Which Borough Has the Most Top-Selling Singles of All-Time?

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02/09/2012 1:01 PM |


During some pointless, quality time spent browsing the Internet, I came across this page for the Best Selling Singles of All-Time. The list includes every song that’s sold over five million copies, ranging from “Daydream Believer” by the Monkees to “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, which has sales numbers in excess of 11 million. This page got me thinking about something: which of New York City’s five boroughs has the most top-selling singles artists? So, using that page, I went through and checked to see which of the mega-popular singers and musicians were from Manhattan, from Brooklyn, from Queens, etc. I only included them if they were born in one of the five boroughs (sorry, Paul Simon), and also kept it restricted to credited artists (it’s sometimes a little tricky to find the location of birth of session musicians).


1. Huey Lewis, Harry Belafonte and John Oates, “We Are the World” (20 million)

2. Glenn Hughes, Felipe Rose and Alex Briley from the Village People, “YMCA” (12 million)

3. Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance” (9.8 million), “Poker Face” (9.7 million), “Just Dance” (7.7 million), and “Telephone” (7.4 million)

4. Hikaru Utada, “Flavor of Life” (8 million)

5. Tony Orlando and Toni Wine from Tony Orlando and Dawn, “Knock Three Times” (6.5 million)

6. Toni Wine from the Archies, “Sugar, Sugar” (6 million)

7. Alicia Keys, “No One” (5.6 million)

8. David Cassidy from the Partridge Family, “I Think I Love You” (5 million)

9. Chuck Negron from Three Dog Night, “Joy To The World” (5 million)


1. Jay-Z with Rihanna, “Umbrella” (6.6 million)

2. Linda November from Tony Orlando and Dawn, “Knock Three Times” (6.5 million)

3. Neil Diamond, “Cracklin’ Rosie” (6 million)


1. Cyndi Lauper, “We Are The World” (20 million)

2. Art Garfunkel from Simon & Garfunkel, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (6 million)


1. Billy Joel, “We Are The World” (20 million)


1. Ron Dante from the Archies, “Sugar, Sugar” (6 million)

2 Comment

  • I guess you would have to split KISS between Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

    Run-DMC must have had something that charted big – Walk this Way maybe?. Some love for Queens?

    No Biggie?

    Also, I’m sure Williamsburg’s own Barry Manilow must have had some monster selling singles.

  • how about Run-DMC / Anthrax?
    Another tri-boro hit: “You Lost That Lovin Feelin” – Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan songwriters (Spector/ Mann / Weil)
    If you counted naturalized NY’ers Irving Berlin at #1 as songwriter?