Thriller Becomes Best-Selling Album of All Time

By Malik Newson

Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” officially has been recognized the best-selling album of all time, reaching 33x Platinum by the Recording Industry of America (RIAA).

In 1976, platinum certification was introduced. To achieve this ranking, an album or single must sell over one million units with gold certification being achieved at the sale of 500,000 units. If you did the math, that means since November 30, 1982, Thriller has sold over 33 million album-equivalent units.

This is an impressive achievement as the closest album to this milestone is Their Greatest Hits (1971 – 1975) by the Eagles. This album is recognized as the best-selling album of the 20 century, achieving 29x platinum by the RIAA.

Jackson tragically passed away on June 25, 2009 from medically-induced cardiac arrest, so he never got to see his music achieve this milestone, but his music and choreography has influenced numerous artists from Justin Timberlake, Usher, Chris Brown and Justin Bieber to name a few.


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