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'Legend,' Bob Marley's Best-of Album, Lands on a Milestone

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Bob Marley's Legend has sold more than 10 million copies since 1991, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Released in 1984, Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers didn't stir it up on the charts. It entered Billboard at No. 168 and peaked at No. 54.

But the reggae icon's posthumous collection has lived up to its name by becoming only the 17th album to exceed sales of 10 million copies since Nielsen SoundScan began tabulating in 1991.

It's quite a feat for an artist who never had a top 40 single and didn't win a Grammy in his lifetime.

“It's a quiet blockbuster that has been fan-generated as opposed to pushed by hype or a big campaign," says Paul Grein, who writes the Chart Watch blog for Yahoo.com. “The most remarkable aspect is that it has sold more albums in the SoundScan era than any other album from the '60s, '70s or '80s, more than any other Beatles album except (the hits collection 1). Lots of people would think of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, Billy Joel's The Stranger or Michael Jackson's Thriller before Legend."

Selling 250,000 copies most years (and 211,000 so far this year), Legend has topped the catalog chart 110 times, twice as often as any other title. Its tally of 10,033,000 does not include a 2002 deluxe reissue or pre-SoundScan sales.

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