Michael Jackson never got the chance to make his stage comeback, but his untimely death made him more popular than ever.
The King of Pop reclaimed his throne, ranking as the top-selling artist of 2009 with 8.2 million albums sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's nearly double No. 2 finisher, Taylor Swift , who rang up 4.6 million in sales.
Rounding out the top five were the Beatles (3.2 million), Susan Boyle (3.1 million) and Lady Gaga (2.8 million).
Among the other surprising tidbits on the year- and decade-end charts...
- Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream just missed being the top album of 2009, falling 100,000 copies behind Swift's Fearless (sorry, Kanye). Jackson's Number Ones (2.3 million) edged out Gaga's Fame (2.2 million) for the No. 3 slot
- Boyle's Dream did rank as the top-selling Internet album, with 405,000 copies, while Gaga's The Fame was the overall top-selling digital album, selling 461,000.
- The Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" was the biggest digital track, with 4.7 million downloads, followed by their "I Gotta Feeling," with 4.4 million.
- Soulja Boy Tell'em's "Kiss Me Thru the Phone" was the top-selling ringtone, followed by T-Pain and Jamie Foxx's "Blame It" and T.I. and Justin Timberlake's "Dead and Gone."
- The Beatles, meanwhile, had bragging rights for the biggest album of the Aughts, selling 11.6 million copies of 1, beating out 'N Sync's No Strings Attached (11.1 million)
- In total sales of the 2000s, Eminem finished just ahead of the Fab Four (32.2 million to 30.2 million). Tim McGraw (24.8 million), Toby Keith (24.8 million) and Britney Spears (23 million) round out the top five.
2009 Top-Selling Artists:
- Michael Jackson, 8.2 million
- Taylor Swift, 4.6 million
- Beatles, 3.2 million
- Susan Boyle, 3.1 million
- Lady Gaga, 2.8 million
- Andrea Bocelli, 2.6 million
- Michael Bublé, 2.2 million
- Eminem, 2.1 million
- Carrie Underwood, 1.8 million
- Black Eyed Peas, 1.8 million
2009 Top-Selling Albums:
- Fearless, Taylor Swift, 3.2 million
- I Dreamed a Dream, Susan Boyle, 3.1 million
- Number Ones, Michael Jackson, 2.3 million
- Fame, Lady Gaga, 2.2 million
- My Christmas, Andrea Bocelli, 2.2. million
- Hannah Montana Movie Soundtrack, Hannah Montana, 1.8 million
- E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies), Black Eyed Peas, 1.7 million
- Relapse, Eminem, 1.7 million
- Blueprint 3, Jay-Z, 1.5 million
- Only by the Night, Kings of Leon, 1.3 million
Top Artists of the 2000s:
- Eminem, 32.2 million
- The Beatles, 30.2 million
- Tim McGraw, 24.8 million
- Toby Keith, 24.5 million
- Britney Spears, 23 million
- Kenny Chesney, 22 million
- Linkin Park, 21.4 million
- Nelly, 21.3 million
- Creed, 20.6 million
- Jay-Z, 20.4 million
Top Albums of the 2000s:
- Beatles 1, Beatles, 11.6 million
- No Strings Attached, 'N Sync, 11.1 million
- Come Away With Me, Norah Jones, 10.6 million
- Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem, 10.2 million
- Eminem Show, Eminem, 9.8 million
- Confessions, Usher, 9.73 million
- Hybrid Theory, Linkin Park, 9.7 million
- Human Clay, Creed, 9.5 million
- Oops!...I Did It Again, Britney Spears, 9.2 million
- Country Grammar, Nelly, 8.5 million