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Having transformed a fun but marginal song into a heroic and historic video, Michael Jackson rode “Thriller” to the mountaintop. The video sent the album’s sales back into the stratosphere, with Epic shipping a million copies a week; by the end of 1984, the album had sold 33 million copies in the U.S. Since then, Thriller has remained unchallenged as the No. 1 album of all time (current sales worldwide: an estimated 110 million).

Jackson grew accustomed to shattering records, collecting spoils and statuettes. On February 28, 1984, he dressed like American royalty in a spangled military jacket to escort Brooke Shields to the Grammy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium, where he picked up an unprecedented eight trophies for Thriller. By this time he was a fabulously wealthy man, thanks to the industry’s highest royalty rate, more than $2 per record, which Branca had negotiated for him.

via The | Vanity Fair.

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