Michael Jackson set to rule U.S. pop chart
By Keith Caulfield
LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Michael Jackson is on track to score his sixth No. 1 on the U.S. pop chart next week with the companion album for his new concert movie "This Is It."
Industry prognosticators suggest the album -- which was released on Monday -- could shift between 300,000 and 350,000 copies by Sunday night. Sales data for the week will be released next Wednesday by tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan.
Jackson already owns the year's best-selling album with his 2004 hits package "Number Ones" -- 2 million and counting. Additionally, his 1983 blockbuster "Thriller" is the year's 11th best-seller (1.1 million) and 2005's "The Essential Michael Jackson" is the 15th biggest (986,000).
"Thriller" marked his first No. 1. The follow-ups, "Bad," "Dangerous," "HIStory" and "Invincible," also hit the top.
The "This Is It" album contains 14 studio recordings of Jackson's hits like "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" and two versions of the from-the-vaults title track, which plays over the film's end credits. It also includes three demo recordings and a spoken word poem titled "Planet Earth." The film opens worldwide on Wednesday.
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