There is a Youtube channel called Data is Beautiful and the person behind it is a PhD student who is a self-proclaimed data geek who loves visualizations. Their most recent video is a timeline of the most popular selling music artists starting in 1969 to recent years. I loved the visualization of watching the chart move, but it also opened my eyes about some facts.
Notably for me, I remember NSYNC as being so huge in the late 90's, but they didn't even make the charts. The Backstreet Boys DOMINATED the boy bands during that time. Britney Spears was bigger than Justin Timberlake when they were dating. Britney also sold more than Christina Aguilera, no contest, even though back in the day they were always pitted against each other.
The Beatles, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Elvis can't be touched, but we already knew that.
I knew that Rihanna was and is a super popular artist, but I had no idea she was the MONSTER she is. Even though the media would have you think differently, Beyonce can't hold a candle to Rihanna. Beyonce also hasn't sold anywhere near as much as Taylor Swift. Someone send Kanye a memo.
No wonder Garth Brooks is so revered on the country music side of things, he's the only one representing for them.
Finally, as many haters as Drake has, his sales say people love him. He's our modern day Michael Jackson. (Without the nose jobs and criminal charges.)