Michael Jackson has been gone for nearly eight years, but a minuscule thing like being dead hasn’t stopped his flourish when it comes to record sales.
The Recording Industry of America (RIAA), the Estate of Michael Jackson, Epic Records and Legacy Recordings emphatically announced today (February 16) that the King of Pop‘s monster album, Thriller, became the “ONLY” album ever to have surpassed the RIAA’s 30x million mark in U.S. sales and more than 105 million copies sold worldwide.
Released in 1982, the album featured the unprecedented consecutive hit single line-up of “Thriller”, “Beat It”, and “Billie Jean” and solidified Jackson as the solo megastar he would forever be known as until his death on June 25, 2009.
“Thirty-five years later, Michael Jackson’s Thriller remains as timeless and iconic as ever,” said Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). “Thriller has now become the first and only album to achieve an RIAA 33X Diamond Award, a moment forever etched in Gold & Platinum Program history. Congratulations on another Thriller milestone.”
Not to be totally outdone, Jackson’s 1987 follow-up album in Bad breached sales and streams of 10 million units in the United States and received the RIAA 10x Diamond Award.
To celebrate the honor, Doug Morris (Chief Executive Officer, Sony Music), Rob Stringer (Chairman & CEO, Columbia Records), John Branca (Co-Executor of the Estate of Michael Jackson), Richard Story (President, Commercial Music Group), Antonio “L.A.” Reid (Chairman & CEO, Epic Records), and Karen Langford (Estate of Michael Jackson) all gathered by the special commemorative plaque in Los Angeles for a photo-op.