In early March, we reported that Metallica's seminal Black Album was about to cross the 16 million sold mark.
When this week's Billboard numbers came in, it became official. The Black Album is now 16x platinum becoming the highest selling album of the Soundscan era (beginning in 1991). The album was actually certified platinum for a few years now, since December 2012, based on 16 million units shipped – meaning sent to record stores to collect dust. It took about a year and a half for those records to be sold.
Keep in mind this isn't just the highest selling metal record of all time, it's the highest selling record in all of music. The previous record-holder was Shania Twain's 1997 album Come On Over, with a little over 15.5 million sold.
We still haven't been able to verify who exactly is still buying the Black Album, but congratulations to Metallica for this huge accomplishment.