Chart Beat

John Prine's Songs Streamed More Than 20 Million Times Since His Death

John Prine
Jay Blakesberg/MediaPunch via AP

John Prine photographed at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco on Oct. 8, 2017.

The late John Prine’s music resonated strongly with fans following his death due to coronavirus complications on April 7, according to initial reports to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

In the U.S., on April 7-8, songs performed by Prine earned 20.8 million on-demand streams (audio and video) -- a surge of 1,297% as compared to 1.5 million on April 5-6.

His most-streamed song April 7-8 was “Angel From Montgomery,” with 1.1 million clicks (up 1,302% compared to the 79,000 streams it had on April 5-6).

Prine died April 7 and news of his death was announced that evening, so most of the increase in streams came April 8, after a full day of impact was tracked.

Stunningly, on April 8, Prine’s songs garnered more streams in one single day than they had in any other week previously. On April 8, he tallied 17.8 million streams for his tunes. Once the latest tracking week is tabulated (it ended April 9), he will have garnered his single largest streaming week ever.

Currently, his best streaming week came during the week he was hospitalized for complications relating to COVID-19 on March 26. In the week ending April 2, his songs gathered 8.2 million clicks. Before that, his best week came in the week ending April 19, 2018, coinciding with the release of his last album, The Tree of Forgiveness (on April 13), when he snared 2.9 million streams.

Interest in Prine’s music had been on the rise since news of his hospitalization reached the masses. On March 29, news outlets began reporting that Prine was ill, and in turn, his streams started to increase dramatically. Before his illness, his songs would generally garner less than 300,000 streams a day. From March 29 onward, they started to log more than a million a day.

In terms of sales, his numbers also saw big increases. Combined, on April 7-9, his songs and albums sold 57,000 copies -- up 1,423% compared to the 4,000 sold April 4-6.

Prine’s songs and albums will likely make a significant impact on the April 18-dated Billboard charts, reflecting the sales and streaming week ending April 9.