Prince’s untimely passing sent his music straight to the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart this week.
The Very Best of Prince and the Purple Rain soundtrack both re-enter the chart in the wake of his death.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new May 7-dated chart (where The Very Best of Prince is No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, April 26.
The Very Best of Prince marks the Purple One’s fifth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, and first since 3121 debuted atop the list on April 8, 2006, spending one week at No. 1.
The Very Best of Prince earned 179,000 equivalent album units in the week ending April 21 (up 10,872 percent compared to the previous week). Of that sum, 100,000 were in traditional album sales (up 11,232 percent). As for Purple Rain, it shifted 69,000 units (63,000 in pure album sales; up 3,101 percent).
Prince died on April 21, the final day of the latest tracking week for the new chart, meaning that fans rushed to purchase his music in the roughly half-day left in the tracking week (after the news broke around 10 a.m. PT), enough to send him to Nos. 1 and 2. We will see continued impact from the icon’s passing on the following week’s chart, dated May 14 (reflecting activity in the week ending April 28).
Another Prince set hits the top 10, as his triple album The Hits/The B-Sides re-enters at No. 6 with 41,000 units (up 8,203 percent), with 24,000 of that sum in album sales (up 10,351 percent). The album originally debuted and peaked at No. 19 on Oct. 2, 1993.
The three titles are also the Nos. 1, 2 and 7 selling albums of the week, as reflected on the Top Album Sales chart (which tallies the week’s best selling albums).
Incredibly, in the week ending April 21, Prince’s overall catalog of albums sold 256,000 copies — an increase of 5,298 percent compared to the previous week (5,000).