The One Album That Made Michael Jackson Over $134 Million

Michael Jackson released an album that broke records, won awards, and earned him a fortune.

Michael Jackson on plane.
The Things


Easily one of the biggest music legends of all time, Michael Jackson has provided the soundtrack for millions of people’s lives. As a result of how much fans adore Jackson’s songs, his music catalog sold for a fortune and there is going to be a biopic about him.

Often referred to as the King of Pop, there was a long time when Jackson seemed to have the Midas touch. Still, it is staggering that Jackson reportedly made at least $134 million from only one of the many albums he released during his life.

Which Album Made Michael Jackson More Than $134 Million?

During Michel Jackson’s legendary career, the “King of Pop” became one of the biggest music stars in history. A former member of The Jackson 5, virtually everyone thought Jackson would be a superstar from the moment he entered the spotlight.

Michael Jackson singing
Via: Instar


Thanks to that star quality and Jackson’s undeniable singing talents, he enjoyed a staggering amount of success during his life. Some of Jackson’s most famous songs include “Bad”, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”, “Smooth Criminal”, “Black or White”, “Heal the World”, and “Earth Song”.

While all those songs enjoyed loads of success, none of them are from the singer’s best-selling album. Released in 1982, it would be an understatement to say that Jackson’s sixth studio album “Thriller” became a sensation.

An album that was filled to the brim with memorable songs, almost every track from “Thriller” became a hit. The album’s commercial highlights include “Thriller”, “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, “The Girl Is Mine”, “Human Nature”, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”, and “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”.

Michael Jackson’s live televised interview was cut off due to an unexpected interruption.

Thanks to how beloved many of those songs were, the album “Thriller” became a staggering success. While other records have sold more copies in America, “Thriller” remains the best-selling album worldwide in history.

According to Rolling Stone, “Thriller” had sold 66 million copies as of June 2023. A major part of the reason “Thriller” has sold so many copies is how popular it was upon its release. Following the release of “Thriller” in 1982, the album topped the charts for 37 weeks in a row.

Given that impressive feat, it has always been obvious that Jackson made lots of money from “Thriller”. However, for years it seemed like it would always be impossible for fans to know exactly how much Jackson cashed in.

Michael Jackson from the Thriller music videoVia: Instar


In 2014, all that changed thanks to the release of a book titled “Michael Jackson, Inc.: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of a Billion-Dollar Empire”. Written by Zack O’Malley Greenburg, the book looked back at Jackson’s life and career from a different perspective.

Since Jackson was world-famous throughout almost all of his life, much has been written about him. In almost every case, articles and books about Jackson have focused on things like his life behind the scenes, the allegations against him, and how his music was made.

The reason why “Michael Jackson, Inc.: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of a Billion-Dollar Empire” stands out is the book looked at Jackson’s life from the numbers. In 2014, Forbes got to see an advanced copy of the book and the publication revealed some of its conclusions.

Michael Jackson was infamously bad with money but it is mind-blowing that he lost $26 million touring.

In Forbes’ article, Jackson’s former manager Sandy Gallin was quoted talking about the singer’s business mentality. “He had good instincts . . . more, more, more; better, better, better. He would, in his mind, negotiate the same way. No matter what anybody would offer, he wanted more.”

Given how Jackson thought about things, he must have been thrilled by how much money he made from “Thriller”. According to Forbes’ article about the 2014 book, it revealed that Jackson made $134 million from “Thriller” in the two years after the album’s release.

According to the website Dollar Times’ inflation calculator, $134 million in 1984 money would be worth more than $392 million in 2023’s cash.

A monument to Michael JacksonVia: Instar


Based on “Michael Jackson, Inc.: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of a Billion-Dollar Empire”, Jackson made a fortune between 1982 and 1984. That said, it is worth noting that Jackson didn’t stop making money from “Thriller” after 1984.

Even now that it has been more than forty years since “Thriller” was released, the album is still making money. Between royalties brought in from streaming services and “Thriller” merchandise, Jackson’s estate continues to make money off “Thriller”.

As of 2023, Celebrity Net Worth reported that Jackson’s estate was worth $500 million. It is fascinating to think about how much of that money came directly from “Thriller”.

What Do Michael Jackson’s Children Think About His Album “Thriller”?

When people talk about the best albums of all time, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” typically is part of the conversation. For that reason and due to the iconic music videos for “Billie Jean” and “Thriller”, the album almost certainly will never be forgotten.

Those who knew him say Jackson’s real voice was surprisingly deep compared to the one he used during interviews.

In 2022, Jackson’s eldest child, Prince Jackson, revealed another reason why the album “Thriller” is so meaningful. When Prince Jackson attended an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of “Thriller”, Prince Jackson spoke about getting to celebrate his father’s legacy.

“It is such an honor. Like, you could feel the electricity in the air. I wasn’t born when Thriller came out, I remember the 25th anniversary, so for me to be here on this platform, able to celebrate my father and his achievements, there’s nothing like it. There’s really nothing like it.”

Paris Jackson, Prince Michael Jackson, and Prince Jackson on stageVia: Instar


At the same event, Prince Jackson spoke about how his father is still alive through the music he left behind. “So much of his personality, so much of him, is in his music.”

Based on Prince Jackson’s comments, it seems like he takes a lot of pride in the legacy “Thriller” left behind. It also has be to noted that Paris Jackson has appeared in public paying tribute to Jackson’s music video from the “Thriller” music video. With that in mind, it seems very likely that all of the singer’s kids are proud of their father’s most successful album.

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