Which country artist has sold the most albums of all time? It's not the singer who's released the most albums — in fact, it's not even close!

It is the man with the best selling country album of all time, however. In fact, this guy checks in at No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 on the Top 10 list.

  • Along with hip-hop and hard rock, country music experienced a sales surge when Soundscan was put into place at record stores in 1991.
  • Prior to Soundscan, record store owners manually reported sales.
  • For this reason, it's no surprise that more than three-quarters of the Top 20 best-selling country artists began their career after 1991.

Related: See the Most-Played Country Songs From the Year You Were Born

Determining Country Music's Best-Selling Artists:

There are massive discrepancies between sources that serve up sales data. A Wikipedia search finds George Strait with nearly 110 million albums sold worldwide, but that number is unsubstantiated and high — likely very, very high.

Artists often round up for obvious reasons. To determine country music's best-selling artist of all time (and the complete Top 20 seen below), we dug through records at RIAA, the group that awards Gold and Platinum certifications. It's literally their job to count things.

We also had to define "country" for this list, which is never an enviable task.

TL;DR of that conversation is that any artist who is best-known for being a country artist counts. So, John Denver (No. 10) makes the list, but Kid Rock (23.5 million) does not. Here are the Top 5 "almost country" artists:

  • Elvis Presley 146.5 million
  • The Eagles 120 million
  • Taylor Swift 51 million
  • Neil Diamond 49.5 million
  • Bob Dylan 36 million

Which Country Artist Has Sold the Most Albums?

Garth Brooks has sold more than 162 million albums, making him the best-selling country artist of all time and the second-best in any genre (behind the Beatles, as our friends at Loudwire point out).

Capitol Nashville
Capitol Nashville

To get there, Brooks has served up some of the most popular country albums ever. Double Live is No. 1 country (No. 8 all-genre) with 23 million certified units sold. No Fences is No. 3 (No. 13) at 18 million. Ropin' the Wind is No. 4 (No. 34) with 14 million.

Find the rest of the Top 20 below. We've organized it from highest to lowest and detailed each artists No. 1 seller if possible. Just missing this Top 20 list is Hank Williams Jr., who has sold 19.5 million certified units.

Country Artists Who've Sold the Most Albums - See the Top 20!

Which country artist has sold more albums than anyone else? Here are the Top 20, with each artists best-selling album listed.

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

See the Most Played Country Song from the Year You Were Born

Who had the most played country song during the year you were born? This list is a fascinating time capsule of prevalent trends from every decade in American history. Scroll through to find your birth year and then click to listen. Some of these songs have been lost through the years, many of them for good reason!

Men named Hank dominated early before stars like Freddie Hart, Ronnie Milsap, Willie Nelson Clint Black took over to close the 1980s. More recently it's been Tim Mcgraw, Rodney Atkins, Kane Brown and Morgan Wallen. Did the most-played country song from the year you were born become a favorite of yours later? All info comes from Billboard's country airplay charts.

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

More From Taste of Country