Home Celebrity Michael Jackson’s New Album Finishes at Number 3 in US, But It’s...

Michael Jackson‘s “Michael” album enters the charts at number 3 this week, right behind Taylor Swift and Susan Boyle.

“Michael” sold 224,000 copies, about 25,000 less than the two women.

On the other hand, “Michael” was the highest debut album of the week according to hitsdailydouble.com. It outsold new CDs by R. Kelly and P Diddy by more than 100,000 copies. Around the world, however, Sony says it’s an international hit. (See further below.)

However, Jackson’s last album, “Invincible,” sold 363,000 copies in its first week, back on October 30, 2001.

Given the modest amount of money that went into marketing “Michael” and the huge sums wasted on P Diddy, you could say “Michael” is even a bigger hit.

What it lacks, though, is a break out hit. And the album still has not overcome the stigma of Jackson’s vocals possibly not being his–and they are.

Sony sort of screwed this up from the beginning. The version of “Breaking News” that was put on the website for streaming in November didn’t sound like Michael Jackson. It was in fact the wrong mix. This led the rabid Jackson fans to scream that they were being fooled.

It’s too bad: “Breaking News” is a great single. On the album, it’s clearly Michael Jackson singing all the way through the lead. Jackson fans are denying themselves a real treat if they think otherwise.

The real first single, “Hold My Hand,” with Akon, has not been a crowd pleaser.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but I do think Sony rushed the release. They had no marketing campaign, no focus, and a lot of negativity to overcome. If they’d waited til spring, some more thought could have gone into how to launch this CD.

“Michael” has plenty of potential singles. “Monster,” “Keep Your Head Up,” and “Another Day” are all great. But Sony’s going to have to implement some out of the box thinking to make them happen.

Around the world, “Michael” is a different story. Here’s a press release from Sony:

# MICHAEL shipped Platinum in 14 territories including the United States, UK, Germany, France (2x), Italy (3x), Spain, Portugal, Poland, Russia, Belgium, Czech Republic (4x), Canada, Korea and the Middle East.
# The album debuted at #1 in Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Sweden.
# And on top of the # 1 album chart entry in Germany, sales of MICHAEL broke the country’s 2010’s first-week record with over 85,000 units sold.
# Opening week sales of more than 113,000 in the U.K. scored the biggest opening week for a new Michael Jackson studio album since ‘Dangerous’ nearly 20 years ago.
# In Japan, the album is the fourth Michael Jackson album to ever debut in the top 3, joining Bad, Thriller and last year’s “This Is It” companion album.
# The album is in the top five in Belgium (#2), US (#3), Japan (#3), the UK (#4), France (#4), Denmark (#4). In the US, the album shipped platinum and debuted at #3 of the Billboard Album chart with just under 230,000 copies sold.
# The album went Gold in 17 territories on arrival in Japan, China, Australia, Ireland, Austria, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand, India, Philippines and Taiwan.

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67 replies to this post
  1. speak for all the fan Michael would want this new album to be number on the chart let make it number one i have the album and i think that it was a hit love the new song number one is coming to Michael new album i give it 10 out of 10

  2. the new album was a number one hit Michael Jackson fan lets 3 is good but i speak for all the fan Michael would want this new album to be number on the chart let make it number one i have the album and i think that it was a hit love the new song number one is coming to Michael new album i give it 10 out of 10

  3. I am so sick of hearing about it not being Michael’s voice on the “MICHAEL” album…Of course it is him. You can tell it’s him. Anyone who has truly ever really listened to him sing would know this…The entire album is his fantastic voice! When I bought it, I wasn’t sure what I was getting, but man, it is absolute genius!!! Michael should have trusted himself more and released an album before he passed. then he would have known that he was still so loved and that we anticipated any release of his music…..The people at Sony defintely didn’t get the promo right on this one. They really need to highly promote Monster, Breaking News, Behind the Mask and Another Day to radio stations and get this music out there. In the hands of loyal fans isn’t enough. Everyone on the planet should hear these songs in their entirety. What a blessing!

  4. I happen to love this CD. I’ve heard and read everything people have said about how this cd isn’t mj’s voice, how it’s not finished, and how there is too much techno added to it. I say that I’m thankful for anything left of michael that I can see or hear. Even if it’s not what he wanted as a final product, he’s not here and the true fans of Michael will appreciate any songs with his voice on them. I love the cd and I hear his voice on it and don’t believe it’s fake at all. I’ll take Michael good and bad..and so far i haven’t seen or heard anything bad that could ever change my opinion that he was the greatest entertainer of ALL time. R.I.P. Michael..you were greatly loved!!!!!

  5. Please, Don’t Feel Bad For Michael’s Kids. They’ll Have All The Money They’ll Ever Need In A Few Years. More Than Any Of Us Will See In A Lifetime. The Only Person Michael’s Mad At, In Reference To This Album, Is SONY!!! I Bought The Album For Personal Reasons And Have No Regrets About That. But, When I Heard Breaking News. I Knew Instantly That It Wasn’t Michael. I Felt sick To My Stomach. This Will Be The First Michael Album I Won’t Be Able To Listen To From Beginning To End Without Skipping A Track. That Broke My Heart. SONY Should Be Ashamed Of Themselves For Trying To Deceive Michael Fans. I Find It Funny How The Media Is Calling This Such A Great Album, Which It Is, But It Could Be Better. Yet, They Completely underrated “Invincible” When That Was A Much Better Album. Everyone Involved With “The System” Is Completely Full Of Sh*T.

  6. “A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house…” In other words, someone is more likely to be appreciated & respected everywhere else (& by everyone else), EXCEPT in his own country/hometown/house…we build them up to tear them down.

    OT: Taylor Swift is so young & soaring so high, right now…heaven help her…

    I have the CD & I love it!

    SONY did a worse job promoting this than they did INVINCIBLE…good grief! It’s still a hit in my book (even @ #3). (The media & MJ haters would have preferred a complete flop. There are artists out there who would be happy to have MJ’s worst sales.)

  7. I absolutely love the album. Behind the Mask, Much too Soon Hollywood Tonight, and Monster are all great tracks. The album should have debuted #1 in US as well in addition to debuting #1 globally.

    All those stupid conspiracy theories and internal conflicts (even going public everywhere in the internet) really cost the prospect of the new album and MJ music legacy.

    The price of success after Thriller destroyed MJ…still it doesn’t seem to stop after his death. There was no support system for him other than his 3 young kids. No wonder he had to rely on drugs to sleep and manage depression. He really had a sad personal life.

    It becomes clearer now what MJ had to deal with and why MJ was being described by some as a “complicated person”. It was not him; it was the environment he was in that was “complicated”. Everyone wanted a piece of him including his own big family and relatives, in addition to the usual business challenges. Everyone wanted to be in control or a say in his business. Everything has to be approved/endorsed by everyone; otherwise, he had to face with threats or rumor spreading. Too much to handle, especially given MJ kind-hearted character. Unless MJ was a tough nasty person to deal with all the evils, may be death is a good escape. May he RIP.

    Just pray for his 3 kids to grow up quickly and turn out to be good.

  8. People you are all freaking idiots. If MJ has lost his magic when he died and his music is nothing but mediocre, then why make the fuss to argue about him or his works? It is clear than the sunny skies that he is still and will always be popular despite the emergence of new song artists. His works can never be surpassed or equalled. Are there other singers who can compose, write songs, create poems and dance the way he does? MJ is a multi-talent and I am saying IS because there is no past tense with MJ. Let history be the judge to all this.

  9. Mr Friedman, if you see the post. please help to tell the estate admin that Sony didnt bother to promote the album that it’s now the estate responsibility to promote it and make sure it’s a hit!! what a waste that such a great album is totally ruined and became a flop now because of the shitty promotion job, his ‘fans’ and his famewhore greedy family.

  10. i wonder if some of these people are fans. they are probably fans of some other dead artists (ehem elvic, beeltes) who pretend to be fans just to deter some real but stupid mj fans from buying the album so as to totally ruin the sales!

  11. This is a great album, and all Michael. My favorites are Behind the Mask, Keep Your Head Up, Another Day, Hollywood Tonight, and Best of Joy. I hope Sony and MJ Estate will release these songs to radio stations throughout the year, and keep his album selling. Michael is a pop music icon and his music should be heard. R.I.P Michael.

  12. I think the album is wonderful and feel very lucky that Team Branca and Sony are allowing any of his unfinished music to be released– even if its not as perfect as MJ would have made it. He continues to speak to people through his music– as long as one is open to hear it.

    As for the boycotts… it’s sad that some fans can’t see that it is really MJ. If the song was unfinished, it stands to reason there would be some post production. As far as the Cascios- their interview on Oprah was very tastefully done. They never devuldged private information but also showed to the world a brief view of MJ as they knew him. Bless them for they are true friends, even after his death.

    @congrats MJ –

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who took offense to Roger’s **continued** use of “rabid” to describe us MJ fans.

  13. The estate executors negotiated a great deal with Sony for Jackson’s estate, in other words his kids. They got a great deal up front and a larger percentage of each album sold than most live artists. You would think the family and fans would get behind the estate and support this album, but nope. The fans seem to believe they have some mandate to protect Jackson’s musical legacy despite the fact that his musical legacy does not need them to protect it and it won’t be hurt by music he has no control over anyway. They used some kind of convoluted logic to decide that the way to protect his legacy is to sabotage this album. They are sure they know more than E. Casico, who was a friend of Jackson’s since he was 3, who gave him sanctuary when he needed it most, and who, unlike them, was actually in the studio with Jackson.

    If this album fails it may well impact future projects, Jackson will be deemed a failure as far as future projects, the estate income will dry up and they may be forced to sell the music catalog. Even if this extreme does not happen, light sales will impact the estate and the kids. If Jackson fans think he would be happy about that they are even crazier than most people give them credit for.

    @UrbanNew – Jackson could knock adults off the stage when he was a kid with his vocals. Sinatra did call him a better vocalist than him and most music professionals consider his one of the all time great vocalists. Read a book called “In The Studio With Michael Jackson” by Bruce Swedien, Jackson’s recording engineer from 1977 through Invincible. The lyrics to his best songs are as good as anyone in rock or pop. I do agree thought that his live performance and dance was a big, big part of his popularity.

    I’m surprised that people are picking so many different “favorites” from this album. Mine are “Behind the Mask” and “Another Day”.

  14. Thanks to the family, misguided fans, and the wrong first released
    single, the album is where it is. I put it on my i-pod with all of
    MJ’s older music; fits in perfectly, it is him on vocals, with
    additional back up. Agree that if the family was in the will, they’d
    be promoting the heck out of it. Sony makes money, like it always does, debt gets paid, what’s the issue?
    This is the same media spin as usual with anything Michael Jackson.
    The album is #1 worldwide, as usual, because fans in other countries
    don’t pay attenton to media hype as much as they do here. Another
    release should be forthcoming and I hope it’s a much better choice.
    Susan Boyle? What? Hope the boycotters feel real good about it.

  15. Obviously some of you here are not MJ fans, since you don’t know his voice. I bought the album and all of the songs are sung by Michael Jackson, I am a true fan. You are missing out, the album is truly fantastic!!!! RIP MJ

  16. @Urban Music News: Wasn’t the greatest vocalist? – you guys really just proved your lack of expertise by making that comment.

    Michael was a phenomenal vocalist, better than a dancer in my opinion.
    Letting out vibratos at the right places, going to head voice at precise moments, using dynamics – in a recording is difficult – but Michael did that using different textures in his voice. I could list more. More than that he has a phenomenal, unique, warm and flexible timbre/tone colour.

    As far as lyrics, you obviously have never listened to HIStory. There are more than several noteworthy lyrical songs “They Don’t Care About Us”, “Stranger In Moscow”, “Earth Song”, “Scream”, “Tabloid Junkie”, “Money” … oh shoot I’m basically listing the whole album.

  17. Frank Sinatra thought that Michael Jackson was the greatest vocalist, the only guy better than he was. I’ll take his opinion over somebody flogging an ‘urban’ music website.

  18. The songs that shouldn’t be released as sigles are tye 3 songs tat causedof the negative feedback, “Breaking News”, “Monster”, & “Keep Your Head Up”. ANY fan who is a big fan and knows how MJ usually sound, knows that these 3 songs, all from the Cascio family, sound off. To say that is how MJ sounded in 2007 is also a weak defense for the songs. “Hold My Hand” and newer version of Thriller songs and “For All Time” fr. Thriller 25 re-release are MJ vocals from 2007 and none of them sound like the three fakes on tis new album. However, if you go look up Jason Malachi, whose songs have been mistaken for unreleased MJ songs in the past when he was aliveyou will see that they sound EXACTLY alike. Anyone who doesn’t listento MJ everyday all year wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Don’t let those people make you think otherwise. Then you have fans who can sense something is fishy, but don’t wantto believe that Sony, who invested 250 million in 10 new MJ albums, would risk fake songs. Michael’s own kids have said those songs were fakes and that they are not the songs ther father worked on when they were at th Cascios (or hiwever you spell their name). And for those who say boycotting the album is hurting the kids. It’s not about the money… it’s about principle and respect, for the fans and for MJ most of all. Get with the program.

    Also, wouldn’t you pay 250 million to get closer to owning 100% of a billion dollar music catalogue, especially when the person in charge is someone who was fired by the owner, and just so happened to be rehired 8 days before the person passed. On to of that, that same person is the one who fished up a will naming himself an executor of the estate… THEN this person signs a recprd contract with the exact same company thatthe deceased artist had been waiting for so lon to be free of.

    There is plent of fishiness going around to compliment this fishy album.

    The only songs that feel right is “Hold My Hand” (but this has tooo much Akon on it), “The Way You Love Me”, “Best of Joy”, “Another Day” (though the mix coud have been better), “Behind the Mask”, and “Much Too Soon”.

    There are plenty of unreleased MJ songs that could have replaced the suspect songs.

    “Xscape” MURDERS “Breaking News”…

    “Blue Gangsta” could have replaced “Monster”…

    and “SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM” is an instant hit! with there already four slower songs on the album, it culd have replaced “Keep Your Head Up”.

    “Hollywood Tonight” is a great song, but dangit! the added that freaking auto tune and speed up the song and it sounds a bit sloppy… and also, some of those background vocals sounnd suspect. but the song is jamming.

  19. Michael is the best MJ CD since Dangerous. I am a “HUGE” MJ fan and must say that this CD represents him well although I would’ve love to hear some Quincy Jones production incorporated. This CD is more technology driven than those from the past but nevertheless it is a great CD and please if your not an MJ fan do yourself a favor and don’t even comment. We true fans don’t wanna hear from you. It is such a ignorant waste of time.

  20. Well, Sony rush the album and these are the results. The prior management went for the “controversy” strategy and has backfire big time.
    Including the Cascios tracks was a big NO NO. However, the other tracks are the real deal. I have got my copy of MICHAEL at the end of the day I want to celebrate his “Legacy”. I love all 7 tracks they are really good. One the other 3 Cascios ..Monster stand out altough someone else is singing it…

  21. Wow the real reason this album isn’t doing so good because it’s not. Real Michael Jackson Album , he would have took his time nd gave us something real . His last album he put out was bomb, just didn’t get enough marketing. Fans like me know michael wouldn’t do a song with 50 cent. Let me market his next album his fans would love it nd it would be the biggest cd of all times … I know !!!!

  22. I agree, Kelly. It’s a shame the crazy mixed up Jackson fans tried–and nearly succeeded–to ruin this gorgeous album that was obviously made with so much love by Michael’s collaborators and the Estate. That’s OK…Michael’s supporters who think straight are buying multiple copies to neutralize the rabid fans who haven’t got a single fully functioning brain cell in their crazy heads. And the Jackson family? Well, they’re out of the Last Will and Testament of Michael Jackson, as everyone knows. If they had been included in the Will, they’d be praising this album to the skies. Consider the source, people! In the Will, the album’s great. Out of the Will, the album’s fake. Anyway, it’s a wonderful album, start to finish. Congrats, Michael, and thank you, Estate of Michael Jackson.

  23. The album may be named “Michael”, but we should not call it “Michael Jackson’s album”. He did not greenlight it, did not release it.

    Just the pure facts. And because of them, I won’t buy the album. Michael Jackson already left his legacy, the one he worked hard to leave to us and wanted to leave to us. This album is not his, and that’s enough for me.

  24. Kelly Says:
    December 23rd, 2010 at 1:17 am
    It’s sad that MJ’s own fans have also ruined the album by spamming every website that allows you to give a reply. They go to multiple websites and call the album fake this and fake that. The kids get the profit, and they are ruining it for Prince, Paris and Blanket.


    I think it’s despicable that Sony put fake tracks on this album but I bought it anyway because I want his legacy (on the real tracks/songs)to endure. If it had been 100% MJ I would have bought 10 more copies as Christmas gifts. Sony hurt MJ by putting fake tracks on “Michael”.

    RIP Michael Jackson

  25. Sony put fake tracks on “Michael” and a lot of the fans are not buying it!

    Sony did not do the right thing here, they are killing his legacy with Jason Malachi’s songs.

    How dare they try to deceive MJ’s fans.

  26. It’s sad that MJ’s own fans have also ruined the album by spamming every website that allows you to give a reply. They go to multiple websites and call the album fake this and fake that. The kids get the profit, and they are ruining it for Prince, Paris and Blanket.

    Good point Greg. I think it depends on what type of music style is released. Urban radio loves Michael Jackson, so if Sony released a track that related to that audience, they would play it. I remember “Butterflies” was HOT on r&b/hip hop radio, which had the song at 2# on billboard r&b/hip hop chart and 13 on the Hot 100.

    Hold My Hand isnt Butterflies level and Akon sings to much on that track. Id release “monster” or “keep your head up” next which should do well

  27. By far the sure hit on “michael” is the song “I like the way you love me”,,,,it’s r&b,it’s pop,,,it’s the sound michael had with off the wall and human nature, I’ve been a fan since ’69 and my daughter is 15 years old, we both love it.

  28. If anything this is another conspiracy to destroy Michael Jackson and his legacy. The new album is GREAT, there are songs on there that are AWESOME. However I do agree, yes there are fake tracks on them, members of the Jackson family came out and warned us of this at an early stage, and for this they have our great respect and love. In their possession, Sony has tons of genuine MJ songs that they could have put on this new album, but they chose not to do that in yet ANOTHER attempt to destroy Mike. God curse Sony and whoever participated in this evil sick conspiracy! Their time will come, God is great He is watching! And I must ask this question: Since when did Michael receive the true appreciation he deserved “in his own country?!” .. The answer is NEVER! Thank God every other country in the world knows the true value of Michael Jackson and continue to give him the love, support and respect he deserves. Not number one, who cares, it’s not about numbers, it’s about being the BEST entertainer / BEST selling artist OF ALL TIMES. Michael secured his place on the top a very long time ago, he doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone anymore. … P.S: MJ’s fans be careful, Sony did this on purpose to harm Michael and his legacy, its similar to what they did with Invincible, they should not be allowed to get away with this. You can still download the original tracks from iTunes and help Michael. He and his kids need us now more than ever, 90% of the sales income go to Michael, which in return will be used to pay off the debts imposed on him due to evil plots and conspiracies that are still taking place as we speak. We must prove to the world that we will always support Mike in thick and thin and EXPOSE his haters.

  29. Rather disappointing given Sony was predicting 400,000 a month ago.
    I don’t know about over in the US, but in Australia the only promotion I saw was two commercials on morning TV.

    I really think they should have released this album in June when there was heaps of news on the anniversary of his death. It would have sold 500,000 then.

  30. rabid fans? we’re not diseased dogs. but thanks. being insulted makes me want to read more. good job.

    in other news… 3 million copies in it’s first week alone? number 1 on the global charts? congrats mj <3

  31. The best song on the album by far is “I love the way you love me.” Not sure why that song isn’t the first single released or why it wasn’t even mentioned in the article. The other songs are good as well but that one really stands out.

  32. Give it time….”MICHAEL” is a brilliant album. It has been a tough road for Sony and MJ at times but both are survivors to the max. I agree, a bit more advertizing would have been great. I do love the cover of the album though; looking through an eye glass you can see so much of MJ’ career, family and friends in the art…it’s brilliant. I knew it was MJ singing all the while. Lynne in Oz.

  33. I wonder how many people did not pay a dime for it. Probably half of Asia, a large part of Europe and all of Philadelphia and no one in Nashville.

  34. My favorite song is ABC. Is that on the album?

    We miss you Michael!

    Well maybe not. Who has taken his place in the freak news? I guess Lady Caca. Better then Michael, the perpetual freak show. She won’t last decades.

  35. I listened to the album several times while it was streaming for free. I don’t understand why Roger keeps insisting Breaking News is such a great song – or that “Michael” is such a great album for that matter. I believe that the vocals are MJ’s but Breaking News’ lyrics are stupid and boring and the production sounds dated and cheesy. It’s not a “great” song. I cannot imagine any of the songs on Michael being hit singles. Even Invincible (an underrated album, IMHO) had two top 20 singles (one of those a top 10).

    The Way You Love Me is decent – although its not really new – and is the only song I’d consider buying. The only way I’d buy the entire album is if Amazon makes it the Deal of the Day for $3 or $4.

  36. Classic Sony. All the common bad habits they have with other artists. Meanwhile, the guy is dead. Third is decent. Ad you can’t compare copies sold from 2001 to 2010. That’s not such a significant drop actually. Or haven’t you noticed a “slight” drop in sales this decade and illegal downloads becoming the norm. lmao.

    This is a high week for music sales anyway. Why compare to R Kelly and Ditty? Because they’re black? A better comparison in terms of dedicated fan bases is Katy Perry, whose album drop last month was under 195K.

  37. I know Michael Jackson’s voice as well as I know the face of my own child. The songs from the Cascios are not all Michael Jackson. They simply are not 100% authentic. It can’t be argued that his accent, intonation, and vibrato had changed in his latter years, THIS IS IT showed him singing live and familiarly. I finally bought the album and am glad I did for the tunes that ARE MJ, but there is fraud on that album. It has left a bad taste in the public’s mouth. I hope his collaboration with Lenny Kravitz gets radio play. There are only two “hits” on MICHAEL. Not surprisingly, they are the ones that are indisputably him.

  38. Cascio’s songs are FAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    They are not MJ’s friends! “They’ll do everything for MONEY… even sell his soul to the devil…”

  39. $ONY sucks!
    anyone who thinks it’s MJ’s voice on Breaking News must not know MJ’s voice all that well.
    the other Cascios songs: Monster and Keep your head up also sound fake.
    when you hear Michael, you know right away it’s him. you don’t have to struggle to hear him…

  40. I love Michael Jackson, the Entertainer and the Human Being!
    and because of that I didn’t buy this album and I won’t!
    “breaking News’ is a fake, Mj fans are not fool and they cannot be fooled easily!
    I respect MJ and because of this, we, some of Mj’s fans we boycott ‘Sony’!
    Evereybody knows MJ’s opinion regarding ‘Sony”!! By buying this album, we encourage them to release more Mj’s unfinished songs or fakes….because they need more $$$$$$$$$ and a lot of them!!!!
    no way!!!!

  41. Just fyi,

    Those numbers are from Hits Daily Double, but they’re not the official final numbers. HDD, as it says on their website, publishes estimates based on a sampling of retailers. They’re system is superb so they’re always close – but they can be off. The official Billboard/soundscan numbers come out Wednesday afternoon.

  42. even if the tracks are great, the radio simply won’t play them becauset they consider MJ as an old artist (the same approach they have for Janet, Whitney, Celine, R Kelly, Bon Jovi, U2 and now even Mariah).

  43. Sony ruined the 1st week of sales by being to conservative. They should have released the best tracks early. If i were in charge, i would have dropped “Monster” 1st, followed by “keep your head up” which would do awesome on urban radio. Now your in business.

    3rd single, maybe “Hollywood Tonight”

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