Top artists and songs of the 2000s (By sales and awards)

If you've been slacking on your music knowledge during trivia, this article is for you. While it's hard to know which artists were most popular in the 2000s, we have pooled the data to determine who was at the top of the music industry throughout the decade.
Conde Nast Media Group Presents Fashion Rocks 2004 - Red Carpet
Conde Nast Media Group Presents Fashion Rocks 2004 - Red Carpet / Jim Spellman/GettyImages
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Album Sales

Eminem - Marshall Mathers LP in Store / Kevin.Mazur/GettyImages

According to information collected on Rate Your Music, the following table documents which albums sold the most copies in the 2000s. Interestingly, none of the top ten albums were released later than 2004. In fact, six of ten were from 2000 alone. This is likely due to the extreme decline in physical music purchases following the launch of iTunes and music pirating websites like Napster and Limewire.


Album, Artist

Copies Sold


Get Rich or Die Tryin', 50 Cent

8.13 million


Country Grammar, Nelly

8.48 million


Oops!...I Did It Again, Britney Spears

9.20 million


Hybrid Theory, Linkin Park

10.03 million


Confessions, Usher

10.04 million


The Eminem Show, Eminem

10.09 million


The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem

10.62 million


Come Away With Me, Norah Jones

11.02 million


No Strings Attached, *NSYNC

11.16 million


1, The Beatles

12.7 million

Thanks to Billboard, we do have information on the top-selling album of each year. However, it's worth mentioning that six of those albums didn't even hit $5 million in sales.

The top-selling albums of each year in the 2000s are as follows:

  • 2000: No Strings Attached, NSYNC
  • 2001: Hybrid Theory, Linkin Park
  • 2002: The Eminem Show, Eminem
  • 2003: Get Rich or Die Tryin', 50 Cent
  • 2004: Confessions, Usher
  • 2005: The Emancipation of Mimi, Mariah Carey
  • 2006: High School Musical, Various
  • 2007: Noël, Josh Groban
  • 2008: Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne
  • 2009: Fearless, Taylor Swift

The next slide shows what music had the most success judging by radio airplay and digital sales.