For decades, common wisdom was that Thriller, Michael Jackson's 1984 monster, was sold more copies than any other album released in the United States, dethroning the previous champion, The Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-75. "It's been quite a ride", Eagles' founding member Don Henley said in a statement obtained by the AP.
However, Jackson's "Thriller" is still the best-selling album worldwide, amassing an incredible 47 million copies sold.
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Sales and streams for Thriller were updated a year ago. And it also seems worth mentioning that Hotel California, Eagles' 1976 album, is the #3 best-seller of all time, with sales of 26 million.
The Eagles, who formed in Los Angeles in the early 1970s, became the soundtrack of the decade with hits including Hotel California and Take It Easy.
The tallying process used by RIAA includes album sales, streams and downloads in the U.S. It does not include randomized streams.
Before 1991, though, sales numbers were the result of estimates, guesses, lies and various sorts of manipulations. The band released that mega-hit in 1976. They broke up in 1980, but reunited in 1994 and were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. It's one of those things that have been true since we were born, and maybe even since the beginning of time.