History is littered with musical giants who transformed our understanding of what music could be. They recorded tracks that we still listen to today, and went on stage to create lifelong memories for legions of fans. But musical titans aren’t just a thing of the past. They’re living and working among us, right now. Some of history’s biggest selling musical artists are still releasing new music and performing on stage. In this blog, we’re going to run through some of these stars — make sure you get to see them live while you still can!
Pexels – CC0 Licence
Elton John is arguably underrated as an artist. He’s been in the game for some fifty years, and has remained remarkably consistent. There were some missteps in the 80s, but then again, most musical artists who came to prominence during the early 1970s had difficulties during that decade. And it’s not just his own material that has kept Elton John relevant. He’s also worked with some of pop’s biggest stars, including Eminem, Kanye West, and many, many others. Admired by the public, admired by his peers, Elton John’s popularity is summed up by his mammoth number of record sales. He’s shifted somewhere around 300 million units. He’s on his last ever tour at the moment, so if you’ve ever serenaded your loved one with a version of ‘Your Song,’ then go show your respects.
It took Elton John some fifty years to sell 300 million records. Taylor Swift has reached 200 million in just fourteen years, and with significantly fewer albums. There’s little doubt that Taylor Swift took the world, especially the teenage girl world, by storm. Initially beginning as an out and out country star, she’s developed into something else entirely. Her latest album releases are much more pop-oriented, which has helped her to reach even more fans. Armed with world-class production and management, she’ll be a force forever — there’s no way that star burns out anytime soon.
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones have always been a huge band, but it’s not as if they were head and shoulders above their contemporaries when they first got started. They were one of many excellent bands on the circuit. But if you look back at their contemporaries from back in the day, you’ll notice one thing — the vast majority of them are no longer playing. And the ones that are, are usually not playing to packed audiences. One of the greatest strengths of the Rolling Stones is their longevity. They still make (good) music and know how to put on a show, even though they’re pretty old these days. Indeed, many people still say it’s the best show around.
Canadian star Drake seems to have it all. He makes excellent records, he produces, he’s an entrepreneur, and he acts. That’s a pretty impressive range of skills for one man! He’s sold a boatload of albums, and he’s at that stage of his career where every new release is an event. By the time he retires, he’ll be one of the biggest selling stars of all time, there’s no doubt.
If you took a look at a video of Ed Sheeran from back when he was younger, you probably wouldn’t have said that he’d go on to become one of the biggest stars of his generation. He just didn’t look like a pop star. However, it’s a testament to the age we live in that this fact didn’t seem to matter for much. His peers knew that he was going to be a star, and so, crucially, did the man himself. Today, his simple and sweet songs have catapulted him to superstardom. He’s even managed to create an excellent live show, which he can present to tens of thousands of people, despite being just one person and a guitar.
Finally, there’s Beyonce. It almost seems wrong to call her a music star since she transcends all that. She’s a force of nature. You can’t say that there’s anyone bigger than her, because there’s not. When Beyonce releases an album, the world stops. Her shows are rightly regarded as triumphs of humanity. She’s at a level where people are legitimately having conversations about her being the best ever. Even if you’re not a massive fan of her style of music, you have to give respect for what she’s achieved in the music industry. Whereas many artists aim to appeal to people, Beyonce goes her own way, and takes the industry along with her.