The Backstreet Boys have sold more albums than The Beatles in Canada in past 20 years

Here’s a bit of trivia for a Friday: MBW has just found out what the bestselling records in Canada have been over the past 20 years, and the results probably aren’t what you expect.

The bestselling artist since Nielsen Soundscan monitoring began in 1995 – in the period up to the end of 2014 – is local legend, Celine Dion.

She sold 7.9m albums in the country in the two-decade period, not far off double as much as anyone else.

At No.2 is Eminem with 4.6m album sales, and then Shania Twain, who has sold 4.4m LPS in Canada in the past 20 years.

One of those albums, Come On Over, is the biggest-selling individual album in the period, shifting 1.95m copies.

Surprisingly, The Backstreet Boys – with eight studio LPs to their name – have sold more albums in Canada in the past two decades than The Beatles.

The ’90s boyband were the fourth biggest artist in the period with 4.23m album sales in total, while The Beatles were the fifth with 3.87m sales.

The Beatles’ biggest-seller in Canada is hit singles package 1, which has sold 1.23m units. The Backstreet Boys’ biggest album is Millennium, their third studio album which was released in 1999.

Nielsen Soundscan has also released its top-selling digital tracks and albums, which stretch back to the birth of iTunes in Canada in 2005.

The most-downloaded track is Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO, while the most-downloaded album is Adele’s 21.

Canada’s total album sales dropped 5% in 2014, according to the latest stats.

If you include ‘track equivalent albums’ – and why would you, because it means adding up single track downloads and pretending people are buying more LPs than they are – ‘album’ sales were down 7%.

Top-selling albums in canada: 1995-2014

1 Come on Over / Shania Twain (1,948,000)
2 Let’s Talk About Love / Celine Dion (1,492,000)
3 21 / Adele (1,489,000)
4 Big Shiny Tunes 2 / Various Artists (1,233,000)
5 1 / Beatles (1,231,000)
6 Up! / Shania Twain (1,134,000)
7 Romanza / Andrea Bocelli (1,133,000)
8 Aquarium / Aqua (1,093,000)
9 Surfacing / Sarah McLachlan (1,078,000)
10 Millennium / Backstreet Boys (1,075,000)

Top-selling artists in canada: 1995-2014

1 Celine Dion (7,899,000 albums)
2 Eminem (4,571,000)
3 Shania Twain (4,437,000)
4 Backstreet Boys (4,225,000)
5 Beatles (3,867,000)
6 U2 (3,865,000)
7 Michael Buble (3,652,000)
8 Sarah McLachlan (3,415,000)
9 The Tragically Hip (3,369,000)
10 Andrea Bocelli (3,301,000)

Top selling digital songs in canada: 2005-2014

1 Party Rock Anthem / LMFAO (846,000)
2 Blurred Lines / Robin Thicke (799,000)
3 Moves Like Jagger / Maroon 5 (784,000)
4 Thrift Shop / Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (768,000)
5 Rolling In The Deep / Adele (754,000)
6 Somebody That I Used To Know / Gotye (743,000)
7 Sexy And I Know It / LMFAO (730,000)
8 I Gotta Feeling / Black Eyed Peas (711,000)
9 Call Me Maybe / Carly Rae Jepsen (701,000)
10 Wake Me Up / Avicii (696,000)

Top-selling digital albums in CANADA: 2005-2014

1 21 / Adele (342,000)
2 Babel / Mumford & Sons (184,000)
3 Night Visions / Imagine Dragons (161,000)
4 Sigh No More / Mumford & Sons (156,000)
5 Christmas / Michael Buble (140,000)
6 The Lumineers / The Lumineers (136,000)
7 1989 / Taylor Swift (123,000)
8 The Marshall Mathers LP 2 / Eminem (120,000)
9 My Head Is An Animal/ Of Monsters & Men (112,000)
10 Recovery / Eminem (111,000)

Source for all charts: Nielsen Soundscan dataMusic Business Worldwide

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