The Best Selling Single Of All Time Is?
Answer: White Christmas
The best selling single of all time is the 1942 Christmas classic, Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.” Although the song was sung by Bing Crosby for the movie Holiday Inn, the tune was penned by composer Irving Berlin. Foreshadowing the success of the song, Berlin told his secretary shortly after he came up with it, “Grab your pen and take down this song. I just wrote the best song I’ve ever written… heck, I just wrote the best song that anybody’s ever written!”
If you’d like to argue with Mr. Berlin, you might want to take a look at the sales records first. “White Christmas” has sold over 50 million singles of the Bing Crosby rendition and, if you factor in other artist’s covering the song, it has sold over 100 million singles worldwide since it was first released in 1942. By comparison, the next most popular single is Elton John’s double A-side charity single “Candle in the Wind”/”Something About the Way You Look Tonight” 1997 tribute to Princess Diana with 33 million sales.
There’s clearly something magical about Christmas songs when it comes to sweeping the singles charts as a look over the top 20 singles of all time yields five Christmas songs: the aforementioned “White Christmas” as well as Bing Crosby’s “Silent Night” (30 million sales), Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” (14 million sales), Gene Autry’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (12 million sales), and Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (11.7 million sales).
Image courtesy of MCA Records.