The unexpected death of Prince sparked a huge surge in sales of his catalog as three of his albums landed in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200.
The Very Best of Prince sold 179,000 total copies just hours after Prince’s death; of that total, 100,000 were traditional album sales, while the rest came from bulk purchases of some of Prince’s singles. The Very Best of Prince‘s marks as Prince’s first chart-topper since his 3121 album hit the top spot in 2006.
His soundtrack to the 1984 cult classic, “Purple Rain,” ended the week at Number Two and 69,000 copies. Billboard reports, Prince is the first artist since Nelly’s Sweat and Suit in 2004 to simultaneously capture Number One and Number Two on the Billboard 200 in the same week. Prince’s The Hits/The B-Sides rounds out his albums on the charts at Number Six.
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Prince’s death came just a half-day before the Billboard 200’s weekly sales cutoff, so all of the sales of The Very Best of Prince, Purple Rain and The Hits/The B-Sides from roughly 12 hours following his death. The exact number of Prince albums sold following his death is expected to be much larger, meaning next week he’ll fight for the number one spot against Beyoncé who just released Lemonade.
Prince’s sales were also boosted in large part by the artist’s decade-long, ever-vigilante attempts to keep his music off both streaming services and YouTube; his music can only be streamed on TIDAL and some music is avaliable to buy via iTunes.