As the late Prince re-enters the top 10 of the Billboard 200 albums chart with three albums — including at Nos. 1 and 2 with The Very Best of Prince and the Purple Rain soundtrack, respectively — both Sturgill Simpson and Santana collect new top 10 efforts with their latest releases.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new May 7-dated chart (where The Very Best of Prince is No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, April 26.
Following Prince’s death on April 21, his The Very Best of Prince and Purple Rain soundtrack return to the chart at Nos. 1 and 2, earning 179,000 equivalent album units (up 10,872 percent) and 69,000 units (up 2,540 percent), respectively, in the week ending April 21, according to Nielsen Music. The Very Best of Prince sold 100,000 in traditional album sales (up 11,232 percent), while Purple Rain sold 63,000 copies (up 3,101 percent).
Another Prince album, the best-of collection The Hits/The B-Sides, re-enters the chart at No. 6 (a new peak) with 41,000 units (up 8,203 percent). The set sold 24,000 in pure album sales (up 10,351 percent).
At No. 3 on the new Billboard 200, the highest debut of the week is from singer/songwriter Sturgill Simpson, as his new Sailor’s Guide to Earth enters with 55,000 units (52,000 in pure album sales). It’s the first top 40-charting album for the singer-songwriter, who previously went as high as No. 59 the week his last album, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, debuted (May 31, 2014).
Metamodern went on to sell 195,000 copies in the U.S. and garnered a Grammy Award nomination for best Americana album. His first album, High Top Mountain, was released in 2013 and reached No. 11 on the Heatseekers Albums chart the following year (it missed the Billboard 200).
Rihanna’s former No. 1, Anti, climbs one rung to No. 4 with 48,000 units (up 10 percent).
Rock band Santana scores its 14th top 10 album with the bow of Santana IV at No. 5 (42,000 units; 40,000 in pure album sales). The new album is the first to feature the group’s early 1970s lineup since the 1971 release Santana III. The latter set spent five weeks at No. 1.
Chris Stapleton’s Traveller dips 3-7 with 37,000 units (down 22 percent) while Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo falls 4-8 (a little more than 37,000 units; down 21 percent). Notably, West’s album sold a negligible number of copies last week: Its sales fell 94 percent — from a little over 1,000 to almost nothing. And, with none of its songs available to purchase a la carte, the album is charting almost entirely from streaming equivalent units. The album is only available to purchase from Tidal and West’s official website.