Top 20 Best-Selling Country Artists of All Time: No. 6 Taylor Swift

by Jim Casey

Taylor Swift was crushing it in country before she began her domination on the pop charts. While she “officially” moved to pop with her fifth studio album, 1989, Taylor is a country-pop superstar in our book (not pop-country superstar).

Taylor is No. 6 on our list of the Top 20 Best-Selling Country Artists of All Time, according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Like a couple of previously mentioned artists on our Top 20 List (Linda Ronstadt and John Denver), Taylor’s appeal across multiple genres is a cause for celebration—not consternation.

The RIAA tracks domestic album sales in the U.S. with its expensive-sounding certifications: Gold (500,000 units), Platinum (1 million units), Multi-Platinum (2 million units and more), and Diamond (10 million units).

No. 6: Taylor Swift

  • 46 Million Units Sold
  • 1 Diamond Album
  • 6 Multi-Platinum Albums
  • 2 Platinum Albums
  • 1 Diamond Single
  • 28 Multi-Platinum Singles
  • 18 Platinum Singles
  • 23 Gold Singles

No Fear

Along with Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, The Chicks, Kenny Rogers, and Patsy Cline, Taylor Swift is one of only a handful of country artists who can claim a Diamond-certified album. Taylor’s 2008 sophomore album, Fearless, has been certified Diamond by the RIAA for sales of 10 million units. The 13-song album won just about every award it was nominated for, including ACM Album of the Year, CMA Album of the Year, Grammy Album of the Year, and Grammy Best Country Album.

In addition to Fearless, Taylor can claim six Multi-Platinum albums, including 1989 (9X), Taylor Swift (7X), Red (7X), Speak Now (6X), and more.

Shake It

Taylor released four “country” albums—Taylor Swift (2006), Fearless (2008), Speak Now (2010), and Red (2012)—before she took the pop world by storm with 2014’s 1989. T-Swift dropped 1989 on Oct. 27, 2014. But before she shared the 13-song set, she released the album’s lead single, “Shake It Off,” on Aug. 19. The tune shook the pop music-loving world.

“Shake It Off” debuted at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart. The RIAA certified the song Diamond in March 2020 for sales of 10 million units. With the achievement, Taylor became the first female artist to have a song and album (Fearless) certified Diamond by the RIAA.

In Defense of Taylor Swift

At only 31 years of age, Taylor Swift will undoubtedly climb into the Top 5 before it’s all said and done. If she keeps up her blistering sales pace, she’ll be a Top 3 artist sooner rather than later. She’s only 3.5 million units away from overtaking the No. 3 spot. Of course, 3.5 million units is a tall order… for anyone not named Taylor Swift.

Taylor’s music is tailor-made for her fan base that inhales her singles like oxygen. But Taylor also moves albums. And that’s a profitable—and rare—combination in today’s instant-grat market.