Michael Jackson’s Thriller is now the highest-selling album ever

  • Reuters, Los Angeles
  • Updated: Dec 17, 2015 14:28 IST
Michael Jackson in a still from the music video of Thriller.

Michael Jackson’s album Thriller became the first album to cross the 30 million mark in sales, more than 30 years after its release and 6 years after The King of Pop’s death.

Thriller, released in 1982 and featuring seven hit singles including Billie Jean, Beat It and its title track, had already crossed 20 million copies in U.S. sales by 1984 during its 112th week on Billboard’s album chart, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Watch the Billie Jean video here

Its continued popularity after Jackson’s death in 2009 from an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol underscores the strength of the late singer’s appeal. The King of Pop remains the biggest-selling recording artist of all time.

Read: HBD Michael Jackon: 5 controversies that never left him alone

“RIAA has awarded gold and platinum records on behalf of the music business for nearly 60 years, but this is the first time an artist has crossed the 30X multi-platinum plateau,” RIAA Chairman and Chief Executive Cary Sherman said in a statement.

Thriller has also surpassed sales of 100 million copies worldwide, according to the RIAA statement. The album has sold more than 2.1 million units in the United States since Jackson’s death, according to Nielsen Music.

Watch the Beat It video here

The album and its music videos, including one for the title song Thriller that took its inspiration from horror films and won widespread acclaim, helped the African-American singer overcome racial barriers by earning Jackson a place on MTV, which until then had overwhelmingly featured white rock acts.

Read: Hello: 12 music videos directed by big Hollywood directors

The next highest-selling album of all time after Thriller is the Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, with sales of 29 million, according to the RIAA.

Watch the Thriller video here

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