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Michael Jackson shatters chart records

Los Angeles, July 2, 2009

Michael Jackson is once again the King of the Pop charts. The top nine positions on Billboard's Top Pop Catalog Album chart, released Wednesday morning, house Jackson-related titles.

Nielsen SoundScan's sales tracking week ended at the close of business Sunday  night.

Jackson himself -- who died on June 25 of cardiac arrest at age 50 -- has a record eight out of the top 10, and a Jackson 5 compilation also finds its way into the upper tier.

``Number Ones'' will fittingly lead the pack at No. 1 with sales of 108,000 (an increase of 2,340 percent) while ``The Essential Michael Jackson'' and ``Thriller'' are in the second and third slots with 102,000 and 101,000, respectively. Last week ``Number Ones'' was the only Jackson title on the chart, at No.20 with 4,000 copies; both ``Essential'' and ``Thriller'' re-enter the tally this week.

Additionally, his classic 1979 studio set ``Off the Wall'' re-enters at No. 4 with 33,000 while his 1987 album ``Bad'' returns at No. 6 with 17,000. At No. 5, the Jackson 5's ``The Ultimate Collection'' debuts with 18,000. Jackson's fourth studio album for Epic Records, 1991's ``Dangerous,'' re-enters at No. 7 with 14,000, and his 2001 compilation, ``Greatest Hits: HIStory -- Volume 1,'' returns to the list at No. 8 with 12,000. Finally, Jackson's 2004 box set, ``The Ultimate Collection,'' charts its first week on the Pop Catalog chart, arriving at No. 9 with 11,000.

The lone non-Jackson-related set in the top 10 is a reissue of the ``Woodstock'' movie soundtrack, which bows at No. 10 with 8,000.

Collectively, Jackson's solo albums sold 422,000 this past week. That's extraordinary, given that his titles sold a combined 10,000 in the week that ended June 21. Of the 422,000 total, 57 percent were digital downloads.

The 422,000 albums sold last week represent nearly 42 percent more than sales of Jackson's catalog during the entire year through June 21 (297,000).

On the Top Digital Albums chart, Jackson has a record six out of the top 10 slots, including the top four. ``The Essential Michael Jackson'' leads the Top Digital Albums list with 80,000 downloads sold, while ``Thriller'' is No. 2 with 57,000.

With the Black Eyed Peas' ``The E.N.D.'' moving back to the No. 1 slot on the Billboard 200 chart with 88,000, this week marks the first time since Nielsen SoundScan began compiling data in 1991 that a catalog album has sold more than the No. 1 current set on the Billboard 200 albums chart. (All three of Jackson's top sellers on the Pop Catalog chart outsell ``The E.N.D.'')    

It's a feat that Jackson himself almost achieved when he reissued ``Thriller'' in February 2008. The set relaunched with 166,000, re-entering at No. 1 on the Top Pop Catalog chart. That week, Jack Johnson's ``Sleep Through the Static'' led the Billboard 200 chart with 180,000 while Amy Winehouse's ``Back to Black'' was at No. 2 with 115,000. - Reuters




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