A Look At Michael Jackson's Chart Milestones

This is a natural and understandable biographical thread for Jackson encomia to pursue: after the sordid details of his personal life are burned off, Jackson’s music-business achievements are enormous. That said, as you head into this weekend, you’re going to hear and read a lot of superlatives about Jackson’s body of work, and the sheer length of the list might obscure which sales statistics and career kudos really matter.
But let me be clear: I come to praise Jacko, not bury him. The fact is, even a quarter-century after Thriller’s last hit fell off the Hot 100, the Gloved One’s industry achievements are stunning. More important, Jackson is one of very few acts for whom chart achievements serve as a fairly accurate barometer for artistic and cultural impact. This is one case where the commentators’ assessments are correct: We won’t see his like again.
To hear some of the breathless analysis over the last 24 hours, you’d think that Jackson had set every pop-music record, ever. The fact is, some of Michael’s stats aren’t all that staggering. His 13 Grammys are less than half of those of his mentor/producer Quincy Jones, and they don’t even place him among the awards’ Top 10 recipients. His total U.S. album certifications of 61.5 million — nearly half for Thriller alone — place him below everyone from Garth Brooks to AC/DC to Billy Joel and are just barely above one-third of the Beatles’ lifetime total. His 13 U.S. No. 1 singles land him fourth on the all-time list, below the Beatles-Mariah-Elvis trifecta. None of his singles has ever been the No. 1 hit of the year, and bizarrely, none of his videos ever won MTV’s Video of the Year award. (Oh, and by the way, “King of Pop”? That was a marketing term coined by Jackson’s own people in 1991 in an attempt to hype the overblown album Dangerous.)
Read more at Idolator.


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