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The Eagles overtake Michael Jackson to score biggest selling US album ever

The Eagles in 1973 © REX/Shutterstock

The Eagles’ compilation album ‘Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975)’ has been crowned the best-selling album ever in the US, overtaking Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’.

Originally released in February 1976, the album has been certified 38x Platinum by The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which means sales and streams of the album have now reached 38million copies.

The last time the RIAA tallied sales of The Eagles’ greatest hits album was in 2006 when it was certified 29x Platinum Stateside.

Sales and streams for Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ were last amassed in 2017 when it was found that the record had shifted 33million units. Jackson’s 1982 record is still the best-selling globally.

The Eagles Don Henley told the Associated Press: “We are grateful for our families, our management, our crew, the people at radio and, most of all, the loyal fans who have stuck with us through the ups and downs of 46 years. It’s been quite a ride.”

‘Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975)’ had long held the title as the best-selling US album ever, however it was eclipsed in the wake of Michael Jackson’s death in 2009.

According to the AP, RIAA’s platinum status was once equivalent to selling exactly one million albums or songs, but in 2013 it began including streaming from YouTube, Spotify and other digital music services as part of its certification process.

1,500 streams of an album is equivalent to one album sale, while 10 single song downloads is the equivalent of an album sale.

The Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ is the third best-selling album ever Stateside having achieved 26x Platinum status, while Led Zeppelin’s ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ (23x Platinum), AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’ (22x Platinum) and Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ (20x Platinum) follow close behind.

Queen’s ‘Greatest Hits’ is the top selling album of all time in the UK having sold 6.1million copies.

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