SENTINEL 9-22-2011
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Essential Michael Jackson

When "CD" means "Courting Disaster"

The Firpo Files

September 22, 2011

(Sentinel Oct 6-12, 2011)

Wikipedia states the following about Michael Joseph Jackson: His record sales increased eightyfold by June 29, 2009. Amazon sold out all Jackson and Jackson 5 CDs within minutes, outshining Elvis Presley and John Lennon after their sudden deaths. In Japan, six of Michael's albums made SoundScan Top 200 Albums chart, and in Poland, Thriller 25 topped the album chart, replaced by King of Pop the following week.

In Australia, 15 of his albums occupied the top 100, four at the top ten, with three occupying the top three spots. He had 34 singles in the top 100 singles chart, including four in the top ten. Album sales were 62,015 for the previous week; singles tallied 107,821 units. In the second week, album sales tallied 88,650 copies. On July 12, four albums made the top 10 with three occupying the top three spots.

In New Zealand, Thriller 25 topped the chart. In Germany, King of Pop topped the album chart, and from June 28 to July 4, nine of his albums occupied the Top 20 in Argentina. In Billboard's European Top 100 Albums, he made history with eight of his albums in the top ten positions. As of August 3, King of Pop has spent four weeks atop Billboard's European Top 100 Albums chart. The Collection also spent two weeks atop the same chart.

In the UK, on the Sunday following his death, his albums occupied 14 of the top 20 places on the sales chart, with Off the Wall at the top. Number Ones reached the top of the UK Album Chart, and his studio albums occupied number two to number eight on the iTunes Music Store top albums. Six of his songs charted in the top 40: Man in the Mirror (11), Thriller (23), Billie Jean (25), Smooth Criminal (28), Beat It (30), and Earth Song (38).

The following Sunday, 13 songs charted in the top 40, including Man in the Mirror, which landed the number two spot. He broke Ruby Murray's 1955 record of five songs in the top 30. The Essential Michael Jackson topped the album chart, giving Michael a second number one album in as many weeks. He had five of the top ten albums in the album chart. In third week sales, The Essential Michael Jackson retained the number one position and Michael held three other positions within the top five. By August 3, he sold two million records and spent six consecutive weeks atop the album chart. He retained number one for a seventh consecutive week.  

Stateside, Michael broke three chart records on the first Billboard issue date after his death. The entire top nine positions on Billboard's Top Pop Catalog Albums featured MJ-related titles. By week three it would be the entire top 12 positions. Number Ones was the best-selling album of the week with 108,000 sales, an increase of 2,340 percent. The Essential Michael Jackson (2) and Thriller (3) also sold over 100,000 units. The other titles are Off the Wall (4), Jackson Five's Ultimate Collection (5), Bad (6), Dangerous (7), HIStory: Past, Present, and Future--Volume 1 (8) and Michael's Ultimate Collection (9).

Collectively, his solo albums sold 422,000 copies in the week following his passing, 800,000 copies in the first full week, and 1.1 million copies in the following week of his memorial service. He also shattered a record on the Top Digital Albums chart, with six of the top 10 slots, including the entire top four. On the Hot Digital Songs chart he placed a record of 25 songs on the 75-position list. In the U.S., he became the first artist to sell over one million downloads in a week, with 2.6 million sales.

By August 5, Michael had sold nearly 3.8 million albums and 7.6 million tracks in the U.S. Number Ones was the best-selling album for six out of seven weeks after his passing.  By year's end, he had become the best-selling artist selling 8.2 million albums. He also became the first artist in history to have four of the top 20 best-selling albums in a single year in the U.S., nearly doubling the sales of his nearest competitor. He was the third best-selling digital artist of 2009, and within the year after his passing he sold nine million albums domestically, and 35 million albums worldwide. His estate made one billion dollars.

Because of his monumental successes, Michael Jackson--the King of Pop--innocently courted disaster, and was finally murdered.