This Day in 2016: Purple Reigns on the Billboard Charts
Two years ago today, the combination of Prince’s death and his fans’ inability to stream his music online caused an explosion of sales which resulted in His Royal Badness having eight – count ‘em – eight albums sitting in the Billboard 200.
According to a CNN report released on April 26, 2016, “239,000 of [Prince’s] albums were bought by grieving fans, according to Nielsen Music. During the weekend, another 399,000 albums were sold. Those weekend sales were up more than 16,000% from the previous weekend, when about 2,500 albums were sold. Prince’s fans have also bought over 2.8 million songs from Prince’s catalog since his death, the top songs purchased being ‘Purple Rain,’ ‘When Doves Cry,’ and ‘Little Red Corvette.’”
At the top of the Billboard 200: THE VERY BEST OF PRINCE, which in and of itself sold 100,000 copies and clocked 292,000 streams, followed by PURPLE RAIN at #2 with 63,000 copies and 71,000 streams. Meanwhile, THE HITS: THE B-SIDES was at #6, and…
Oh, heck, let’s just offer up the rest of them in list form:
#31 – 1999
#61 – ULTIMATE
#95 – SIGN ‘O’ THE TIMES
#147 – HITNRUN: PHASE ONE
#160 – PRINCE
As Billboard noted in their own article on the matter, it was a groundbreaking record in a lot of ways, starting with the fact that THE VERY BEST OF PRINCE became Prince’s 5th #1 album (and his first since 2006’s 3121). In addition, it was the first greatest-hits album to top the chart since The Notorious B.I.G.’s GREATEST HITS in 2007, and Prince was the first artist to have both the #1 and #2 spot on the chart since Nelly did it in 2004 with SUIT and SWEAT. This week also upped Prince’s grand total of top-10 album to 18, and – by complete coincidence – by returning to the chart, PURPLE RAIN officially hit 100 total weeks on the Billboard 200.
No, people still couldn’t believe Prince was gone. Heck, we still can’t believe it now! But the charts confirmed that Prince surely wasn’t forgotten.