Metallica's self-titled fifth album (commonly referred to as "The Black Album"), which was already the best-selling album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991, has become the first album to sell more than 16 million units in SoundScan's history.
In addition, Metallica continues to hold the record for the most weeks spent on the Billboard 200 chart in the Nielsen SoundScan era.
A notable portion of the 307 weeks it has spent on the Billboard 200 is its current run of 20 consecutive weeks the album has spent on the Billboard 200 this year. This is due, in large part, to the band's performance on the 56th Annual Grammy Awards on January 26.
Metallica was released August 12, 1991, and debuted at Number 1 a week after its release, making it the band's first chart-topping album. It has since been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum in 34 countries and received a Diamond certification in the U.S. in 1997 for 10 million albums sold.
It also spawned five hit singles, including "Enter Sandman," "The Unforgiven," "Nothing Else Matters," "Wherever I May Roam" and "Sad But True," all of which have earned gold, platinum or multi-platinum certification by the RIAA.