Chart Beat

Prince Has Sold Nearly 3.5 Million Albums & Songs in U.S. Since His Death

Richard E. Aaron/Redferns

Prince performing on stage during Purple Rain Tour in 1984. 

Since Prince died on April 21, fans have paid tribute to the late legend by purchasing his music in huge quantities.

According to Nielsen Music, Prince’s catalog of albums sold 654,000 copies in the U.S. between April 15 and April 24, while his individual songs sold 2.82 million downloads in that same span of time.

In the week ending April 21, his catalog of albums sold 256,000 — up from only 5,000 the week previous. One can assume most of the 256,000 sales occurred on the final day of the tracking week, after news broke that he died around 12:55 p.m. ET, as fans rushed to digital retailers to buy his music.

As for his song downloads, 1.04 million were sold in the week ending April 21 — up from only 14,000 in the week previous. Again, assume that the bulk of those million downloads were registered on the day of his death, April 21.

As for the days immediately following Prince’s passing, here’s how the sales story unfolded: On Friday, April 22, his albums sold 227,000 while his songs moved 960,000 downloads. On April 23: 113,000 albums and 521,000 songs. And on April 24: 58,000 albums and 301,000 songs.

His biggest selling albums in the April 15-24 frame were The Very Best of Prince (259,000), Purple Rain (152,000) and The Hits/The B-Sides (64,000). In terms of songs, the best sellers were “Purple Rain” (326,000), “When Doves Cry” (246,000) and “Little Red Corvette” (201,000).

As earlier reported, The Very Best of Prince, Purple Rain and The Hits/The B-Sides re-entered the Billboard 200 albums chart dated May 7 at Nos. 1, 2 and 6, respectively. “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry” and “Little Red Corvette” were the Nos. 1, 4 and 6 best selling songs of the week ending April 21.