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Michael Jackson Catalog Sales Soar on iTunes, Amazon

June 26, 2009 9:51 AM ET

As the entire world mourns the death of Michael Jackson, many are celebrating the King of Pop's unparalleled musical legacy. Following the news of Jackson's sudden passing, Jackson songs and albums immediately begin climbing the sales charts at digital music stores. Over on iTunes, the current top five albums, and seven of the Top 10, are all Jackson releases, with The Essential Michael Jackson, Thriller and Off the Wall all leading the charge. The same goes for the Amazon MP3 store, where Jackson is listed as the service's top-selling artist of the day. Last.fm also documented the incredible jump in people on their service listening to Michael Jackson in the moments following Jackson's death, with a peak of roughly 42,000 MJ songs being played on the service between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET yesterday.

(Look back at Michael Jackson's remarkable career with photos, stories and more from the RS archives.)

As a tribute to Jackson, a multitude of Sirius XM stations will dedicate programming to the King of Pop, including a five-hour live tribute tonight on their '80s on 8 channel. MTV has also deviated from their normal schedule to show Jackson music videos, live footage and interviews with celebrities paying homage to Jackson. VH1 Classic will also reportedly air nothing but Jackson content the entire weekend starting today, June 26th, at noon EST.

Here at Rolling Stone, we'll have much more Jackson coverage throughout the day, including reports from the impromptu tributes in both New York and Los Angeles (where fans gathered at the wrong Hollywood Walk of Fame star), a playlist of Jackson's greatest tracks from his record-shattering career and all the breaking news relating to his untimely death.

Related Stories:
Music World Mourns Michael Jackson's Death
Michael Jackson Dead at 50
Michael Jackson:Remember the Legend In the RS Archives

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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