Michael Jackson, Michael Album

Epic Records

If you thought Michael Jackson was invincible, think again.

Despite the spin from Jackson's camp that Michael, the first posthumous collection of all new M.J. material, is the "No. 1 global album," there's something his reps aren't saying.

Like he wasn't even the chart-topper in the United States. Guess who beat him?

That would be Taylor Swift and Susan Boyle, who continued their 1-2 reign on the Billboard charts.

And that's not the only disappointment.

Team Jackson trumpeted in today's press release that Sony Music/Epic Records shipped more than 3 million units of Michael worldwide in its first week, making it one of the biggest releases of 2010. And yes, the Moonwalker shipped platinum in 14 different territories, among them Italy (3 million), France (2 million), and the U.K., Germany, Russia and the U.S. (1 million each). However that last stat means copies shipped, not sold.

In actuality, Michael entered the charts Stateside at No. 3, selling 228,000 copies.

That lags behind Swift's Speak Now, (259,000) and Boyle's The Gift (254,000). In effect, the Jackson release hasn't even gone gold yet (i.e., 500,000 copies sold)—not quite up to the high sales standard we imagine Michael would be setting for himself.

The album's most impressive start occurred in Germany, where it not only topped that country's charts but broke 2010's first-week records with more than 85,000 units sold. It also came in at No. 1 in Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden.

In Great Britain, while it only managed to beat it to a fourth-place showing on the charts with more than 113,000 units sold, Michael did have the biggest debut of any Jackson album since Dangerous nearly two decades ago. And in Japan, rabid fans propelled it to a top three debut, making it Jackson's fourth record to accomplish that feat behind Bad, Thriller and last year's This Is It.

Sure, he might not be the King of Pop any more, and we all know Will.i.am doesn't approve, but it turns out M.J. is still pretty popular.

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