Prince Tops the Billboard 200 Album Charts for the First Time in a Decade with #1 and #2 Albums | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Prince Tops the Billboard 200 Album Charts for the First Time in a Decade with #1 and #2 Albums

Has Eight Albums in the Top 200

Apr 26, 2016 Prince Bookmark and Share

Prince passed away at his home last Thursday and in the wake of his death his albums have shot up the Billboard 200 album charts as old fans revisit his music and new fans discover his genius for the first time. He occupies the #1 and #2 positions on the chart, with The Very Best of Prince at #1 and 1984’s classic Purple Rain at #2.

This is the first time Prince has had a #1 album since 2006’s 3121. As Stereogum and Billboard both point out, it’s also the first time a Best Of has landed at #1 since Notorious B.I.G.‘s Greatest Hits in 2007 and it’s first time since 2004 (when Nelly released two albums, Suit and Sweat) that the same artist has occupied the #1 and #2 spots. Prince also had six other albums in the Top 200: The Hits/B-Sides (#6), 1999 (#31), Ultimate (#61), Sign ‘O’ the Times (#95), HITnRun: Phase One (#147), and Prince (#160).

The Very Best of Prince shifted 179,000 equivalent units. 100,000 of those were traditional album sales and the rest is made up of sales of individual tracks and streams on Tidal. The Purple Rain soundtrack moved 69,000 units (with 63,000 in sales). This is Prince’s fifth #1 album and his other chart toppers are Purple Rain (1984 and 1985), Around the World In a Day (1985), the Batman soundtrack (1989), and 3121 (2006). By it returning to the chart, this now marks Purple Rain‘s 100th week on the Billboard 200.

Most amazingly, all of this was achieved in less than 12 hours at the end of last week’s chart period, which ends on midnight on Thursdays (Prince’s death was announced around noon on Thursday). A contributing factor might be that Prince had been vigilant in keeping his videos off of YouTube and his music off of most streaming services, so this is perhaps an interesting lesson on how streaming hurts actual sales.


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