Last February(February 2014 that is) we took a look at the chart for the top 250 best selling musical acts for the U.S. and pulled out the top ten that identify as to being from the northwest. This is highly unscientific and we didn’t go look at everyone’s birth certificates to verify, rather we just went with common knowledge and where a band is known to be from. For instance, while Nickelback got their start in other parts of Canada, for the bulk of their career they have been a Vancouver band. Dave Matthews who would have been at number 2 on our list with 33.5 million units sold wasn’t included because most people know they aren’t really a northwest band although Dave moved to the northwest when his wife was in medical school. Like we said, highly unscientific.
Not much has changed on this chart in the last almost year and a half, in fact we only had to change 4 sales figures and those were Pearl Jam, Nickelback, Alice in Chains and Jimi Hendrix.
According to the RIAA the provider of elevator music worldwide, Kenny G, is the 27th best-selling artist of all time with 48 million music units sold and that puts him at the top of the northwest, ahead of all the bands I mentioned before. The next highest ranking was Pearl Jam in 57th place with sales of 31 million, with Nirvana coming in 80th. Also, of note: Soundgarden is close with 10.5 millions units sold in the United States and have worldwide sales in the neighborhood of 22 million.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members are the music labels that comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States. The RIAA also certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi-Platinum™ and Diamond sales awards as well as Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award celebrating Latin music sales.
Note: We classify the pacific northwest as Oregon to British Columbia or as generally defined as the Pacific Northwest region on Wikipedia.
Now, here’s some Kenny G to soothe your aching head after reading this list.