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You’ll never guess which Canadian artist outsold John Lennon

FILE PHOTO: The Beatles, clockwise from top center, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, pose with an American flag in a Paris photo studio prior to their first visit to the United States in January 1964. Thirty years after breaking up, and 20 years after John Lennon was shot dead, the Beatles' current popularity proves the sheer power of a musical legacy that dwarfs anything that's come after them.

Associated Press

Perhaps it was her unimaginable 1974 cover of Day Tripper that did it, but Anne Murray has sold more albums in the United States than John Lennon. According to freshened-up figures from the Recording Industry Association of America, the Snowbird songbird has sold 14.5 million records, ranking her a half-million ahead of Ted Nugent, Olivia Newton-John and the former Beatle. Then again, the Beatles proper top the list with 177 million certified album sales, followed by Elvis Presley (134.5 million). Others cracking the 100-million circle are Garth Brooks (128); Led Zeppelin (111.5); and the Eagles, who took it easy and to the limit (100). Australian rockers AC/DC and Barbra Streisand (the top-tallying female artist, and 10th overall) each have sold 71.5 million LPs, one million ahead of Michael Jackson. The top Canadian? Celine Dion, who sits at 23rd overall with 50 million albums sold, three spots ahead of fellow Sin City starlet Shania Twain. At the bottom of the eight-figure list is Avril Lavigne, whose 10.25 million is half of what fiancé Chad Kroeger and Nickelback have pushed.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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