Skip to content
Menu

These were the best selling musical artists of 2023

K-Pop artists are right on Taylor Swift’s heels in the latest Global Recording Artist Chart, and made up almost half of the top 10 best selling acts of 2023.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

Four of 2023’s 10 best-selling acts hail from South Korea, cementing K-pop’s ascent as a dominant force in the global music scene and threatening the traditional dominance of Western acts.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has run the numbers and while Taylor Swift unsurprisingly emerged as the year’s most successful recording artist, K-Pop groups were at her heels. 

Seventeen and Stray Kids placed second and third, respectively. Tomorrow x Together reached the seventh slot, followed by NewJeans at number eight.

Zoom out to the 2023 IFIP Global Recording Artist Chart’s top 20, and two more K-Pop groups appear: IVE and NCT Dreams, both there for the first time (Tomorrow x Together and NewJeans are also new entrants). The J-Pop group King & Prince came in at number 20.

[See more: Who’s next after Seventeen and Enhypen? Here are 8 K-pop acts to see soon]

“Although none of the South Korean bands in the list have broken the UK Top 40, they are responsible for millions of streams around the world, as K-pop continues its phenomenal growth,” BBC music correspondent Mark Savage noted. The acts are hugely popular in Macao and Hong Kong, with both cities a regular stop on K-pop tour itineraries.

Savage put the K-Pop groups’ success down to their famously gruelling audition regimes and the years of training they go through before performing in public. The influential South Korean talent agency SM Entertainment has compared becoming a successful K-Pop artist to representing their country in the Olympics.

In an article published by the Guardian, SM’s chief executive Chris Lee has acknowledged that reaching the top involved a lot more than a good singing voice. “They get media training. They study languages so that they can communicate with many different audiences. We teach them how to have good personalities,” he said.

Here is the full list of 2023’s best selling artists, as supplied by the IFPI.

  1. Taylor Swift (US)
  2. Seventeen (South Korea)
  3. Stray Kids (South Korea)
  4. Drake (Canada)
  5. The Weeknd (Canada)
  6. Morgan Wallen (US)
  7. Tomorrow X Together (South Korea)
  8. NewJeans (South Korea)
  9. Bad Bunny (US / Puerto Rico) 
  10. Lana Del Rey (US)
  11. Ed Sheeran (UK)
  12. IVE (South Korea)
  13. SZA (US)
  14. Eminem (US)
  15. NCT Dream (South Korea)
  16. Zach Bryan (US)
  17. Travis Scott (US)
  18. Kanye West (US)
  19. Post Malone (US)
  20. King & Prince (Japan)
Send this to a friend