Michael Jackson albums top the charts; his will names Diana Ross as 'successor guardian'
Guess what! People are BUYING Michael Jackson albums big-time in the wake of his death. It might be the biggest no-brainer news item today, but the volume of the sales -- and which albums people are buying -- are amazing.
Nielsen SoundScan says three of his albums are in the top three spots and 2.3 million tracks have been downloaded in the United States since his death.
Album sales through Sunday hit 422,000 in the U.S., up from just 10,000 a week earlier. That's more than he sold year to date.
So what was the top-selling album? It's not Thriller ... that come in third behind Number Ones and Essential Michael Jackson.
On iTunes, Jackson's Off The Wall was also a Top 5 album this week.
In other developments...
WHAT A WILL! The singer's 7-year-old will was filed Wednesday in a Los Angeles court, giving his entire estate to a family trust but cutting out his former wife Debbie Rowe. According to the AP, it gives the entire estate to the Michael Jackson Family Trust. His mother, Katherine Jackson, is named as a beneficiary of the trust and the guardian of Jackson's children, who are named in the will. Ready for the big shocker so far? Diana Ross is named as a successor guardian to Jackson's mother if necessary.
MICHAEL MIGHT HAVE BEEN PLAYING SICK: Did Michael Jackson intentionally overdose on painkillers to avoid doing 50 sold-out shows at London's O2 Arena? That's the story coming from The Daily Beast this morning. The website says "a close Michael Jackson confidant tells The Daily Beast's Gerald Posner he believes the star triggered his death with a foolhardy plan to void a concert commitment: mixing pills to prompt a minor hospital visit." The Beast's report says Jackson thought "getting a doctor's note" would allow him to shorten the run of shows.
THE FUNERAL: Various sources say a public memorial service will be held Friday at Jackson's Neverland Ranch in California. A private funeral would be held Sunday. The Los Angeles Times says a public memorial could also be held at the city's Staples Center, with a procession to Neverland to follow.
QUINCY'S NOT GOING: If the funeral is Sunday, Quincy Jones -- his longtime collaborator -- won't be there. "I won't go to any more funerals as long as I live," Jones told ET. "I can't handle it."
NEITHER IS HIS DOCTOR: TMZ, which deserves some high honor for being right all along with their MJ coverage, says Jackson's doctor won't be attending his funeral either, preferring to "mourn privately for the death of his friend."
BURY HIM IN GARY: The Jackson family's hometown of Gary, Indiana, is lobbying to have the singer buried there. City officials say the perfect spot would be near "a proposed Jackson family museum and a performing arts center," according to Examiner.com.
ABOUT THE KIDS: Even though Jackson's will reportedly states this his mother should have custody of his children, legal experts in California are saying today that their biological mother -- Debbie Rowe -- could make a winning argument for keeping custody herself ... if she chooses to make that fight.
STOP KILLING YOURSELVES: Websites and news services around the world are reporting that diehard Michael Jackson fans are committing suicide in the wake of their hero's death. The Mirror reports that so far one fan in Tunisia killed herself and Russia's best known Jacko impersonator was saved by rescue workers after being found with slit wrists. "I don’t know why the doctors saved me," Pavel has said. "I want to be with Michael, and I will kill myself anyway."