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“Very Best Of Prince” Wins US Album Sales Race, Leads BB200; “Purple Rain” Takes #2

Update: Billboard confirms that the late Prince’s “The Very Best Of Prince” is #1 on the weekly Top Album Sales and Billboard 200 charts.
According to Billboard, it leads the former with 100,000 pure US album sales and the latter with 179,000 consumption units (pure sales + track sales/10 + TIDAL streams/1500).

The overwhelming majority of each total was generated in the final half-day of the tracking week. News of Prince’s death broke at around 1PM ET/10AM PT on April 21, and it was at that moment that music fans began purchasing items from his discography en masse.

“The Very Best of Prince” is not Prince’s only notable representative on Top Album Sales and the Billboard 200. His “Purple Rain” takes #2 on both charts with 63,000 in sales and 69,000 in credited consumption units (track sales for the key “Purple Rain” songs generally counted toward the aforementioned “Very Best Of” album).

Prince also lands another top Top 10 album this week: his “The Hits/The B-Sides” claims the #7 spot on Top Album Sales and #6 spot on the BB200.

Sturgill Simpson’s “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth,” which was poised to top both charts prior to Prince’s death, ends up debuting at #3 on both listings.

Rihanna’s “ANTI” (#4) and Santana’s “Santana IV” (#5) complete the Top 5 of the Billboard 200.
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Through Thursday, it appeared that Sturgill Simpson’s “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth” would comfortably win the US album sales race with about ~40-45,000 copies. Simpson’s album and Rihanna’s “ANTI” were in a battle for #1 on the Billboard 200 consumption chart with ~43-48,000 in total weekly units.

The landscape changed following Prince’s passing. According to Hits Daily Double, the iconic musician’s “The Very Best Of Prince” compilation will easily claim #1 on Top Album Sales and the Billboard 200.

Data is still being tabulated, but Hits says Prince’s compilation sold approximately 85-100,000 US copies during the April 15-21 tracking week. The overwhelming majority of those sales came Thursday afternoon and evening after the world learned of Prince’s death.

Prince’s music is not widely available for streaming, but the album should — depending on how Billboard assigns the tracks — also receive Track Equivalent Albums units (track sales/10) for “Best Of” songs that were sold within the official tracking week. When added to the pure sales figure, the TEA units will give Prince’s compilation a huge lead on the Billboard 200.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]headlineplanet.com.

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