LOS ANGELES • Michael Jackson's album Thriller, still breaking new ground more than 30 years after its release and six years after the pop superstar's death, became the first album in history to cross the 30-million mark in the United States, record industry officials said on Wednesday.
Thriller, released in 1982 and featuring seven hit singles, including Billie Jean, Beat It and its title track, had already sold 20 million copies in the US during its 112th week on Billboard's album chart, said the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Its continued popularity after Jackson's death in 2009 underscores the strength of his appeal. The King of Pop remains the biggest-selling recording artist of all time.
"RIAA has awarded gold and platinum records on behalf of the music business for almost 60 years, but this is the first time an artist has crossed the 30X multi-platinum plateau," the association's chairman, Mr Cary Sherman, said.
Thriller has also surpassed sales of 100 million copies worldwide, according to the statement.
The album and its expertly produced music videos, including one for the title song that took its inspiration from horror films and won widespread acclaim, helped the African-American singer break down racial barriers and earned him a place on MTV.
The next highest-selling album of all time is the Eagles' Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, with sales of 29 million.