Michael Jackson thriller at the top

Music news

Thriller by Michael Jackson is the best-selling album in the world, across all genres. A look back at the release of this legendary record.

One morning in February 1983, the news hit home. Thriller by Michael Jackson is officially ranked No. 1 in album sales in the United States. Thriller broke racial barriers in pop music, allowing Jackson to appear on MTV and meet the president Ronald Reagan to the White House.

Released on November 30, 1982, Thriller also allowed Michael Jackson to be crowned “King of Pop”. Following this release, Michael Jackson received eight Grammy Awards.

The album was also one of the first musical projects to use so many music videos as “promotional tools”. We think in particular of the clips for “Thriller”, “Billie Jean” and “Beat It”, all broadcast regularly on MTV.

The album was reissued in 2008, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. Sales particularly exploded around the world, following the artist’s death in 2009. Thriller gradually became the best-selling album of all time, accumulating more than 65 million copies.

The legendary Thriller is the subject of a new reissue for its 40th anniversary.

RIAA President Cary Sherman said in a 2015 statement: “ What an exceptional achievement, it is proof that Thriller continues to occupy a special place in our hearts and in the history of music“.


Written by

Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.