The album, which sits in an engraved silver box, complete with fancy leather-bound liner notes, and randomly features Cher, was won by an American buyer for an undisclosed amount in the "millions" range, according to Forbes.
“The Wu-Tang Clan have always been driven by innovation, and this marks another moment in musical history,” Wu-Tang co-founder RZA says in a statement given to Forbes regarding the album's sale. “From the beginning, we hoped that this concept would inspire debate and new ways of seeing creativity. Both of those goals have been achieved, and the ideas continue to evolve.”
RZA made sure to point out later in that same statement that the group would donate a significant portion of the proceeds to charity.
The back story of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is pretty involved and, dare I say, crazy. According to lore (and the internet) a double-LP prototype of the album was made in 2014 and housed in a vault at the Royal Mansour Hotel in Marrakech, Morocco. Prior to the album's recent sale, a contract was drawn up laying down terms to forbid "commercial exploitation" of the album until 2103, although "it can be released for free or played during listening parties."
The Guinness Book of Records has certified the album as being the most valuable album in existence, even more so than the previous most expensive records which included releases by Elvis Presley and The Quarrymen (aka The Beatles.) Dang, and here I though my Phil Spector Christmas album was worth a lot.