NEW YORK (AFP) -Country star Garth Brooks, who came out of retirement last year, has surpassed Elvis Presley as the solo artist to sell the most albums in the United States, industry figures showed.
But Brooks remains well-below the all-time top-sellers in US history – the Beatles, who according to the Recording Industry Association of America have sold 178 million albums.
Brooks and Presley, who died in 1977, have repeatedly swapped spots for number two on the list.
Brooks’ career soared in the 1990s as his country songs won a crossover audience. After a break in which he raised a family, Brooks released his first album in 13 years, “Man Against Machine”, in November.
The industry association last week certified “Man Against Machine” as platinum – meaning it has sold at least one million copies.
With the certification, Brooks has again risen to the top – with 135 million albums against 134.5 million for The King.
Presley’s estate has in the past disputed such rankings as the industry association focuses on sales of albums rather than singles. Presley had a long string of blockbuster hits, released on 45-RPM records, starting in the 1950s.