The 13,000-capacity was named third behind London’s O2 and the Manchester Arena in a Pollstar list of arena attendance throughout 2015.
More than one million tickets were sold for events at the Hydro, more than Madison Square Garden in New York and the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam.
Pollstar figures show the Hydro had ticket sales of 1.02 million, with Manchester Arena on 1.13 million and the O2 1.8 million. Last year, the Hydro was second in the rankings in just its first full year of operation.
In a separate list, the Hydro beat the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin and the Brisbane Entertainment Centre to the top of a Billboard list of venues with a maximum capacity of 15,000.
Both rankings list venues according to gross ticket sales over the last year.
Taylor Swift, Madonna and Take That were among the big concerts held at the Hydro in 2015.
Kevin Bridges also performed 16 sold-out stand-up shows and the World Gymnastic Championships were held at the venue in October.
This year, Adele, Justin Bieber and Muse are among the acts performing at the venue.
Peter Duthie, chief executive of the SECC and the SSE Hydro, said: “2015 was another great year for the SSE Hydro and the first month of 2016 has set us in good stead for more of the same.
“To have already climbed to the top of such a prestigious entertainment chart with Billboard, whilst retaining a strong position in the Pollstar ratings is a fantastic global achievement.
“We have staged a wide range of events from sport and live comedy to international artists, theatre and conferences.
“We are looking forward to another great year of fantastic content including Adele, Justin Bieber, Little Mix, Bryan Adams, Muse and Neil Young, with new dates being announced all the time.”
The venue opened in September 2013 and has hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards, Commonwealth Games events and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.
During 2015, there were 130 performances at the Hydro and bosses said events bring about £106 million to the Scottish economy.
Glasgow City Council leader Frank McAveety said: “The outstanding figures for the SSE Hydro illustrate the fantastic impact this world-class venue has had on Glasgow and its economy.
“The SSE Hydro has really delivered on all its targets and has helped to take Glasgow to the next level as an event destination.”