Michael Jackson had planned a 50-show comeback in London in the summer of 2009. Thanks to Dr. Conrad Murray, he never got a chance to perform.
Just the same, his untimely death made the King of Pop as popular as ever. He ranked 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 at least beat all living musicians with a huge 4.6 million sold.
Jackson died June 25, just weeks before he was to return to the stage. His rehearsal footage has been made into a double CD and film, This Is It.
Michael Jackson dominated 2009 music sales after passing away.
Rounding out the top five were The Beatles (3.2 million), Susan Boyle (3.1 million) and Lady Gaga (2.8 million). Other interesting year-end figures:
- Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream just missed being the #1 album of 2009, falling 100,000 copies behind Swift's Fearless. MJ's Number Ones was third.
- Lady Gaga's The Fame was the overall top-selling digital album, selling 461,000 units online alone (and 2.2 million in all, the fourth best of '09).
- The Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" was the top digital track, with 4.7 million downloads, followed by their "I Gotta Feeling," at 4.4 million.
- In total sales of the 2000s, Eminem won with 32.2 million, beating out The Beatles, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith and Britney Spears at Nos. 2-5.