Michael Jackson’s classic Thriller achieved a new milestone on Wednesday as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced it became the first album to go 30-times platinum. The unprecedented certification means the album has sold more than 30 million copies in the US alone. Thriller is already the biggest-selling album of all time, moving more than 100 million copies worldwide; and Jackson’s music has sold more than 1 billion copies far more than any other artist ever. “We are honoured to celebrate the unique status of Thriller in gold & platinum history,” noted RIAA CEO Cary Sherman in a statement, calling the achievement a “testament to Thriller’s enduring spot in our hearts and musical history.”
Released in 1982, Thriller debuted at No. 1 and spent 37 weeks atop the Billboard 200 albums chart, setting the modern day record. The classic set also became the first album to spend its first 80 weeks in the top 10, only done once since. The record spent an unmatched 30 months on the Billboard chart, becoming the first 20-times platinum set after 112 weeks. The album produced three No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, with “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” and “Thriller“. The three tracks were also among seven on the album that reached the Hot 100 top 10. The album debuted atop charts in nearly every market across the globe, remaining there for months in most of them, and set records with 8 Grammys and 12 nominations.
Adele’s 25 set has been in the news recently, breaking the record for first week sales and becoming the first to sell a million copies in a second week, but the British up-and-comer has a long way to go to catch the King of Pop. With sales of just under 45 million worldwide, Adele’s career total is less than five percent of Jackson’s still-growing total. Check out the long version of the video for Thriller‘s title track below.
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