Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ becomes first album to go 30 times platinum

The gatefold photograph in Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'

Michael Jackson‘s epochal album Thriller has become the first album ever to sell 30 million copies in the United States. The landmark inspired Epic Records CEO L.A. Reid to declare Jackson the “biggest artist of all time.” (Rolling Stone) The album is claimed to have sold 100 million copies worldwide, twice the amount of its nearest competitor, AC/DC‘s Back in Black.

Another big 30 has been reached by Billy Joel, who just sold out his 30th engagement in a monthly residency at Madison Square Garden. That makes 559,980 tickets sold over the course of the run, for a total of $63 million in ticket sales. According to Billboard, Joel’s NYC run now constitutes “the greatest arena engagement of all time.”

Eagles of Death Metal have rescheduled the European tour dates they canceled after terrorists struck their concert in Paris. The tour dates include a rescheduled Paris show, where the fans who were at the tragic Bataclan show will be admitted for free. “Not returning to finish our set was never an option,” writes the band’s Jesse Hughes. (Billboard)

Madonna has replied testily to fans who booed her for starting a Manchester concert late. She says her video system crashed, forcing the show to be delayed. “FACTS,” she wrote on Facebook, “it’s good to have them before you jump to conclusions!” (Billboard)

Your Bonnaroo 2016 headliners will be Pearl Jam, if Consequence of Sound’s inside scoop is correct. It would be the first time the band have played the Tennessee festival since 2008. (Consequence of Sound)

The Grammys aren’t taking place until Feb. 15, but we already know who the first winner is: it’s hip-hop veteran L.L. Cool J, who will return for his fifth year as host. (Billboard)

Mumford and Sons and Elton John have joined a growing chorus of artists — including Prince and Coldplay — who are complaining about the booming secondary-sales market for concert tickets in the U.K. “We want fans of the band to be able to get into our shows for the right price, to feel that they’ve got value for money,” write Mumford and Sons in a post on their website. (Billboard)

Banquet is the name of a new supergroup that includes members of Franz FerdinandBand of HorsesTravisMidlake, and Grandaddy. The group are currently working on their debut album, which is expected to be released in 2016 with a Wilburyesque title: Volume I. (Pitchfork)

Timbaland announced that he’ll release a new mixtape on Christmas Day. The biggest surprise on the tape: a previously unreleased vocal track by the late Aaliyah. (Billboard)

The trailer for the new season of Portlandia features a cameo from Glenn Danzig. The Flaming Lips and Zoe Kravitz are also expected to guest on the show’s sixth season. (Billboard)