the beatlesThe Beatles.APIn the decades before streaming-era rules and digital downloads inflated album sales, platinum certification was more difficult for artists to obtain.

When an artist achieved platinum status back then — selling a million or more physical copies of an album — it took a more fervent effort from fans (who drove to record stores, found an album, and handed over their hard-earned cash for it), but many acts nonetheless reached platinum certification routinely.

Compiling RIAA data, we ranked the best-selling artists of all time by the number of platinum albums they’ve sold in the US. 

While some of the results are surprising — country singer Garth Brooks, for instance, has the most diamond (or 10-times platinum) albums of all time with seven — the legendary acts sitting atop the list are ones you’d probably expect to see. 

Here the 50 best-selling artists of all time, ranked by platinum album sales: