I first became aware of massive as a Britishism about ten years ago, when I interviewed the English tennis player Tim Henman and he used the word roughly every third sentence. The Britishism, I should point out, is not the adjective in the traditional meaning of very big but its use, in the OED’s words, “in weakened senses: far-reaching, very intense, highly influential.” The OED cites the periodical “Sound” in 1984: “Personally, I’m convinced the Immaculate Fools are going to be massive.” Massive Attack (I quote from Wikipedia because I am not conversant with the terminology and because of plural verb for a collective noun makes me weak in the knees) “are an English DJ and trip hop duo” that began operations in 1988.
Weakened-massive got on my radar as an NOOB when I read an October 2, 2011, article by David Hiltbrand in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Hiltbrand was interviewing the British actor Damian Lewis, who said of a character he played, “Brody is treated as a war hero but he’s carrying a massive secret.” Then, just two paragraphs later, Hiltbrand himself picks up the word, referring to a “massive cattle call for [the miniseries] Band of Brothers.”
Here’s a relatively early American use: The series [“Survivor: All Stars”] made its debut immediately after the game, and minutes after the first contestant was bounced from paradise, an anonymous gremlin posted a massive ”spoiler” on the entertainment Web site Ain’t It Cool News — a detailed list of upcoming plot twists. (Emily Nussbaum, New York Times, May 9, 2004)