Greatest Billboard 200 Albums & Artists of All Time: Adele’s ’21’ & The Beatles Are Tops

Adele’s ’21’ is the top Billboard 200 album, while The Beatles are the biggest act. Plus: ‘The Sound of Music’ soundtrack is the runner-up title, and Taylor Swift sizzles on the all-time artist list.

For the first time, Billboard has ranked the top albums and artists ever on our signature Billboard 200 albums chart.

Adele‘s 21 is crowned as the top album, while The Beatles are celebrated as the top artist.

This unique recap of the chart begins with the Aug. 17, 1963-dated chart, whenBillboard combined our two leading pop album charts for stereo and mono releases into one all-encompassing weekly chart. The new chart, then-called Top LP’s, would later become known as the Billboard 200.

On this all-time list, albums are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at the lower reaches of the chart earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology through the years, eras are weighted differently to account for chart turnover rates over various periods. Artists are ranked based on the combined point totals of their albums, as outlined above.

Billboard Greatest of All Time


Adele’s blockbuster 21 tops the Billboard 200’s all-time albums ranking, fueled not only by the set’s 24 nonconsecutive weeks atop the list (the most weeks at No. 1 for an album by a woman), but also its lengthy chart run in the upper reaches of the tally.

21 debuted on the chart dated March 12, 2011 and spent its first 78 weeks in the top 10 (and then returned for three more frames … so far). The album has yet to leave the list since its release, and has lingered on the tally for more than 245 consecutive weeks.

At the end of 2011, Billboard spoke to Adele about the success of 21 and what the future held for her. “I’m just going to lay some concrete, set up home and just ‘be’ for a bit,” she said. “I’ll disappear and come back with a record [when it’s] good enough. There will be no new music until it’s good enough and until I’m ready.”

Clearly, Adele is now ready, as 21’s follow-up, 25, will be released globally Nov. 20. And, who knows, perhaps 25 will find its way to the next all-time Billboard 200 ranking.

Below Adele’s 21 on the Billboard 200 recap is the soundtrack to The Sound of Music, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2015. The album, led by the film’s star Julie Andrews, spent two weeks at No. 1 on the weekly Billboard 200, and earned a record 109 weeks in the top 10. The album was so hot that it was in the weekly top 10 from the May 1, 1965-dated chart through July 16, 1966. It was a regular (but not quite weekly) presence in the top 10 off and on through early 1968.

Earlier in 2015, Andrews spoke to Billboard about the movie’s half-century anniversary and its enduring appeal. “I don’t think I could have possibly guessed, ever, that it was going to be iconic as it has become. If anyone had told me that 50 years after the fact I’d be still speaking to you about it and its magic, I could not have anticipated that or believed it.”

At No. 3 on the all-time list is Michael Jackson‘s Thriller, which clocked 37 weeks at No. 1 on the chart in 1983-84. In total, the set (which would also be the first to spawn seven top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart) would spend 78 weeks in the top 10.


The Beatles triumph as the top all-time act on the Billboard 200, bolstered by the band’s record 19 No. 1s which spent 132 weeks atop the list (again, another record).

Five of the group’s albums are among the all-time Billboard 200 titles, led by, at No. 54, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which spent 15 straight weeks at No. 1 in 1967.

Some might wonder how a 15-week run at No. 1 didn’t enable the album to place higher on the all-time list. Although Sgt. Pepper’s spent a long stretch at the summit, it totaled a relatively short amount of time in the top 10 (33 weeks) and in the top 40 (63 weeks) compared to other high-ranking titles on the all-time list. As noted earlier, titles on the recap earn a greater number of points from spending a long time in the upper reaches of the tally.

Another British band places second on the all-time artists list: The Rolling Stones. The group, which owns a record 36 top 10 albums, debuted on the chart four months after the arrival of The Beatles. The Rolling Stones bowed on the June 27, 1964 chart with England’s Newest Hit Makers, shortly after The Beatles’ chart debut: Meet the Beatles! (Feb. 1, 1964).

While both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones started their Billboard 200 chart careers in 1964, there’s an act among the top 10 that wasn’t even born until 25 years later: Taylor Swift.

The country-to-pop superstar, who was born Dec. 13, 1989, made her Billboard 200 chart debut Nov. 11, 2006. Since then, she’s logged eight chart entries, all of which reached the top 20, with four albums hitting No. 1.

The sustained performance of Swift’s albums (four of which are on the all-time titles list) enable her to rank at No. 8 on the all-time artists list. She is the only act among the all-time top 30 to have started their chart career since 2000.


Janet Jackson Surprises Fans by Pretending to Be a Statue

Janet Jackson gave some fans the shock of their lives when she showed up unexpectedly on a tour.

As fans prepared to go on what they thought was just an ordinary look inside My Music VIP’s Janet Museum, their minds were blown when a Janet statue started to move.

“I saw her and I said, ‘Oh my God! That’s her!” one fan said.

“She was right there, and I was holding her hand,” said another.

Janet joined forces with My Music VIP to create an exclusive program, which gives unprecedented access to concert guests during the GRAMMY winner’s Unbreakable World Tour.

Janet’s 11th studio album, Unbreakable, marked her seventh No. 1 on the Billboard 200, putting her in an historic club that includes Barbra Streisand and Bruce Springsteen. Her previous chart-topping albums were Discipline (2008), All For You (2001), The Velvet Rope (1997), janet. (1993), Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989) and Control (1986).

Concertgoers who buy the album will get early entry into the concert along with access to Janet’s My Music VIP website and a tour of the Janet Museum.


Jemaine Jackson unveils ENORMOUS diamond ring for late brother Michael live on GMB

IT’S BEEN 50 years since The Jackson 5 brothers burst out of radios and in turn changed the landscape of music forever.

To celebrate, Michael Jackson’s brothers are touring the world to remember their late younger sibling and to commemorate their extraordinary milestone that today’s reigning pop giants could only dream of.

But unbeknown to Tito, Jackie and Marlon – Jemiane had a sparkly surprise up his sleeve in the form of five ginormous diamond rings which he presented to them during their appearance on today’s Good Morning Britain, as brotherly love filled the ITV studio.

After marking the Queen’s extraordinary milestone this week, Jemaine took a moment to toast their own career landmark with a staggering amount of bling. “We have a surprise for you,” the Motown legend told his band mates before Ben Shepherd and Kate Garraway handed out the remarkably lavish gifts live on TV.

Finally, Jemaine brought out a fifth and final ring for Michael, who of course passed away in June 2009. But the King of Pop lives on his four brothers and founding members of the biggest boy band of all time, who will take to the stage in London’s Hyde Park tomorrow with a 90-piece orchestra to keep them company.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson honoured with diamond ring five years after death

The Jackson 5Facebook

The Jackson 5 make their UK comeback at the BBC’s Prom In The Park tomorrow night

Finally he explained their longevity had come from their astounding dedication and devotion to their craft while he enthused that five decades on from their debut single I Want You Back, the quartet still “strive to be the best”.

Tomorrow they headline the BBC Proms in the Park, although they seem to have absolutely no idea what that actually entails. “We understand the Proms is a very prestigious event and that it happens every year,” said Jackie as they announced their UK comeback. “That is really all we know about it. And that it is an old thing, right?”


Janet Jackson cries while making triumphant stage return

Janet Jackson cries while making triumphant stage return, and performing a ‘duet’ with brother Michael Jackson.

Janet Jackson Kicks Off Unbreakable World Tour in Vancouver, Performs Everything From “Nasty” to “No Sleeep”

Janet JacksonR Chiang / Splash News

Janet Jackson made a welcome return to the stage Monday.The singer kicked off her Unbreakable World Tour in Vancouver, performing to a near-capacity crowd at Rogers Arena. Jackson, who last hit the road in 2011 for her Number Ones, Up Close and Personal Tour, opened with a new song featuringMissy Elliott; its title, though unknown, is believed to be “Burn It Up.”

Before Jackson took the stage, Elliott tweeted, “Positive vibes to my sis @JanetJackson the opening of her tour 2night! U r UNBREAKABLE. Do ya thang.” Later that night, the rapper tweeted about their new song, writing, “can’t front that new @JanetJackson is a clubbangger @flytetymejam & terry merked dat beat.”

Jackson—a 49-year-old, five-time Grammy Award winner—performed a mix of old and new songs during Monday’s concert, including “Nasty,” “Feedback,” “Miss You Much,” “You Want This,” “Control,” “What Have You Done for Me Lately,” “Pleasure Principle,” “Escapade,” “When I Think of You,” “All for You,” “All Nite (Don’t Stop),” Love Will Never Do (Without You), “After You Fall,” “Again,” “Come Back to Me,” “Let’s Wait Awhile,” “I Get Lonely,” “Anytime Anyplace,” “No Sleeep,” “Got ‘Til It’s Gone,” “That’s the Way Love Goes,” :Together Again,” “The Best Things in Life Are Free,” “Throb,” “Black Cat,” “If,” “Scream,” “Rhythm Nation,” “Should Have Known Better” and “Unbreakable,” among many other hits. At one point during the show, Jackson was overwhelmed with gratitude and wiped tears from her eyes.

Janet JacksonR Chiang / Splash News
The singer’s 67-show excursion is in support of her upcoming eleventh studio album of the same name. Unbreakable is slated for release sometime this fall, although no firm date has been announced just yet.Jackson’s longtime collaborators, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, recently talked to Entertainment Weekly about how the album came to be. “She revealed to us what her concept was, and as we always do, we just began making music,” Lewis said of their music making process. “We don’t try to directly flesh out a concept until that time comes. We just try to get creative and start recording and do what feels good musically. She came with the concept, and that became the beginning theme of where we started.” Janet JacksonGoldenEye /London Entertainment

Regarding the album’s title, Lewis said, “It’s such a broad concept. You can think of it many different ways. Some people think of unbreakable as being hard, but I think unbreakable is just being able to be vulnerable and to be able to withstand what comes to you. She’s lived a lot of life in the last few years.”Jackson grew as an artist, but she didn’t forget her roots. “I think it’s totally different from any of her other albums. But it feels like her,” Jam said. “At the end of the day, I go back to that. The thing about this album is there’s a lot of different places that it touches, but at the end of the day, it’s pure Janet.”