Atlanta Music Scene

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Prince record sales skyrocket following his death

No surprise that since Prince’s sudden death on April 21, fans have flocked to his music.

According to Nielsen Music, more than 654,000 Prince albums and 2.82 million downloads of individual songs were sold in the U.S. between April 15 and April 24.

Since Prince’s death was announced just before 1 p.m. EST on the final day of the tracking week, digital retailers benefited tremendously from the immediacy of purchasing. For the week ending April 21, his album catalog sold 256,000 copies – about 250,000 more than the previous week.

Billboard has determined that sales unfolded as such: 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.

The biggest-selling albums were “The Very Best of Prince” (259,000), “Purple Rain” (152,000) and “The Hits/The B-Sides” (64,000).

Billboard reported a few days ago that those three albums re-entered the Billboard 200 album chart at numbers 1, 2 and 6, respectively.

Downloads of Prince songs soared as well – 1.04 million were sold the week ending April 21, compared to 14,000 the week prior.

Here are the Prince songs that are returning to Billboard’s Hot 100:

Position, Title (Original Hot 100 Peak, Year)

No. 17, "Purple Rain" (No. 2, 1984)

No. 20, "When Doves Cry" (No. 1, five weeks, 1984)

No. 28, "Kiss" (No. 1, two weeks, 1986)

No. 29, "Little Red Corvette" (No. 6, 1983)

No. 39, "Let's Go Crazy" (No. 1, two weeks, 1984)

No. 41, "1999" (No. 12, 1983)

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for Atlanta Music Scene blog on