In the year after Prince’s death on April 21, 2016, the Purple One’s catalog of albums and songs have sold a combined 7.7 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music, through the week ending April 13. Of that sum, 2.3 million were in traditional album sales, and 5.4 million were from digital song downloads.
The bulk of his album and songs sales occurred in the month after his death: 5.65 million were registered between April 21 and May 19, 2016.
Incredibly, for the full year of 2016, Prince sold more albums than any other artist — even Adele — with 2.23 million copies sold. (Adele sold 2.21 million albums last year.)
The Purple One’s Warner Music catalog, including the albums “Purple Rain,” “1999” and “Sign O’ the Times,” will be available Feb. 12 on subscription-streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Napster and iHeartRadio …
As expected, the Universal Music Group has announced a multi-year agreement with Prince’s estate and NPG Records, granting the major label group exclusive licensing rights to much of the late artist’s catalog of released and unreleased works. Much of the material dates from the latter part of Prince’s career, after he parted ways with Warner Bros. Records in 1996.
A likely scenario would see a TV commercial air during the Grammy broadcast following the tribute, which would announce that certain songs are immediately available on Spotify, Apple Music and possibly other services. The source tells Billboard that publishers, performing rights organizations and at least one label have been alerted to an impending deal.
He was a legend, a virtuoso, one of the true gods of music. But he was also (at times, anyway) a person in the world like anyone else. He liked to send goofy Internet memes to his friends. He made really good scrambled eggs. He rode his bike a lot, went to the hardware store, called old friends late at night. Chris Heath spoke with band members, fellow artists, and Paisley Park veterans about the life and times of Prince Rogers Nelson—the real Prince, the man so few people got to know before he was gone.
Beyonce’s Lemonade album charges in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, giving the superstar her sixth chart-topper. The set earned 653,000 equivalent album units in the week ending April 28, according to Nielsen Music. Pure album sales comprised 485,000 of that sum.
The seven-time Grammy Award winner reportedly left behind a vault containing so much music his estate could put out an album a year for the next century. “We could put out more work in a month than most people could do in a year or more,” Susan Rogers, Prince’s former recording engineer, told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
The law says that “investigative data collected or created by a law enforcement agency in order to prepare a case against a person, whether known or unknown, for the commission of a crime or other offense for which the agency has primary investigative responsibility are confidential or protected nonpublic while the investigation is active.”
The exception citation doesn’t mean that criminal charges will be filed at the completion of the Sheriff’s Office inquiry, only that charges are a possibility.
Prince’s albums The Very Best of Prince and Purple Rain are the top two albums on the Billboard 200 this week.
The Very Best of Prince earned 179,000 equivalent album units in the week ending April 21 (up 10,872 percent compared to the previous week). Of that sum, 100,000 were in traditional album sales (up 11,232 percent). As for Purple Rain, it shifted 69,000 units (63,000 in pure album sales; up 3,101 percent).
Prince died on April 21, the final day of the latest tracking week for the new chart, meaning that fans rushed to purchase his music in the roughly half-day left in the tracking week (after the news broke around 10 a.m. PT), enough to send him to Nos. 1 and 2. We will see continued impact from the icon’s passing on the following week’s chart, dated May 14 (reflecting activity in the week ending April 28).
With the news of Prince’s passing yesterday there’s been an outpouring of sadness and love. From tributes to live performances to the sharing of favorite songs, late night appearances, live videos, and memories — it’s been a purple drenched world. My first exposure to Prince came when I saw the Batman logo on a cassette tape at the local store, and needed it, badly. I was six or seven and obsessed with everything Batman. My parents told me I had to wait until the movie came out on video because they wanted to talk to me about some of the themes and violence depicted in the film (and pause it if I got too scared). But that didn’t stop me from asking for anything, and everything, that had the Batman emblem on it. From cereal to toys to t-shirts: I wanted it all. I still remember seeing the tape and begging for it. I was a child, I don’t think I had any clue what a soundtrack even was. I just wanted this little plastic box because Batman. My mom bought it and told me she had to listen to it first, I remember her explaining to me that this artist sometimes sang about “grown up things” and she wasn’t sure if it was going to be appropriate for me. It was one of the first conversations I ever remember having with my parents about these “grown up things.” I ended up getting to listen to the album if I promised I wouldn’t repeat certain words. Of course, I loved it. It was different, fun, funky, and I could dance to it. Over the next two decades I discovered the rest of Prince’s discography. I loved the uniqueness and I loved Prince’s dedication to his vision. It’s now, in retrospect, that I see the phenomenal songwriter, the virtuoso guitar player, and the show stopping performer. Here’s to you Prince, thank you for everything you did for music.
I’ve compiled my favorite tributes, videos, and links below.