By Hayden Wright
Michael Jackson’s Thriller is one of the most important pop cultural documents of the 20th century for its artistic impact and sheer commercial clout. Few albums come close to touching its sales, and Thriller has been synonymous for “massive hit” since its release in 1982. Even in death, Jackson’s album sales continue to run up the score: The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) just certified Thriller 33-times platinum, a first.
The new plaque was presented at the home of Epic Records chairman L.A. Reid, where executives from Sony and Columbia Records celebrated the milestone, reports Billboard. The 33x platinum distinction recognizes 33 million album sales (and album equivalents, to account for streaming and digital sales) in the United States over the last 35 years. Sony and Jackson’s estate claim more than 105 million unit sales worldwide.
Thriller is trailed by the Eagles’ Greatest Hits, which has sold 29 million units.