METALLICA's 'Black' LP On Track To Become Top-Selling Album Of SOUNDSCAN Era

METALLICA is in fourth place on Nielsen SoundScan's list of top-selling album artists, with cumulative sales of more than 51 million in the United States since the scanning service set up shop in May 1991.

METALLICA's self-titled album from 1991 (also known as the "black" album) is the No. 2 top-selling album of the SoundScan era. The LP shifted 242,000 units in the U.S. in 2008 to bring total sales to 15,319,000 (as of the close of 2008) and narrowing the gap to the No. 1 album on the list, SHANIA TWAIN's "Come on Over", to 154,000 copies. If these percentages keep up, "Metallica" will overtake "Come on Over" during 2009.

Nielsen SoundScan is an information system created by Mike Fine and Mike Shalett that tracks sales of music and music video products throughout the United States and Canada. Data is collected weekly and made available every Wednesday to subscribers, which include executives from all facets of record companies, publishing firms, music retailers, independent promoters, film and TV, and artist management. SoundScan is the sales source for the Billboard music charts.

Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales data for Nielsen on May 25, 1991.

Top-Selling Artists Of Soundscan Era (May 25, 1991 - Dec. 28, 2008):

01. GARTH BROOKS - 68,143,000
02. THE BEATLES - 57,088,000
03. MARIAH CAREY - 51,569,000
04. METALLICA - 51,136,000
05. CELINE DION - 50,571,000
06. GEORGE STRAIT - 40,619,000
07. TIM MCGRAW - 37,591,000,
08. ALAN JACKSON - 36,520,000,
09. PINK FLOYD - 36,520,000
10. SHANIA TWAIN - 33,707,000

Top-Selling Albums Of Soundscan Era (May 25, 1991 - Dec. 28, 2008):

01. Come On Over - SHANIA TWAIN - 15,473,000
02. Metallica - METALLICA - 15,319,000
03. Jagged Little Pill - ALANIS MORISSETTE - 14,607,000
04. Millennium - BACKSTREET BOYS - 12,104,000
05. Soundtrack - "Bodyguard" - 11,805,000
06. Supernatural - SANTANA - 11,673,000
07. Human Clay - CREED - 11,525,000
08. Beatles 1 - THE BEATLES - 11,345,000
09. No Strings Attached - 'N SYNC - 11,109,000
10. Falling Into You - Celine Dion - 10,777,000

METALLICA's top-selling albums during the SoundScan era (as of December 28, 2008):

01. "Metallica" (1991): 15,319,000
02. "…And Justice for All" (1988): 5,229,000 *
03. "Load" (1996): 5,020,000
04. "Master of Puppets" (1986): 4,475,000 *
05. "Ride the Lightning" (1984): 4,247,000 *
06. "Reload" (1997): 4,002,000

* Does not include sales prior to the start of the SoundScan era (May 25, 1991).

METALLICA's latest album, "Death Magnetic", has sold 1,565,000 copies in the United States since it was released in September 2008, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

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