France Album Sales: Michael Jackson

2009 Death-Axed Era

With extraordinary results with all his 1982-1995 new albums over the years and extraordinary catalog sales as well, the passing of Michael Jackson was always going to make a big impact in the French market.

One year only after achieving notable sales thanks to the 25th Anniversary Edition, Thriller was once again utterly impressive after the artist’s June 25 2009 tragic death, catapulting to #1 on the Comprehensive Chart for as long as eight weeks, topping the artist’s own compilations. It charted inside the Year End Chart at a mind-blowing #4 position.

As unreal as it may seem all the main compilations Number Ones (#2), The Essential (#2), and King Of Pop (#2) all managed to be runner ups to Thriller in one week or an other.

His remaining studio albums Bad (#4), HIStory (#5), Dangerous (#6) and Off The Wall (#7) were all just under Thriller and his own bunch of compilations. Speaking of those five albums, they were packaged together into The Collection box set, which itself shot into the Top 10 Comprehensive chart at #6. Add to this The Motown Years reached #10 for a couple of weeks to represent Michael Jackson’s early material. Yes, you counted well – 10 different albums charted inside the Top 10 Comprehensive chart all within a couple of weeks. A whole bunch of 15 more packages charted in the Album rankings during 2009, led by the This Is It set. This behind the scene documentary movie saw its accompanying compilation spend three weeks at #1 in the Comprehensive Chart.

What about sales? While no other artist reached 1 million sales in France in 2009 when combining albums, DVDs and singles, Michael Jackson moved 2,791,000 records. Below is a non-comprehensive breakdown of those 2009 sales referring to albums only:

Thriller – 365,000
The Essential
 – 261,000
This Is It
 – 220,000
King Of Pop
 – 128,000
 – 100,000
Number Ones
 – 96,000
The Collection 
– 92,000
– 80,000
 – 68,000
Off The Wall 
– 65,000
Blood On The Dancefloor 
– 50,000
The Motown Years 
– 45,000
Invincible – 30,000
Thriller / Off The Wall 
– 11,000
Best Of – Anthology Series 
– 10,000
Got To Be There – 8,000
Bad / Dangerous 
– 7,000
– 6,000
Music And Me – 6,000
Invincible / Blood On The Dancefloor 
– 5,000
The Very Best Of – 5,000
The Ultimate Collection – 4,000
The Remix Suite – 4,000
La Légende De La Pop – 3,000
Hello World – 2,000

Most Streamed Track on Spotify
  1. This Is It – 10,838,000

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Hi MJD can you make Janet’s France album sales entire discography please because for the Control and Rhythm Nation you mentioned 0 sales here in France I know that she wasn’t famous back then before the Janet album here in continental Europe but I would like to know…


Crazy numbers. Biggest artist of all time.


Would you please give us Michael’s little sister, Janet Jackson, too?


Fantastic work… like always!


Hello MJD!
Very impressive sales, but for Jackson nothing is impossible!
I think that a CSPC analysis for him would be really interesting. I imagine that it will be a gigantic task but I can not wait to see how the figures will be.
Can you say me what are the next artists you will study?


I expected massive sales but not this massive! The one and only king of pop!



Actually 14 million is an extremely massive numbers, especially considering the little amount of albums he released. Madonna literally had to sell twice as much album and still she cannot beat his record, even trailing 4 million, which is a very huge number considering the french market. To put into perspective 4 million is the entire number of albums Whitney Houston managed to sell in France. Therefore you can see how much bigger he is compared to Madonna, whom she herself is an extremely big star in France and probably the biggest after MJ and The Beatles.


i am assuming you mean MJ Beatles and Madonna are the biggest international non-french speaking artists in France? Because if it is any international star, then all of them are way behind Celine Dion.


That’s so wrong. MJ released over 30 albums as you can see. Madonna releases 26. Compilations are equally important as studio albums, you can’t just disregard them.


Lol. Sorry Jayden. I misread your comment. Please ignore it.


+14 million albums!!! Yes!!! Great numbers for Michael, as espected.