Special Report

These Are the 40 Best Pop Albums Ever Made

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30. Nothing Was The Same (2013)
> Artist: Drake
> Albums sold: 4 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 323

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. 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.”

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29. Hybrid Theory (2000)
> Artist: Linkin Park
> Albums sold: 11 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 233

Linkin Park had huge success with their debut album that fuses rock and rap in a tight pop package. It features the singles “One Step Closer,” “Crawling,” and “In the End,” and was the best-selling album of 2001.

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28. Taylor Swift (2006)
> Artist: Taylor Swift
> Albums 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. She leveraged that success, and it wasn’t long before she became an 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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27. The Bodyguard (1992)
> Artist: Whitney Houston
> Albums 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 40 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.

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26. 1989 (2014)
> Artist: Taylor Swift
> Albums sold: 9 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 273

With this album, her fifth studio recording, Taylor Swift abandoned her country roots, moving solidly into pop. The record won Swift the Album of the Year 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.

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25. Cracked Rear View (1994)
> Artist: Hootie & the Blowfish
> Albums sold: 21 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 129

The debut album from South Carolina’s 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.”

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24. Appetite for Destruction (1987)
> Artist: Guns N’ Roses
> Albums sold: 18 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 220

Hard rockers Guns N’ Roses brought metal back to the mainstream with 1987’s “Appetite for Destruction.” In addition to featuring the band’s only chart-topping hit — “Sweet Child O’ Mine” — the album includes the enduring singles “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City.” With 30 million sales worldwide, it is the best-selling debut album of all time.

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

This smash-hit pop 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 — “Love Gets Me Every Time,” “You’re Still the One,” and “Honey, I’m Home.”

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22. Night Visions (2012)
> Artist: Imagine Dragons
> Albums sold: 2 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 384

Dan Reynolds, lead singer for Imagine Dragons, has said that the band’s debut album “Night Visions” was in the works for three years. Six of the 11 tracks on the album had been previously released on EPs. One of these, “It’s Time,” reached No. 15 on 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.

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21. The Wall (1979)
> Artist: Pink Floyd CS
> Albums sold: 23 million
> Total weeks on Billboard 200: 154

Pink Floyd’s concept album about a rockstar named Pink is the band’s most commercially successful release in the United States, selling 23 million copies. In addition to popular tracks such as “Run Like Hell” and “Comfortably Numb,” the album features Pink Floyd’s lone No. 1 hit — “Another Brick In The Wall (Part II).” “The Wall” also produced an elaborate stage show and a movie.