Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ extends reign as highest certified album in U.S. history

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller just keeps on defying gravity, this time reigning as the highest certified album in US history with a certification of 33-times platinum, according to Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

That means Thriller has sold 33 million equivalent album units, including digital purchases, since it was released in 1982. The RIAA counts not only physical and digital albums but also tracks sold from an album, with 10 tracks for one album sale, as well as on-demand and audio/video streams.

Over the Grammys weekend, a plaque commemorating the historic certification was presented at the home of Epic Records chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid.

And those are just US sales. According to reps for Sony and Jackson’s estate, the sales for Thriller are at 105 million globally.