Michael Jackson’s long-awaited new album looks set to enter the charts at number one, according to mid-week sales figures.
Jackson’s “Invincible,” released in Britain on Monday, is expected to sell between 100,000 and 150,000 in its first week, says HMV chart expert Gennaro Castaldo.
“He is in the number one position and is outselling Steps’ ‘Gold Collection’ by a margin of three to one,” Castaldo told Reuters on Tuesday. “His sales are about the same as the rest of the top five combined.”
“Invisible” cost an estimated $30.5 million and is Jackson’s first album of all-new material since “Dangerous” in 1991. His last two albums “History” (1995) and “Blood on the Dance Floor” (1997) included new songs, greatest hits and remixes.
His first single for four years, “You Rock My World” was recently held off the top of the UK singles chart by Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.”
Fans of Jackson, 43, were given a preview of the 16-song album at his Web site, www.michaeljackson.com, on Friday and took part in a webchat with the star.
The self-styled King of Pop holds the record for the best-selling album of all time. His 1982 long-player “Thriller” sold more than 46 million copies.
“Thriller” spawned seven massive hits including “Billie Jean” and “Beat It.”
After 30 years of dominating the pop charts – first with the Jackson 5 and later as a solo artist – Jackson has struggled to maintain his record-breaking sales.
He was booed during a September show at Madison Square Garden in New York where his performance was punctuated by lengthy breaks and silences.