Michael Jackson's Thriller becomes first album to sell 30m copies in the US

The award-winning 1982 album notches up a record-breaking in 30m sales in the US, shifting more than 100m copies worldwide since its release

Adele’s record-breaking sales of album 25 may have seemed inescapable in the music press over the past few weeks, but the King of Pop continues his reign. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced on Wednesday that Michael Jackson’s 1982 album Thriller became the first album in the association’s 63-year history to go 30-times multi-platinum in the US, shifting 30m copies in the US and a record-breaking 100m copies worldwide.

“We are honoured to celebrate the unique status of Thriller in gold & platinum history,” association chairman and CEO Cary Sherman said in a statement. “What an exceptional achievement and testament to Thriller’s enduring spot in our hearts and musical history.”

Thriller, produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones, spent a record-breaking 37 weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 album chart at a time when albums recorded in stereo and mono were listed on separate charts. If they had been grouped together, the record for the most weeks at No 1 would be held by the 1961 stereo recording of film West Side Story’s soundtrack, which spent 54 weeks at No 1.

On top of its commercial success, Thriller earned eight Grammy awards after receiving 12 nominations – another record-breaking figure – and produced seven songs that entered the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart’s top 10.

Of Jackson’s multi-platinum achievement, Epic Records chairman and CEO LA Reid said: “It is crystal clear that Michael Jackson is simply the greatest, and biggest artist of all time. Not only are his charts hits and sales stats staggering, but his pure musicality was other-worldly.

Thriller was groundbreaking and electrifying … it was perfection. I am extremely proud that Michael is the heart and soul of Epic Records and he will forever remain the one and only King of Pop.”


Tshepo Mokoena

The GuardianTramp

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