33 Years Later, a New Record for Thriller

Michael Jackson becomes first artist to attain 30-time multiplatinum status
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 16, 2015 10:53 AM CST
"Thriller" just set a new milestone.   (Amazon.com)

(Newser) – Michael Jackson's Thriller is still scaring up sales and giving the King of Pop's legacy a new milestone. The album has sold 30 million copies in the United States, making Jackson the first artist to attain 30-time multiplatinum status, the Recording Industry Association of America and Jackson's estate announced Wednesday. The album has proved even more popular overseas, with a total of 100 million copies sold worldwide since its 1982 release. It includes some of Jackson's most recognizable hits, including "Beat It," ''Billie Jean," ''Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," and the title track, which inspired one of the most famous music videos of all time.

"Thriller continues to be the yardstick against which all other albums are measured," says John Branca, co-executor of Jackson's estate. But Branca is cautious about declaring that Jackson and Thriller had set an unbreakable record. "You can't say never," he says, noting Adele's album 21 has sold 11 million copies in the US since 2011. "Nobody saw that coming." But, he adds, "you wouldn't want to bet that there's another one coming along. Not these days." A greatest-hits collection of songs by the Eagles is Jackson's closest competitor at the moment, with 29 million albums sold, according to the RIAA. (Read more Michael Jackson stories.)

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