By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES, April 25 – The music of Prince soared to the top of the weekly U.S. Billboard 200 album chart on Monday after the singer’s sudden death last week, as mourning fans rushed to remember the artist’s legacy through his music.
Nielsen Music said Monday it had tracked 2.3 million song sales and more than 579,000 albums sales from Prince’s catalog in the three days following the news of his unexpected death at age 57 at his Minnesota estate last Thursday.
Album sales were led by “The Very Best of Prince,” a 2001 compilation of the R&B artist’s hits including “Purple Rain” and “Kiss,” which sold more than 250,000 copies in the three days.
The compilation topped the Billboard 200 album chart, which measures music sales on a Friday through Thursday week, with 179,000 units from album and song sales and limited streaming, according to figures from Nielsen.
Prince’s 1984 album “Purple Rain” came in at No. 2 with 69,000 units sold, and the singer’s 1993 box-set “The Hits/The B-Sides” reached No. 6 with 41,000 units sold.
Prince had been tenacious in limiting use of his material on YouTube and digital music streaming platforms such as Spotify and Rhapsody. The singer did make his entire catalog available on the artist-owned, premium subscription streaming service Tidal, launched by rapper Jay Z.
On the Digital Songs chart, “Purple Rain” led five Prince songs in the top 10, which measures online song download sales.