Highest earning songs of all time

Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”

Many people are unaware that Dolly Parton was the first person to write and perform the song “I Will Always Love You.” She wrote it in 1973, and in 1974 and 1982, it twice debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart.

Whitney Houston recorded the song in 1992 for the soundtrack of her film “The Bodyguard,” and it swiftly rose to the top of the all-time singles charts. Dolly Parton made millions from the 24 million copies that were sold!

John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s song “Yesterday”

John Lennon wrote the entirety of the iconic Beatles song “Yesterday,” however Paul McCartney is also given credit for writing the song because of an agreement they established to split writing credit equally for all of their compositions.

The only heir and recipient of the profits from the song’s ongoing success was John Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono. One of the most played songs in radio history, “Yesterday,” has earned an estimated $30 million.

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Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”

The classic Christmas song is “White Christmas.” Irving Berlin, a Jewish composer born in Russia, is thought to be the author. Even though he didn’t observe the holiday himself, he perfectly captured the Christmas atmosphere.

Although the Christmas classic has been covered countless times, Bing Crosby’s is by far the most well-known (over 50 million copies have been sold, making it the best-selling single of all time). Over 100 million copies of “White Christmas” have been sold globally overall, bringing in an estimated US$36 million.

Sting’s song “Every Breath You Take”

While touring with The Police in 1983, Sting wrote the popular song “Every Breath You Take.” It spent eight weeks straight on the Billboard Top 100 chart, and it was eventually imitated in another hugely popular song.

The song “I’ll Be Missing You” was written by Sean Combs, formerly known as Puff Daddy, in honour of his close friend and fellow rapper The Notorious B.I.G. The original song by The Police continues to earn an estimated US$730,000 annually, and this rendition alone brought in $7 million.

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The Hill Sisters’ “Happy Birthday”

Two sisters from Louisville, Kentucky, who wrote the song “Happy Birthday” in 1893. Sister Mildred Hill was a pianist and composer, and Patty Hill was a teacher. They created the song to amuse their young kids and were both pioneers in the national kindergarten movement.

More than a century later, their song is being sung all across the world. Warner/Chappell Music presently owns the song’s rights after several ownership changes. It has generated about US$50 million in revenue since its founding, or an estimated US$5,000 each day in royalties. The most well-known performance of it was maybe when Marilyn Monroe sang it on President John F. Kennedy’s birthday in 1962.

Ed Sheeran, Steve Mac, and Johnny McDaid’s “Shape of You”

Given how new it is in comparison to some of the other songs on this list, Ed Sheeran’s 2017 single “Shape of You” is one of the best-selling songs of all time. Not even a chance for a comeback has been given to it yet!

Shape of You, a song co-written by British musicians Steve Mac and Johnny McDaid, has sold 42 million copies worldwide. With this song, Sheeran also captured the Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance.

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Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s “Candle in the Wind”

The song “Candle in the Wind” was co-written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin in 1973. John revised it after the passing of another female idol, this time a close friend, even though it was first written about the passing of Marilyn Monroe.

Elton John updated the song’s lyrics and dedicated it to Princess Diana when she died in a car accident in 1997. It went on to become the second-most popular single of all time. Although the song’s actual worth is unknown, at least 33 million copies have been sold globally.

Luis Rodriguez, Ramon Ayala, and Erika Ender’s “Despacito”

The 2017 song “Despacito” went on to become the third most popular song in history. The song’s original performers were Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, and it was composed by Luis Rodriguez, Ramon Ayala, and Erika Ender. In Latin America, it was a huge hit.

Justin Bieber decided to release a remix after hearing the song a few months later in a nightclub in Colombia. One of the most popular songs of the year was also his rendition. In just 2017, 24 million copies of “Despacito” were sold.

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Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller’s “Stand by Me”

The song “Stand By Me” was written in 1961 by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, and Ben E. King. In the 1960s, it was a huge hit on its own, performed by Ben E. King.

When it was included in the 1986 film “Stand by Me,” starring the late River Phoenix, it made a significant resurgence 25 years later. Over 400 different musicians have recorded the song, which has amassed projected earnings of US$27 million.

Alex North & Hy Zaret’s “Unchained Melody”

The song “Unchained Melody” was created in 1955 by composers Alex North and Hy Zaret for the obscure movie “Unchained.” The Righteous Brothers later covered it in 1956, and it went on to achieve extraordinary popularity. Its fame increased as a result of the hundreds of other artists that covered it.

The 1990 Oscar-winning film “Ghost,” starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, featured “Unchained Melody.” An estimated $27.5 million USD have been made from the song.

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Roy Orbison and Bill Dees’ “Oh Pretty Woman”

When it was first released in 1964, Roy Orbison and Bill Dees’ song “Oh Pretty Woman” didn’t have a lot of commercial success. But when it appeared in the 1990 film “Pretty Woman,” the two creators became internationally famous.

The song’s value rose dramatically as a result of the movie’s success, reaching almost US$19.75 million. In 2012, author Bill Dees said that he was still bringing in between $100,000 and $200,000 in royalties annually.

Mel Tormé and Bob Wells’ “The Christmas Song”

The Christmas Song by Mel Tormé and his writing partner Bob Wells is another holiday favourite that has made a lot of money. Every winter, people still sing those reassuring lines about “chestnuts roasting on an open fire.” But that voice we hear is not Mel Tormé’s!

The Christmas Song’s status as a classic was cemented by Nat King Cole’s performance in 1964. From their creation, Tormé and Wells made an estimated US$19 million. It’s ironic that they penned it in the midst of a scorching California summer!

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Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and Phil Spector’s “You’ve Lost That Feeling”

A dynamic duo of songwriters (and real-life married couple) In 1964, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil collaborated on a tune with renowned music producer Phil Spector, who was subsequently found guilty of murder. They compose “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin,” which becomes popular. Mann and Weil reluctantly agreed when Spector offered the line “and he is gone, gone, gone, Whoa, whoa, whoa.”

It ultimately turned out to be the most recognisable line in one of the most popular songs of all time. The Righteous Brothers recorded it, and it shot to fame in the 1960s. When it appeared on the soundtrack for the movie “Top Gun” (1986), it enjoyed a rebirth in the 1980s. More than 2,200 different musicians have covered it, and its estimated earnings in US dollars total $32 million.

Raymond Dorset’s “In the Summertime”

British rock group Mungo Jerry released the song “In the Summertime.” Raymond Dorset, the band’s lead singer, wrote it. When the bouncy skiffle hit was released in 1970, it sold 31 million copies.

According to Raymond Dorset, the entire song was written in about ten minutes! Not bad for a movie, TV show, or advertisement that became an overnight sensation.

Haven Gillespie and Fred J. Coots’ “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town”

Haven Gillespie and Fred J. Coots composed “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” in 1954. More than 400 copies of the sheet music had been ordered within a few days of its publication. Numerous artists have covered the song throughout the years, but Bing Crosby, Mariah Carey, and Bruce Springsteen are some of the most well-known. An estimated $27 million USD has been made from it.

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Riya Kapoor

Riya Kapoor writes about lifestyle, entertainment, news and gadgets. She has been in this industry for almost 4 years now. She is a graduate from Delhi University with English Hons and had deep connection with writing since her childhood.

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