Michael Jackson Shatters Digital Sales Records

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Michael Jackson is likely make more money in death than he ever did in life — the Elvis effect. And it’s already started.

Jackson sold a record 2.6 million digital downloads in just one week, according to preliminary sales numbers from Nielsen SoundScan.

The sales make Jackson the first artist to sell more than one million digital songs in one week. The week before his death, Jackson sold 48,000 songs, illustrating how big a jump this week’s numbers are.

Jackson’s records are dominating the charts. Six of his albums are in the top 10 Top Digital Albums chart, a record, and 25 of his singles are in the top 75 Hot Digital Songs.

Like Elvis, Jackson is likely to bigger earner in death than he was in life. Elvis earned a whopping $52 million in 2007 — $8 million more than living pop stars like Justin Timberlake ($44 million) and Madonna ($40 million), according to Forbes.com.

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About the author

Leander KahneyLeander Kahney is the editor and publisher of Cult of Mac. He is the NYT bestselling author of Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products; Inside Steve’s Brain; Cult of Mac; and Cult of iPod. Leander has written for Wired, MacWeek, Scientific American, and The Guardian in London. Follow Leander on Twitter @lkahney and Facebook.

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