The Beatles were an English rock band from Liverpool whose members were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed popular music artists in history, and their innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s. The Beatles were the best-selling musical act of the 20th century. In the United Kingdom, they released more than 40 different singles, albums, and EPs that reached number one. This commercial success was repeated in many other countries: their record company, EMI, estimated that by 1985 they had sold over one billion discs or tapes worldwide.
The Recording Industry Association of America certified The Beatles as the highest selling band of all time based on American sales of singles and albums. The Beatles were a major part of the mid-1960s musical 'British Invasion' into the United States.
Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll, the group explored a great variety of genres ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, hairstyles, and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s.