Rihanna's only been making records since 2005, so she's nowhere near the biggest-selling artist of all time. However, new data released by the Nielsen Company and Billboard reveal that what Rihanna is, is the biggest-selling digital artist of all time.
According to Nielsen Soundscan, in her relatively brief career, Ri-Ri has sold an amazing 47.5 million digital tracks, putting her on top by a comfortable margin. After her, in second place, is the Black Eyed Peas, who've sold 42.4 million digital tracks, and then Eminem, who's sold 42.29 million. However, the Black Eyed Peas can lay claim to the record for the biggest-selling digital single of all time -- "I Gotta Feeling," which has sold 7.68 million copies. None of Rihanna's songs are even in the top ten on that list.
Some other interesting milestones from the newly-released Nielsen Soundscan data are as follows:
--Katy Perry was the most-played artist on radio in 2011, with more than 1.4 million plays, or spins, of her songs. She beat Bruno Mars by 17,000 spins.
--Lady Gaga was the most-streamed artist of 2011, with more than 135 million streams
--The most streamed song and music video of 2011 was Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" -- it racked up 84.9 million audio streams and 71 million video streams.
--Overall, the best-selling artist of the entire Nielsen Soundscan era, which began in 1991, is country music superstar Garth Brooks, who sold 68.5 million albums during the period. The best-selling album of the era is Metallica's 1991 self-titled release, commonly known as the Black Album. It's sold more than 15.7 million copies.
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