Television Listings

Michael Jackson set to make chart history, again

By Keith Caulfield

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Michael Jackson will once again make music history next week as many of his albums are poised to shake up the Billboard charts with incredible sales increases.

The impact of Jackson's shock death on Thursday was felt immediately in the marketplace. Industry sources report that the demand for Jackson's albums were so high, many stores simply ran out of his CDs.

The albums with the greatest sales increases -- at least on the physical side of things -- look to be his greatest hits packages "Number Ones" and "The Essential Michael Jackson" along with the expanded reissue of "Thriller." The sets, released between 2003 and 2008, were the three Jackson albums that perhaps had the most stock available in stores.

In the digital realm, where the supply problem doesn't exist, Jackson's songs and albums swarmed the top of the constantly-updating best sellers lists in both the iTunes' and Amazon's online music stores. At one point on Friday in the iTunes Store, nine out of the top 10-selling albums and 40 of the top 100-selling songs were by Jackson.

The three aforementioned albums, along with Jackson's classic studio sets "Off the Wall," "Bad" and "Dangerous" all will likely zoom into the upper region of Billboard's Top Pop Catalog Albums chart next week. Initial reports of Jackson's album sales from Thursday alone indicate that one of his albums -- possibly "Number Ones" -- will easily fly to No. 1 on the chart next week. Last week, the set -- which also was his top-selling album of the week -- was at No. 20 on the Catalog chart with 4,000 sold.

To compare, last week's No. 1 on the Catalog chart was TobyMac's "Portable Sounds" with 9,000 copies sold. Sources say that at least one of Jackson's albums sold more than double that amount just on Thursday.

Nielsen SoundScan's tracking week ends at the close of business on Sunday (28). Billboard and SoundScan's new weekly charts will be released on Wednesday, July 1.

(Editing by Dean Gooodman)

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