Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ sets new sales record

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Boxes of Michael Jackson music CDs wait on the floor to replenish quickly selling display stock at Aoemba Records store in Los Angeles, California on July 1, 2009. Billboard Magazine said albums by the pop singer who died suddenly last week at the age of 50 will occupy nine of the top 10 spots on the Top Pop Catalog Album chart being released on Wednesday. Jackson's album "Number Ones" was number one on sales of 108,000 copies during the week which ended on June 28 followed by "The Essential Michael Jackson" and "Thriller" on sales of 102,000 and 101,000 respectively. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” continues to break sales records three decades after its release.

The Recording Industry Association of America said Wednesday the album has sold 30 million copies in the United States and Jackson is the first artist to receive 30-time multi-platinum status.

“Thriller” has been an even bigger seller overseas, with 100 million copies of the album sold worldwide since its 1982 release.

Jackson’s music experienced a surge in popularity after his unexpected death in June 2009. “Thriller” includes the hits “Beat It,” ”Billie Jean” and the title track.

John Branca is the co-administrator of Jackson’s estate. He says “Thriller” remains the yardstick against which all albums are measured.

He says the album is special because Jackson wrote it to appeal to broad audiences, which helped fuel international sales.