Prince album sales skyrocket after death

Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood on Feb. 18, 1985.
(Liu Heung Shing / AP)

After Prince’s death Thursday, it was all but assured that we’d be listening to the singer’s vast catalog all weekend. Initial sales figures prove that Prince’s influence still reigns -- sales spiked a reported 42,000%, according to Nielsen Music.

A sales spike is not surprising news - Prince’s death touched millions, and he was also a famous holdout from most streaming services, so fans needed to buy albums if they didn’t have them already. But the magnitude of sales is still impressive, and will almost certainly land him a high position on the next Billboard 200 album charts.

“The Very Best of Prince,” a compilation of hits, sold 250,000 albums over the last three days, for a bump of 71,000% over the prior three days. “Purple Rain” did big figures as well -- 133,000 sales over the same time period.


Singles-wise, 2.3 million tracks were sold over the three-day weekend, a boost of 33,500% over the prior three days. “Purple Rain” topped out with 287,000 sales. “When Doves Cry,” “Little Red Corvette” and “Let’s Go Crazy” were the next biggest movers.

The tributes, memorials and thoughtful remembrances of Prince will continue for weeks. But now a whole lot more people have Prince songs in their libraries, and that’s one small silver lining in all the sadness.

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