How Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' album changed the music industry

How Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' album changed the music industry

Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' is by far the best pop album of all time. Here is why. 


Michael Jackson reigns as the best-selling artist of all time. The 'King of Pop' has released many albums, but 'Thriller' is what cemented Jackson's status as the world’s biggest pop star.

The album was released on 30 November in 1982. It is the 6th studio album from the 'Beat It' hitmaker. 

Let's look at some of the achievements of the album. 

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- In 2015, 'Thriller' became the first album ever to be certified 30 times multi-platinum for U.S. sales. This means it sold more than 30-million copies in the States alone. Worldwide, the album sold over 100-million copies. "RIAA has awarded Gold & Platinum records on behalf of the music business for nearly 60 years, but this is the first time an artist has crossed the 30X multi-Platinum plateau. We are honored to celebrate the unique status of Thriller in Gold & Platinum history. What an exceptional achievement and testament to Thriller's enduring spot in our hearts and musical history," RIAA chairman and CEO Cary Sherman said in a statement.

- 'Thriller' is the first album in history to spend 80 weeks in the Billboard album chart's top 10. 

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- Every song on the album is a hit. It featured seven top singles that reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The singles are: 'The Girl Is Mine', 'Billie Jean', 'Beat It', 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' ', 'Human Nature', 'P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)', and 'Thriller'. 

- 'Thriller' made history at the Grammys. It was nominated twelve times at the 1984 Grammy Awards and won a record-breaking eight awards, including 'Album of the Year' and 'Record of the Year'. 

- It also won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Dance Video in 1995. 

- Jackson introduced a new sound with the album - fusing pop, post-disco, rock, and funk.

- The award-winning album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. 

- The 'Thriller' music video was inducted into the National Film Preservation Board's National Film Registry of 'culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films'.

- The album dominated charts all over the world, including South Africa, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, and Canada. 

- According to a report by CNBC, Jackson earned $134-million from album sales, touring, and other sources in just the two years following the album’s release. 

Image courtesy of AFP

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