The late Donna Summer impacts Billboard’s music charts this week, following her death from cancer on May 17.
As Nielsen SoundScan’s sales tracking week ended on May 20, Billboard’s new sales charts reflect only four days since Summer’s passing. (SoundScan provides data to Billboard for its music chart rankings.)
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On the Billboard 200 albums chart, Summer hits the tally with four albums. She re-enters the list with her former No. 1, “On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II” at No. 73. It sold 6,000 copies last week — a gain of 10,761% over the previous seven days.
She also debuts on the list with “Endless Summer: Donna Summer’s Greatest Hits” (No. 90 with 5,000; up 43,045%), re-enters with “The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer” (No. 95 with 5,000; up 3,819%) and bows “Greatest Hits” (No. 194 with 2,000; up 3,842%).
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Summer’s catalog of albums sold 26,000 last week — up 3,277% from 1,000 the week previous.
In terms of digital songs, the diva sold 187,000 downloads last week — up from 4,000 the week previous (a gain of 4,115%). Summer sold more than twice as many songs last week than she had in all of 2012 up until her death (97,000).
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Her biggest selling song last week was “Last Dance,” which debuts on the Hot Digital Songs chart at No. 45 with 38,000 (up 4,029%). Her second-biggest tune last week was “On the Radio,” with 19,000 sold (up 5,017%).
Summer wasn’t the only pop star the music world lost last week, as the Bee Gees’ Robin Gibb died on Sunday, May 20. However, the bulk of whatever sales impact we see from his passing won’t register until next week’s charts. News outlets began reporting his death in the late afternoon of Sunday, May 20, leaving only a few hours left in our sales tracking week.
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