Purple Reign: Prince Breaks Billboard Charts Record
Prince continues to dominate the music industry even in his absence. The late-great musician set a Billboard 200 album chart record by having 19 albums on the charts in a single week. Forbes reports that The Purple One practically dominates 10 percent of the entire chart. Unbelievable.
Prince breaks Billboard sales records
Prince’s death sent fans flocking to buy his music – and set some new standards on the charts at Billboard, the music industry bible.
For the first full sales week following Prince’s death on April 21, five of his albums were in Billboard’s top 10, at numbers two, three, four, six and seven. Only Beyoncé’s Lemonade kept him from the top.
Billboard said no artist has had that many albums in the top 10.
Prince had 19 discs in Billboard’s top 200, beating a record of 14 previously set by The Beatles.
Billboard said the top sellers were three hits collections, Purple Rain and 1999. The singer sold 4.4 million albums and songs the week after his death, compared with 19,000 the week before.
It comes as no surprise to us that nearly six weeks after his passing, Prince has fired up the Billboard charts and has set a new single week record for having 19 albums in the Top 200! Previously, this record was held by The Beatles, who, at one time, had 13 albums on the chart in the Top 200 in a single week.
We here at Magic turned into Purple 92.5 as Prince’s passing was announced, we have hosted viewings of Purple Rain on the big screen, so many people have been to tribute shoes and have added to their Prince music collection. There is no question the world is still in love with Prince and his prolific stream of music.
Good news is Prince’s vault held over a thousand unreleased songs, which will keep us entertained for years to come.
Prince Sets Record With Five Albums in Top 10 of Billboard 200 Chart
On the list dated May 14 — reflecting activity in the week ending April 28, the first full tracking week following Prince’s death on April 21 — the artist is found at Nos. 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 with The Very Best of Prince, Purple Rain, The Hits/The B-Sides, Ultimate and 1999, respectively. In total, Prince has a record 19 albums on the 200-position list.
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).
From April 21 through April 28, Prince’s catalog of albums and songs sold a staggering 4.41 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music. (In the tracking week before his death, Prince’s music sold comparably little: just 5,000 albums and 14,000 song downloads in the week ending April 15.)
Album by Album: The Very Best of Prince greatest-hits collection is pushed down one spot on the May 14 Billboard 200 chart to No. 2 with 391,000 units (though it gains by 118 percent) and 216,000 copies sold (up 116 percent). (Why was the set pushed down despite its huge gain? Beyonce’s Lemonade album debuted at No. 1.)
The Purple Rain soundtrack is also forced backward but with a gain, as it moves 2-3 with 150,000 units (up 117 percent) and 133,000 copies sold (up 113 percent).
Two more of Prince’s greatest-hits albums rank in the top 10: The Hits/The B-Sides hits a new peak, as it climbs 6-4 with 106,000 units (up 159 percent) and 56,000 in sales (up 134 percent), while Ultimate also zooms to a new peak, 61-6, with 40,000 units (up 319 percent) and 37,000 in sales (up 317 percent).
With Ultimate’s rise into the top 10 for the first time, it marks Prince’s 19th top 10 album.
One more Prince album features in the latest top 10: his fifth studio effort, 1999. It climbs 31-7 — a new chart high — with 36,000 units (up 154 percent) and 33,000 in sales (up 149 percent). 1999 previously peaked at No. 9 in 1983.
Prince is the first act to concurrently chart five albums in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 since 1963, when the chart merged its previously separate mono and stereo albums charts into one overall list.
An important note on the above chart feat: Presently, the Billboard 200 ranks the week’s most popular albums in the U.S. — regardless of their age. (All five of Prince’s albums in the top 10 are regarded as catalog, a term used to define those albums generally 18 months old.) The Billboard 200 has charted both new and catalog albums since the Dec. 5, 2009-dated tally, when the chart’s rules were revised to allow catalog titles onto the list. Previously, only new and recently released albums (referred to as current titles) could chart.
On the now-defunct Top Comprehensive Albums chart (which ranked both new and old albums), Jackson posthumously claimed six out of the top 10 in two weeks after his death in 2009 (on the July 25 and Aug. 1, 2009-dated charts). Later that year, after The Beatles remastered and reissued its studio albums on CD, the band earned five of the top 10 (Sept. 26, 2009).
More Prince Chart Action: Over on the Top Album Sales chart — which ranks the top-selling albums of the week based purely on traditional album sales — Prince also has five titles in the top 10. He’s at Nos. 2-6 with The Very Best of Prince, Purple Rain, The Hits/The B-Sides, Ultimate and 1999, respectively. That’s the first time five out of the six top-selling albums of the week have been by one artist.
Previously, Jackson claimed six out of the top 10 (twice) in a pair of weeks following his death in 2009. Later that same year, The Beatles notched five out of the top 10 after their catalog was remastered and reissued on CD.
Prince Has Entire Top 10 on Catalog Albums Chart: Prince’s albums also make a historic showing on the latest Top Catalog Albums chart: He owns the entire top 10 (a first) and a record 20 titles on the 50-position list. (Previously, The Beatles held the record for the most simultaneous titles on the chart, with 16 in four weeks back in 2009.)
The nearly 25-year-old Top Catalog Albums chart is also a sales-based list, like the Top Album Sales chart, but the Top Catalog Albums tally is for older titles (generally those released at least 18 months ago).
Following Prince’s death last Thursday, the nation mourned. Condolences and tributes poured out of cities and social media sites, honoring the Purple One. The Internet swelled with thought-pieces and reflections.
But at the heart of Prince was the music. Tellingly, his record sales have skyrocketed by 40,000 percent, the Los Angeles Times reported.
At a 70,000 percent rise in sales, hits compilation “The Very Best of Prince” experienced the largest jump. A quarter million copies were sold. “Purple Rain,” arguably Prince’s most well-known record, sold 133,000 copies.
During the weekend, 2.3 million of his tracks were sold as singles, a 33,500 percent increase. Naturally, sales of “Purple Rain” were highest: 287,000 copies.
It’s a commonly occurring paradox: an artist’s record sales see incredible spikes just when he or she is no longer here to enjoy the rewards. In Prince’s case, it’s unclear at this point who will inherit his estate. The Associated Press reported that though he owned about $27 million in property in and around Paisley Park — to say nothing of proceeds from his record sales or the value of his vault of never released recordings — it remains unclear if he had a will.
He wasn’t married, nor did he have any known children. If he doesn’t have a will, his estate will likely be shared by his sister Tyka Nelson and his five half-siblings. And it’s likely that estate will continue to grow.
The estates of famous musicians often become extremely profitable after they die.
“Our research indicates death-related publicity serves primarily as informational advertising that informs new customers,” said University of Warwick assistant professor of marketing Leif Brandes in a blog post on the school’s website. “However, complementary survey evidence reveals that death-related publicity also triggers considerable nostalgic reactions and personal mortality salience – a feeling of their own mortality – from existing record-owners.”
This, he said, generally leads to a more than 50 percent boost in records sales following an artist’s death.
This analysis appears to be borne out by the recent passing of famous recording artists.
“They aren’t just buying ‘Thriller’ but a broad range of titles from throughout Michael’s career,” Gary Arnold, then senior entertainment officer for Best Buy, told the Los Angeles Times in 2009. “Realistically we expect to see people connecting at unprecedented levels through Christmas.”
In the four days after Amy Winehouse died in 2011, her record sales experienced a 37-fold increase, according to Billboard. Less than a month after Whitney Houston was found dead in a hotel bathtub in 2012, she became the first woman with three albums in the top 10 of Billboard 200’s chart, Billboard reported.
Some artists continue to have lengthy careers long after death takes them. So much so that Forbes long had an annual “Top-Earning Dead Musicians” list (which appears to have morphed into a “Top-Earning Dead Celebrities” list last year).
According to Forbes, Bob Marley has sold more than 75 million records since his death in 1981. In fact, his 2015 earnings — these include record sales, licensing deals and other items — of $20 million were up by $2 million from the preceding year. John Lennon’s sales hit $12 million in 2015. He was killed in 1980.
For some high-profile artists, death can prove extremely profitable.
“It’s massive business,” Kelvyn Gardner, UK managing director of the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, told The Guardian in 2014. “In the US there are whole agencies that have grown up to represent deceased celebrities, and they’ve made substantial business doing it. In some cases their whole portfolio of rights consist of dead people and dead brands.”
Prince’s posthumous career, in particular, could be one of the most profitable.
Mark Roesler, chief executive of CMG Worldwide, which controls licensing for the estates of late stars, including Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, predicts Prince’s posthumous career will be similar to Elvis Presley’s, who has repeatedly held one of the top slots the Forbes’s annual list. In 2015, his estate earned $55 million.
“He was as big as they get,” Roesler told the Associated Press. “Will there be a business built up around Prince 60 years from now like James Dean? The answer is unequivocally yes.”
Though record companies normally see a financial reward after an artist’s death, that might not be the case this time. Before dying, Prince had recently taken full control of his music rights, including copyrights for songwriting, the New York Times reported. That’s one reason why his music doesn’t appear on many popular streaming services, such as Spotify.
L. Londell McMillan, lawyer and former manager of Prince who was also Michael Jackson’s lawyer, declined to comment on whether Prince had a will, telling the Associated Press, “I want to make sure his legacy is respected and protected no matter what role I play.”
Billborad Charts at May 31, 2016 – 1:17 pm
Here is a list of each of the albums on the chart as well as their ranking. We’re glad to see Prince’s fans are still coming out in droves to purchase his music and experience the magic he brought.
#2 – The Very Best Of Prince
#3 – Purple Rain Soundtrack (credited to Prince And The Revolution)
#4 – The Hits/The B-Sides
#6 – Ultimate#7 – 1999
#20 – Sign ‘O’ The Times
#48 – HITNRUN Phase One
#50 – Parade: Music From The Motion Picture Under The Cherry Moon
#51 – Around The World In A Day (credited to Prince And The Revolution)
#52 – Prince
#55 – Controversy
#56 – Dirty Mind
#61 – Batman Soundtrack
#80 – Diamonds And Pearls (credited to Prince And The New Power Generation)
#81 – ART OFFICIAL AGE
#111 – Love Symbol Album (credited to Prince And The New Power Generation)
#116 – HITNRUN Phase Two
#138 – For You
#192 – PLECTRUMELECTRUM (credited to Prince & 3RDEYEGURL)
Hot 100 Chart Moves: Prince & Beyonce’s Record-Breaking Week
Prince No. 1 on Billboard Artist 100 Chart, Beyonce Blasts to No. 2
The late legend is again the top musical act in the U.S. following his passing April 21.
The Artist 100 measures artist activity across Billboard’s most influential charts, including the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, Top Album Sales and the Social 50. The Artist 100 blends data measuring album and track sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media fan interaction to provide a weekly multi-dimensional ranking of artist popularity.
Prince crowns the Artist 100 for a second week as album sales (55 percent) and digital song sales (43 percent) combine for the bulk of his chart points. As previously reported, a record five of his sets rank in the top 10 on both the Billboard 200 and Top Album Sales charts. Meanwhile, seven of his classic songs infuse the top 10 on Digital Songs, led by „Purple Rain“ at No. 1, as the song also soars back to the Hot 100’s top 10 (17-4).
Below Prince, Beyonce rockets to a new Artist 100 high (57-2), with album sales her greatest points contributor (60 percent), as her new LP Lemonade stirs up a No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 and Top Album Sales (485,000 in pure sales, according to Nielsen Music). She had previously peaked as high as No. 6 on the Artist 100 dated Dec. 13, 2014, the same week that her previous entry, her Beyonce: More Only EP, opened at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 and No. 17 on Top Album Sales.
Check out the entire Artist 100 here.