How Many Copies of Michael Jackson's Thriller Album Were Sold?

By Jason Chavis
How Many Copies of Michael Jackson's Thriller Album Were Sold?

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is one of the most successful albums ever released. Issued on November 30, 1982 by Epic Records, the album has sold an estimated 51 million copies worldwide as of 2009. In the U.S., it is the second-best selling album in history. This album was a follow-up to Jackson's "Off the Wall" album and features a variety of musical styles including funk, soft rock, R&B and pop.

Singles

Of the nine songs issued on the record, seven were released as singles, each one reaching the top 10 according to the Billboard Hot 100. The most successful singles include "Billie Jean," "Beat It" and "Thriller."

Awards

Michael Jackson was issued a number of awards due to the recording of "Thriller." In 1984, he was awarded a record-breaking seven Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. He also won eight American Music Awards and three MTV Video Music Awards.

Significance

The album was named the 20th best record ever released by Rolling Stone magazine in 2003. "Thriller" was also placed into the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress.

Considerations

"Thriller" was the number one selling album for 37 weeks, and spent 80 weeks in the Billboard Top 10. At one time, it had seven singles in the top 10 and became the best-seller for both 1983 and 1984.

Continued Success

According to figures released by the Recording Industry Association of America in early 2009, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" sells 130,000 copies each year in the United States.

About the Author

Jason Chavis has been a professional freelance writer since 1998. He is the author of four books, two movies and a play as well as numerous articles for "Scientific American," The History Channel, City Pages and "The Onion." In 1996, Chavis won the award for "best science fiction/fantasy" from the River Valley Writer’s Conference.