Of My Love” album by Canadian singer Celine Dion spent 149 weeks in the Billboard 200, the longest tenure of any of the prolific performer’s albums. The single “The Power of Love” reached No. 1 in the U.S. and was one of Dion’s career four chart-toppers on the Billboard Hot 100. Other singles from the album included “Misled” and “Think Twice,” which also charted on the Billboard 100.

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79. Anti (2016)
> Artist: Rihanna
> Copies sold: 3 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 164

Barbadian diva Rihanna’s eighth studio album, originally released as a free digital download, represented a new direction for the singer — away from dance-oriented music and toward R&B and pop with hip hop accents. Four singles came out of “Anti,” most notably “Work,” a collaboration with Drake, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart — Rihanna’s 14th song to reach that spot.

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78. ‘N Sync (1998)
> Artist: ‘N Sync
> Copies sold: 10 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 109

“‘N Sync” was the self-titled album of the boy band formed in Orlando, Florida. The album climbed to 10 million in sales by January 2000, barely two years after its debut. Among the songs on the album was the single “I Want You Back,” which reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1998 and “Tearin’ Up My Heart.”

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77. Views (2016)
> Artist: Drake
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 151

Kanye West was among the producers working on this album, Drake’s fourth studio recording. Though it received mixed reviews, “Views” spent 13 nonconsecutive weeks in the Billboard 200’s No. 1 slot and became the first album in history to be streamed 1 billion times on Apple Music.

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76. I Am… Sasha Fierce (2008)
> Artist: Beyoncé
> Copies sold: 2 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 188

Beyoncé‘s “I Am… Sasha Fierce” reached 2 million in sales in January of 2009, just two months after its release. One of the artist’s best-known singles, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” peaked at No. 1 on Dec. 13, 2008, on the Billboard Hot 100 — Beyoncé‘s fifth chart-topper. Another hit from the album was “If I Were a Boy,” which rose to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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75. II (1994)
> Artist: Boyz II Men
> Copies sold: 12 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 99

Though it’s titled “II,” this album by the Philadelphia R&B and soul quartet is actually their number III studio album — but one was a Christmas album, and thus they didn’t count it for album-numbering purposes. Two No. 1 singles came out of “II” — “I’ll Make Love to You” and “On Bended Knee.” The latter replaced the former for the top spot on the Hot 100. Only two other artists had ever achieved this feat — The Beatles and Elvis Presley.

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74. T R A P S O U L (2015)
> Artist: Bryson Tiller
> Copies sold: 2 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 178

Bryson Tiller’s debut album “T R A P S O U L,” about the torment of lost love, was released in October of 2015, and the album went double platinum two years later. The Louisville, Kentucky-based singer had three singles from the album chart on the Billboard Hot 100: “Don’t,” “Exchange,” and “Sorry Not Sorry.”

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73. Face Value (1981)
> Artist: Phil Collins
> Copies sold: 5 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 163

Fourteen years into his career as a drummer, and after six years as lead singer (following the departure of Peter Gabriel) of the English rock band Genesis, Phil Collins took a break to record his first solo album, “Face Value.” The album’s best-known song, “In the Air Tonight,” never got higher than No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it is widely considered to be Collins’s signature single. The album has sold more than 5 million copies in the U.S.

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72. Beyoncé (2013)
> Artist: Beyoncé
> Copies sold: 2 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 183

Beyoncé‘s self-titled album stayed in the Billboard 200 for 183 weeks, the longest of any of her albums. The songs on “Beyoncé” focused on feminist themes about sex, monogamous relationships, and love. It was her fifth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, and she became the first female artist whose first five studio albums debuted on top of the Billboard 200 chart. Three songs from the album charted on Billboard Hot 100, “Drunk in Love,” “Partition,” and “XO.”

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71. Millennium (1999)
> Artist: Backstreet Boys
> Copies sold: 13 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 93

Riding a wave of success from their debut album, the Backstreet Boys released “Millennium” in the United States less than two years later. The album set the record for first week sales in the U.S., selling 1.1 million copies upon its release. “I Want It That Way,” the first single from the record, spent 31 weeks on the Hot 100.

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70. Greatest Hits (1988)
> Artist: Fleetwood Mac
> Copies sold: 8 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 142

The mellow British-American rockers’ greatest hits album was released in 1988 and reached the 8-million sales mark in March 2000. Fleetwood Mac’s career got a boost in 1992, when their hit “Don’t Stop” became associated with the presidential campaign of Bill Clinton. All but one of the 16 songs on the album charted on the Billboard Hot 100, including the lone No. 1 single “Dreams.”

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69. Confessions (2004)
> Artist: Usher
> Copies sold: 10 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 124

The fourth studio album by pop/R&B singer Usher sold over 1 million copies in its first week of release. A special edition of “Confessions” was subsequently released, with an added track, “My Boo” — a duet with Alicia Keys. Billboard identified “Confessions” as the second best-selling album of any kind in the 2000s (after Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP”), and it won a Grammy Award in 2005 for Best Contemporary R&B Album

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68. Hangin’ Tough (1988)
> Artist: New Kids On The Block
> Copies sold: 8 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 134

The boy band from Boston reissued their smash “Hangin’ Tough” album this past March. The album reached eight-time platinum status in May of 1990, just over two years after its release. “Hangin’ Tough” hung around the Billboard 200 for 134 weeks. It was the band’s second album and spawned the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)” and the title track. Other hit singles from the album included “Cover Girl.”

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67. Music Box (1993)
> Artist: Mariah Carey
> Copies sold: 10 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 128

Mariah Carey was already a commercial success by the time she released her third album, “Music Box,” in 1993. The record was her best selling at the time, however, and remains tied for her most successful album along with 1998’s “Daydream.” “Music Box” includes two No. 1 hits: “Dreamlover” and “Hero.”

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66. Red (2012)
> Artist: Taylor Swift
> Copies sold: 7 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 152

Taylor Swift, who has four albums on the best pop album list, reached the 7-million sales mark with “Red” last July. “Red” earned Swift Grammy Award nominations for Best Country Album and Album of the Year. “Red” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, her third straight chart-topper. Swift, whose fans delight in trying to decode who or what she is singing about, scored her first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with “We Are Never Getting Back Together.”

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65. Madonna (1983)
> Artist: Madonna
> Copies sold: 5 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 168

Following her hit single “Everybody,” released in 1982, Sire Records signed Madonna and released the singer’s album debut. Five singles came out of “Madonna” — “Burning Up,” “Holiday,” “Lucky Star,” “Borderline,” and a re-release of “Everybody.” The album was certified quintuple platinum, selling 5 million copies in the U.S.

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64. Trilogy (2012)
> Artist: The Weeknd
> Copies sold: 3 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 197

The Weeknd’s “Trilogy” album is the Canadian performer’s most successful album to date, appearing on the Billboard 200 for 197 weeks. “Trilogy” is a collection of mixtapes — “House of Balloons,” “Thursday,” and “Echoes of Silence” — The Weeknd compiled from 2011, along with three additional songs. The song “Wicked Games” reached No. 53 on the Billboard 100. Other singles released were “Twenty Eight” and “The Zone.”

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63. Falling Into You (1996)
> Artist: Celine Dion
> Copies sold: 11 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 113

Celine Dion’s “Falling Into You” proves that pop isn’t just for teenagers. The adult contemporary pop album covers numerous love songs and dance pop numbers and includes the hit “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” which spent 30 weeks on the Hot 100.

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62. The Woman In Me (1995)
> Artist: Shania Twain
> Copies sold: 12 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 107

Canadian country queen Shania Twain had already begun perfecting her brand of country pop years before her most successful album “Come on Over” with the release of her 1995 album “The Woman In Me.” It was the first of her collaborations with producer, songwriter, and the singer’s one-time spouse Robert John “Mutt” Lange. Notable tracks from the album include “Any Man of Mine” and “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”

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61. CrazySexyCool (1994)
> Artist: TLC
> Copies sold: 11 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 119

TLC — whose original members were Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas — became the first girl group in history to be awarded diamond status by the RIAA, meaning 10 million albums sold. “CrazySexyCool” has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide and the Rolling Stone named it one of the 500 greatest albums ever made.

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60. Cooleyhighharmony (1991)
> Artist: Boyz II Men
> Copies sold: 9 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 133

The R&B group from Philadelphia is known for its a capella harmonies. Their debut album, “Cooleyhighharmony,” was a critical and commercial success, reaching 9 million album sales in December of 1995. Hit singles from the album on the Billboard Hot 100 included “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” (No. 2) and “MotownPhilly (No. 3). The group won the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 1992 Grammy Awards.

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59. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (2013)
> Artist: Eminem
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 189

Nine of Eminem’s albums reached the No. 1 position on the Billboard 200, including 2013’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2.” In the album, the Detroit-bred rapper references his older hits — such as “Cleaning Out My Closet” and “Stan” — while touching on his success and modern life. The album also features one of his biggest hits, “The Monster” featuring Rihanna, which spent four weeks at No. 1.

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58. Seal (1994)
> Artist: Seal
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 181

The eponymously named album from the British singer-songwriter reached 4 million in album sales two years after it was released. The biggest hit from the album is titled “Kiss From a Rose,” and it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on Aug. 26, 1995. Seal was nominated for Grammy Awards in the categories of Album of the Year and Best Pop Album for the record. Another song from the album, “Prayer For The Dying,” reached No. 21 on the Hot 100 on Aug. 6, 1994.

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57. If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2015)
> Artist: Drake
> Copies sold: 2 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 197

Whether this Drake effort is a studio album or a mixtape has been debated, but its popularity is not in doubt: It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and broke the first-week streaming record on Spotify with more than 17.3 million streams in three days’ time (the previous record was also Drake’s: 15.146 million streams for “Nothing Was the Same”).

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56. Beauty Behind The Madness (2015)
> Artist: The Weeknd
> Copies sold: 3 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 185

Canadian performer The Weeknd reached three times platinum with the album “Beauty Behind The Madness” in August 2016, just eight months after the recording was released. The album produced two Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits, “The Hills” and “Can’t Feel My Face.” A third song from the album, “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey),” reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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55. The Stranger (1977)
> Artist: Billy Joel
> Copies sold: 10 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 137

“The Stranger” was a breakthrough album for “Piano Man” Billy Joel. After the weak sales of his previous album, “Turnstiles,” his record label Columbia Records was reportedly considering dropping him. Working with legendary producer Phil Ramone — whose credits range from John Coltrane to Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra — Joel came up with this certified hit. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200, yielded five singles (four of which made the top 40 on the Hot 100 chart), and won Grammy Awards in 1978 for Record of the Year and Song of the Year (for one of the singles, “Just the Way You Are”).

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54. …Baby One More Time (1999)
> Artist: Britney Spears
> Copies sold: 14 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 103

The marriage of Britney Spears’ performance and the production work of Max Martin, who also worked extensively with the Backstreet Boys, was a winning combination. Spears’ debut album spent six weeks at No. 1 and is certified 14 times platinum. It also propelled the young singer to superstardom, due in part to the iconic music videos released of songs from the record.

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53. Sports (1983)
> Artist: Huey Lewis & The News
> Copies sold: 7 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 160

Certified seven-times platinum, “Sports” was the source of four top-10 hits: “Heart and Soul,” “I Want a New Drug,” “If This Is It,” and “The Heart of Rock and Roll.” The album itself reached the No. 1 slot on the Hot 100 chart. A two-disc 30th anniversary edition of the album was released in 2013.

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52. No Jacket Required (1985)
> Artist: Phil Collins
> Copies sold: 12 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 123

Featuring guest appearances by Sting, Peter Gabriel, and others, this album by former Genesis drummer and vocalist Phil Collins produced four hit singles, two of which — “Sussudio” and “One More Night” — rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “No Jacket Required” won three Grammy Awards in 1986, including Album of the Year.

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51. Escape (1981)
> Artist: Journey
> Copies sold: 9 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 152

Four hit singles came out of this chart-topping album: “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Who’s Crying Now,” “Still They Ride,” and “Open Arms.” Certified nine-times platinum, it remains the Journey’s best-selling studio album, outrun only by its “Greatest Hits” offering. Atari released a video game inspired by the album, “Journey Escape,” in 1982.

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50. Supernatural (1999)
> Artist: Santana
> Copies sold: 15 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 103

“Supernatural” was Santana’s 18th studio album. Certified 15-times platinum, it won eight Grammy Awards in 2000, including Album of the Year and Best Rock Album. A list of blue-chip guest stars — including Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, Dave Matthews, Rob Thomas, and Cee-Lo Green — joined this prolific Latin rock band leader Carlos Santana on the album. Six singles came out of “Supernatural,” including “Smooth,” which held the No. 1 slot on the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks.

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49. Purple Rain (1984)
> Artist: Prince & The Revolution
> Copies sold: 13 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 126

Prince masterfully fused multiple genres on his “Purple Rain” soundtrack, from R&B to rock. But the album is held together by its pop sensibility. The songs “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy” both reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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48. Some Hearts (2005)
> Artist: Carrie Underwood
> Copies sold: 8 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 157

“America Idol” star Carrie Underwood made her debut with this album, which became the best selling country album in the United States for two years running — 2006 and 2007 — as well as the best selling album of any kind in this country in 2006. Other landmarks: “Some Hearts” was the best selling solo female debut album in country music history and the fastest selling country album debut since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales, and it garnered three Grammy Awards for Underwood in 2007, including Best New Artist.

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47. Fleetwood Mac (1975)
> Artist: Fleetwood Mac
> Copies sold: 7 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 168

This is actually the second Fleetwood Mac album called simply “Fleetwood Mac.” (The first one, released in 1968, included Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, but not Lindsay Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, or Christine McVie.) Interestingly, it took this iteration more than a year after its release to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Three top-20 singles came out of the album, including “Rhiannon,” “Say You Love Me,” and “Over My Head.” In 2018, the band released a four-disc deluxe edition of the album, including demos, singles mixes, and live performances.

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46. Greatest Hits (1974)
> Artist: Elton John
> Copies sold: 17 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 106

This first Elton John’s greatest hits compilation was a huge success, spending 10 weeks at No. 1. Nearly every song on the album reached the top 10 on the Hot 100 chart, proving the British singer to be a master at crafting pop hits.

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45. Forever Your Girl (1988)
> Artist: Paula Abdul
> Copies sold: 7 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 175

It’s unsurprising that Paula Abdul has an ear for catchy dance music, considering her career as a dancer and choreographer prior to emerging as a pop musician. “Forever Your Girl” was the first of two albums Abdul released that would hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts, the other being 1991’s “Spellbound.” “Forever Your Girl” featured four No. 1 hit songs: “Straight Up,” “Opposites Attract,” “Cold Hearted,” and its title track, “Forever Your Girl.”

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

44. Unorthodox Jukebox (2012)
> Artist: Bruno Mars
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 203

“Unorthodox Jukebox,” the second studio album from Bruno Mars, featured a variety of styles from the Honolulu, Hawaii-born singer and songwriter, including reggae, rock, and soul. The album occupied the Billboard 200 for 203 weeks and produced the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits “Locked Out Of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man.”

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Source: Brad Barket / Getty Images

43. Greatest Hits Vol. I & II (1985)
> Artist: Billy Joel
> Copies sold: 23 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 67

Billy Joel’s first greatest hits album is one of the top-selling albums of all time — the RIAA certified it double diamond. The album includes the majority of Joel’s hits, including the two No. 1 hits “It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me” and “Tell Her About It.” The songwriter had enough material to release a third volume of greatest hits in 1997.

Source: Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

42. Can’t Slow Down (1983)
> Artist: Lionel Richie
> Copies sold: 10 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 160

Lionel Richie’s “Can’t Slow Down,” his second solo album, sold 10 million copies by December 1985, just over two years after its release. The blockbuster album that appealed to a broad audience spectrum included two of his five Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits, “All Night Long (All Night)” and “Hello.”

Source: Mika-photography / Wikimedia Commons

41. The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
> Artist: Eminem
> Copies sold: 10 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 171

Eminem released his first No. 1 record in 2000, “The Marshall Mathers LP.” The album balanced vulgar humor and dark imagery with hip hop beats and catchy choruses. It featured numerous singles, including “The Real Slim Shady,” which was a huge hit on MTV and won its Video of the Year award.

Source: Carlo Allegri / Getty Images

40. Number Ones (2003)
> Artist: Michael Jackson
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 222

“The King of Pop” racked up 13 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and they were all included in the 2003 release “Number Ones.” Among the songs are “Beat It,” Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” and “Billie Jean.” The album surged back to the top of the charts in 2009 after Jackson’s death.

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Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

39. Montevallo (2014)
> Artist: Sam Hunt
> Copies sold: 3 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 211

Sam Hunt’s 2014 album “Montevallo” exemplifies the modern strand of pop-country, driven by big electronic beats and hand claps. The album, Hunt’s first full length, produced five singles and spent 211 weeks on the Billboard 200.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

38. Bad (1987)
> Artist: Michael Jackson
> Copies sold: 10 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 171

This Michael Jackson classic, released almost five years after his previous album “Thriller,” was the source of five No. 1 singles, including the title song. “Bad” sold 7 million copies worldwide in its first week of release and became the No. 1 album in 25 countries. It lingered in the top five on the Billboard 200 chart for 38 weeks. Though it was nominated for six Grammys, it won only for Best Engineered Recording – Non Classical and Best Music Video.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

37. Blurryface (2015)
> Artist: Twenty One Pilots
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 201

Twenty One Pilots draw influence from numerous genres, including reggae, rap, and rock, and blend it into infectious pop. The group’s fourth album, “Blurryface,” is the first album ever with all songs in it certified at least gold by the RIAA. This is due in large part to the huge number of streams the album has received on music platforms such as Spotify.

Source: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

36. Tailgates & Tanlines (2011)
> Artist: Luke Bryan
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 214

The songs on Luke Bryan’s “Tailgates & Tanlines” range from classic country to pop-country, creating major mainstream success. The album spent 214 weeks on the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 2. Four singles from the album charted in the top 40: “Country Girl (Shake It for Me),” “I Don’t Want This Night to End,” “Drunk on You,” and “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye.”

Source: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

35. 19 (2008)
> Artist: Adele
> Copies sold: 3 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 218

The title of Adele’s debut album was also her age when it was released. It won the English-born soul singer the Best New Artist Grammy in 2009. And a single from the album, “Chasing Pavements,” snagged that year’s Best Female Pop Vocal Performance award. Adele’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” in 2008 is credited with having kick-started her career in the United States.

Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

34. The Fame (2008)
> Artist: Lady Gaga
> Copies sold: 3 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 219

Four international hit singles, including “Poker Face” and “Just Dance,” came out of this album, Lady Gaga’s first. Rolling Stone hailed “The Fame” as one of the 100 best debut albums of all time, and the Grammy Awards hailed it as Best Electronic/Dance Album, simultaneously honoring “Poker Face” as Best Dance Recording.

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Source: Phil Walter / Getty Images

33. Off The Wall (1979)
> Artist: Michael Jackson
> Copies sold: 8 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 193

Jackson’s fifth studio album, “Off the Wall” marked two firsts for the now-controversial performer: It was his first recording for Epic Records, the label he stayed with for 30 years until his death, and the first Jackson album produced by the legendary Quincy Jones. One of the five singles released from the album, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” won the singer his first-ever Grammy Award — it was for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

32. Backstreet Boys (1997)
> Artist: Backstreet Boys
> Copies sold: 14 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 133

One of the biggest musical trends to take hold during the 1990s was the rise of boy bands. While the Backstreet Boys weren’t the first of this type of group, they were one of the most popular. Their debut album has both ballads and more upbeat dance songs and includes the top-10 hits “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),” “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back),” and “All I Have to Give.”

Source: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

31. + (2011)
> Artist: Ed Sheeran
> Copies sold: 2 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 243

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s debut full-length album followed the release of five EPs. The album, which showcases Sheeran’s unique style of hip hop-influenced acoustic pop, helped propel him into the international spotlight, leading to his work with artists such as One Direction and Taylor Swift.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

30. 25 (2015)
> Artist: Adele
> Copies sold: 11 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 169

Adele took nearly five years to complete her third album, “25,” following the release of her second, “21.” By the time of its release, fans had developed a strong desire for it. The album sold 3.38 million copies in its opening week — the top-selling one-week sales for an album since Nielsen began tracking that data in 1991. The ballad-laden record also spent 10 weeks in the No. 1 slot on the Billboard 200.

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Source: Shutterstock.com

29. Teenage Dream (2010)
> Artist: Katy Perry
> Copies sold: 3 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 236

Six singles came out of this Katy Perry album, starting with the Hot 100 No. 1 hit “California Gurls,” featuring Snoop Dogg. Four of the others also hit first place, making “Teenage Dream” only the second album in history to produce five No. 1 hits (the other being Michael Jackson’s “Bad”). Though it failed to win in any categories, the album and its singles were nominated for a total of seven Grammy Awards.

Source: Patrick Riviere / Getty Images

28. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
> Artist: Bee Gees
> Copies sold: 16 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 137

The longevity of the Bee Gees is a testament to their ability to migrate from folksy, mainstream pop in the 1960s to the big-beat disco sounds of the 1970s, and the “Saturday Night Fever” album was their biggest triumph. “Saturday Night Fever” became the first soundtrack album to produce four No. 1 singles — “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever,” and “If I Can’t Have You.” The album topped the Billboard 200 for 24 consecutive weeks and became the first film soundtrack album to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

Source: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

27. Crash My Party (2013)
> Artist: Luke Bryan
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 233

Critical reaction to this Luke Bryan album was mixed, but it did very well commercially — debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums charts, going platinum the month after it was released, and becoming the third best selling album of 2013. Six singles from “Crash My Party” (including the title track) were released over a 19-month period.

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

26. In The Lonely Hour (2014)
> Artist: Sam Smith
> Copies sold: 2 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 247

The first studio album by English R&B and pop singer Sam Smith, “In the Lonely Hour” was named Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2015 Grammy Awards. It was 2014’s third best selling album in the U.S. and second best seller in the U.K. Five singles from the album were released between 2013 and 2015, with the first later re-released. The entire album got a reboot in late 2015, with a dozen new tracks added.

Source: Central Press / Getty Images

25. The Beatles: 1962-1966 (1973)
> Artist: The Beatles
> Copies sold: 15 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 175

The first of two Beatles anthology albums, also called the “Red Album,” was released in 1973 and reached 15 times platinum status in February 2001. The album, which spent 175 weeks on the Billboard 200, includes 26 songs from the Beatles’ early EMI recordings to their groundbreaking songs on the “Revolver” album. Twelve songs from the anthology reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Help!” and “I Feel Fine.”

Source: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

24. Whitney Houston (1985)
> Artist: Whitney Houston
> Copies sold: 13 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 176

Whitney Houston’s 1985 debut album introduced a new, enduring style of diva-pop. A mix of catchy R&B tunes and big ballads that Houston would come to be known for, the album features three No. 1 singles: “Saving All My Love for You”, “How Will I Know,” and “Greatest Love of All.”

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Source: Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images

23. The Essential Michael Jackson (2005)
> Artist: Michael Jackson
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 269

A retrospective look at Michael Jackson’s long career, this two-disc, 38-song compilation includes hits from his Jackson 5 days in the late 1960s up through his 2001 hit “You Rock My World.” In 2008, the year before Jackson’s death, an expanded limited edition of the album was released under the title “The Essential Michael Jackson 3.0,” with a third disc including seven more songs.

Source: Paul Hawthorne / Getty Images

22. Cracked Rear View (1994)
> Artist: Hootie & The Blowfish
> Copies sold: 21 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 129

The debut album from Hootie & The Blowfish was a smash success, being certified platinum 21 times. The album features several pop-rock anthems, including the group’s only top-10 hits: “Only Wanna Be With You,” “Let Her Cry,” and “Hold My Hand.”

Source: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

21. The Bodyguard (1992)
> Artist: Whitney Houston and others
> Copies sold: 18 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 155

This soundtrack album from the 1992 romantic thriller of the same name, starring Whitney Houston as a diva plagued by a stalker and Kevin Costner as the ex-Secret Service agent who protects her, includes six songs by Houston. The balance of the album features a range of performers, including Kenny G, Joe Cocker, and Curtis Stigers. Three singles from the album, all sung by Houston, won her the distinction of being the first female performer to have three songs in the top 20 at the same time. One of these, “I Will Always Love You” (written by Dolly Parton), spent 14 weeks in the No.1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Source: Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images

20. 1989 (2014)
> Artist: Taylor Swift
> Copies sold: 9 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 223

With this album, her fifth studio recording, Taylor Swift abandoned her country roots, moving solidly into pop. The record won her the Album of the Year title at the 2015 Grammys and toted up first-week sales of 1.287 million copies. This was her third album to sell over 1 million in its first week of release. Of the seven singles that came out of “1989,” three — “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space,” and a remixed version of “Bad Blood” with guest star Kendrick Lamar — reached No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart.

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Source: Keystone Features / Getty Images

19. The Beatles: 1967-1970 (1973)
> Artist: The Beatles
> Copies sold: 17 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 182

The second of the two Beatles anthology albums, also released in 1973, covers the latter part of the group’s career that was marked by innovation, improvisation, and retrospection. Also called the “Blue Album,” it includes psychedelic favorites such as “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” as well as the gospel-inspired “Let it Be.” Songs on the album that reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 included “Hey Jude” and “Get Back.”

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

18. Nothing Was the Same (2013)
> Artist: Drake
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 277

With help from the likes of Jay-Z, Big Sean, and 2 Chainz, “Nothing Was the Same” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, yielding seven hit singles and becoming the seventh best selling album of 2013. Canadian artist Drake recorded “Nothing Was the Same” in Marvin Gaye’s famous studio, Marvin’s Room, and told the youth-oriented media platform Complex that the album was heavily influenced by Gaye’s 1978 album “Here, My Dear.”

Source: John Pratt / Getty Images

17. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
> Artist: The Beatles
> Copies sold: 11 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 224

Perhaps the most famous pop album, and album cover, of all time, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” seems to capture the 1960s zeitgeist. It was No. 1 in the United States for 15 weeks after its release in June of 1967. No singles were released in conjunction with the album, and none of the songs were banded, meaning there was no break in the music, compelling the listener to hear the songs uninterrupted. The complexity of the music is reflected in the final song, “A Day in the Life,” with its soaring orchestral arrangements completed by the famously elongated E-major piano chord.

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

16. Come On Over (1997)
> Artist: Shania Twain
> Copies sold: 20 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 151

This smash-hit country album, Shania Twain’s third studio recording, has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide — twice the number shipped in the U.S. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and held that position for 50 nonconsecutive weeks. A dozen of the album’s 16 tracks were released as singles, and all were country hits, including three No. 1s.

Source: Theo Wargo / Getty Images

15. Recovery (2010)
> Artist: Eminem
> Copies sold: 3 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 320

This follow-up to his 2009 “Relapse” was originally supposed to be released as “Relapse II,” but Eminem realized that the music was different from that on the earlier album, so he called it “Recovery” instead. Dr. Dre was the executive producer, and Pink, Rihanna, and Lil Wayne were among the guest stars appearing. Four singles from “Recovery” were released, two of which — “Not Afraid” and “Love the Way You Lie” — hit No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Source: Dwight McCann / Wikimedia Commons

14. Taylor Swift (2006)
> Artist: Taylor Swift
> Copies sold: 7 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 275

Taylor Swift was only 16 years old when she recorded her debut album. Having either written or co-written every song on the album, Swift proved herself an exceptionally talented newcomer — a role she would use to develop her current standing as international pop superstar. The album produced five singles, including “Teardrops on My Guitar,” which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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Source: Jason Kempin / Getty Images

13. Take Care (2011)
> Artist: Drake
> Copies sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 316

This ubiquitous Canadian rapper’s second studio album, “Take Care” features guest appearances from Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, André 3000, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, and other notables. It debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200, spawned four top-20 singles, and won the 2013 Grammy for Best Rap Album.

Source: Rich Lam / Getty Images

12. Night Visions (2012)
> Artist: Imagine Dragons
> Copies sold: 2 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 338

Dan Reynolds, lead singer for Imagine Dragons, has said that “Night Visions” was in the works for three years. Six of the original 10 tracks on the album had been previously released on EPs. One of these, “It’s Time,” reached the top 15 in the Billboard Hot 100 as an EP track and became the band’s first commercial success. “Night Visions” reached the top 10 of the Billboard 200 in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Source: BIPS / Getty Images

11. Abbey Road (1969)
> Artist: The Beatles
> Copies sold: 12 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 301

The Beatles album with the iconic album cover of the Fab Four crossing Abbey Road debuted in October of 1969. It includes the double-sided hit “Something”/”Come Together,” which peaked at No. 1 on Nov. 29, 1969. There are elements of the blues and progressive rock on the album that also featured Moog synthesizers. It would be the last studio album on which all four would collaborate.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

10. The Beatles [White Album] (1968)
> Artist: The Beatles
> Copies sold: 24 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 199

“The Beatles” is also known as the “White Album,” and it is among the group’s most provocative works. It was recorded in 1968 as creative differences were fraying the group. Included on the double album are stream-of-consciousness efforts like “Revolution 9” and the searing guitar in the song “Helter Skelter.” The single “Revolution” was the biggest hit from the album, reaching No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album reached 24 million in sales this past February, the most of any Beatles album.

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Source: Keystone / Getty Images

9. 1 (2002)
> Artist: The Beatles
> Copies sold: 11 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 360

The album title tells it all — it includes every Beatles song that topped the Billboard chart, from “Love Me Do” to “The Long And Winding Road.” “1” inhabited the Billboard 200 for 360 weeks. With the Beatles, you are never short of superlatives. With “1” reaching No. 1 atop the Billboard 200, the Beatles were the only performers who had an album climb to the top position in the U.S. in four decades –1960s, 1970s, 1990s, and 2000s.

Source: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

8. The Eminem Show (2002)
> Artist: Eminem
> Copies sold: 10 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 357

Eminem’s first two albums provided not only numerous hits, but also frequent publicity-driving controversies — hence the title of the rapper’s third LP, “The Eminem Show.” The album delivered catchy rap-driven pop tracks, including “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” and “Without Me.”

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

7. Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010)
> Artist: Bruno Mars
> Copies sold: 5 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 414

Multi-instrumentalist Bruno Mars turned heads with his debut album “Doo-Wops & Hooligans.” In addition to holding songwriting credits on every track, Mars played the majority of instruments. The result is a laid back modern classic that spent an impressive 414 weeks on the Billboard 200.

Source: Noam Galai / Getty Images

6. Rumours (1977)
> Artist: Fleetwood Mac
> Copies sold: 20 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 314

Fleetwood Mac’s blockbuster hit album about addiction and heartbreak went 20 times platinum in 2014, 37 years after its release. It features the band’s only Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit “Dreams” and includes such familiar Fleetwood Mac tunes as “Go Your Own Way,” “You Make Loving Fun,” and “Second Hand News.” “Rumours” is one of eight albums on this list that spent at least 300 weeks on the Billboard 200.

Source: Dave J Hogan / Getty Images

5. Curtain Call: The Hits (2005)
> Artist: Eminem
> Copies sold: 7 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 437

The Detroit rapper’s greatest hits album reached the 7-million sales plateau in October 2016, 11 years after its release. “Curtain Call: The Hits” was on the Billboard 200 for 437 weeks. Among the singles that cracked the Billboard Hot 100 was “Lose Yourself,” which topped the chart on Nov. 9, 2002. Other Hot 100 hits included are “Cleanin’ Out My Closet,” “The Real Slim Shady,” and “Just Lose It.”

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

4. 21 (2011)
> Artist: Adele
> Copies sold: 14 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 407

Adele’s sophomore album turned the singer into an international superstar, with its lead track, “Rolling In The Deep,” topping the singles charts in 11 countries. The recording won Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album at the 54th Grammy Awards.

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Source: Larry Busacca / Getty Images

3. Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) (1976)
> Artist: Eagles
> Copies sold: 38 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 266

“Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975” album from the Eagles surged past Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” last August to become the best selling album of all time in the United States. The RIAA said the album, released in 1976, was certified 38 times platinum, meaning sales and streams of the recording climbed to 38 million copies. Among the hits on the Eagles album are “Hotel California” and “Take It Easy.”

Source: Rick Stewart / Getty Images

2. Thriller (1982)
> Artist: Michael Jackson
> Copies sold: 33 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 359

Michael Jackson earned his title as “King of Pop” with his sixth solo album, “Thriller.” The album is packed with hits, seven of which made it to the top 10. The album is the second best selling of all time, behind only Eagles’ “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975.”

Source: Mike Coppola / Getty Images

1. Journey’s Greatest Hits (1988)
> Artist: Journey
> Copies sold: 15 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 556

The San Francisco rockers top this list of best pop albums with their greatest hits collection, which has spent an eye-popping 556 weeks on the Billboard 200 and reached 15 million copies sold in April of 2008. Among the best-known songs of the collection are “Any Way You Want It,” “Separate Ways,” and the anthem “Don’t Stop Believin’,” whose popularity soared after it was played on the final episode of the hit crime show “The Sopranos.”

Methodology

To determine the best pop albums of all time, 24/7 Wall St. generated an index based on the album’s rankings on the Billboard 200 chart and lifetime album sales. Both components of the index were given equal weight.

A band’s total certified U.S. album sales came from the Recording Industry Association of America. The RIAA tracks album sales released in the American market with a threshold of 500,000 units sold. To be considered, an album must have at least 1 million certified sales. How well an album has performed on the Billboard 200 was determined by awarding points based on the number of weeks it was on the chart and its rank for each week.

Pop music has come to mean more than mere popularity. Generally, pop albums consist of singles-based music engineered for wide appeal on pop radio and pop television. Pop music often incorporates elements of dance, as well as heavily produced electronic components. Based on 24/7 Wall St.’s discretion, albums that did not meet these loose criteria were excluded from our analysis. As a result, a number of highly popular artists, including Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, and Garth Brooks, were culled from the final list.

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