News: Michael Jackson Breaks Sales Records In Death, Decades Of Music Crashes Charts

Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 11:27AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Less than a week after Michael Jackson's passing, the iconic singer's record sales have sky rocketed atop the Billboard charts, breaking records along the way.

Early estimates show his past music selling by the thousands.

The King of Pop's Number Ones will fittingly lead the pack at No. 1 with 108,000 (an increase of 2,340%) while The Essential Michael Jackson and Thriller are in the Nos. 2 and 3 slots with 102,000 and 101,000, respectively. Additionally, his classic 1979 studio set Off the Wall re-enters at No. 4 with 33,000 while his 1987 album Bad returns at No. 6 with 17,000. At No. 5, the Jackson 5's The Ultimate Collection debuts with 18,000. Jackson's fourth studio album for Epic Records, 1991's Dangerous, re-enters at No. 7 with 14,000 while his 2001 compilation Greatest Hits: HIStory -- Volume 1 also comes back to the list at No. 8 with 12,000. Finally, Jackson's 2004 box set The Ultimate Collection charts its first week on the Pop Catalog chart, arriving at No. 9 with 11,000. (Billboard)

While Jackson clearly out-sold all releases for the week, he will not appear on Billboard's Top 200 official listing.

Thriller, The Essential Michael Jackson and Number Ones are each expected to top the six-figure mark and take the top three slots on the magazine?s Top Pop Catalog chart, which tracks ongoing sales of albums that are at least 18 months old. Such albums are not eligible to appear on Billboard?s Top 200 Albums ranking, but sales of Jackson?s albums figure to exceed the top-selling current release, the Black Eyed Peas? The E.N.D. (Los Angeles Times)

The late singer also dominated in digital downloads.

A remarkable 2.6 million songs by Mr. Jackson as a solo act or with the Jackson 5 were downloaded digitally through last Sunday, the standard end of the sales week of the SoundScan tracking service, upon whose numbers Billboard bases its charts. (Downloads for the week before were 48,000.) A total of 58 percent of the sales last week were downloads, and Mr. Jackson has become the first artist to sell more than a million song downloads in a single week. (New York Times)

In addition to sales, Jackson took over radio play spins across the nation.

After radio stations nationwide paid tribute to Michael Jackson over the weekend, Nielsen BDS released airplay data showing that 143 of Jackson's recordings totaled 67,383 plays for the week ending June 28, which is up 1,735 percent from last week's sum of 3,671 plays before his death. Twenty-two of Jackson's hits racked up more than 1,000 spins this past week, led by "Billie Jean" with 4,500 plays. That was followed by "Thriller" at #2 with 3,570, "Rock With You" at #3 with 3,546, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" at #4 with 3,135 and "P.Y.T." at #5 with 2,986 plays. (FMQB)

[Be sure to check out SOHH's Michael Jackson Tribute]

For the latest gadgets, gear and giveaways, check out

blog comments powered by Disqus