Prince soars to No. 1 on US chart after death

Prince soared to No. 1 on the United States chart on April 24, with three of his albums entering the top 10.
Prince soared to No. 1 on the United States chart on April 24, with three of his albums entering the top 10. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP)- Prince soared on Sunday (April 24) to No. 1 one on the United States chart after his sudden death, with three of his albums entering the top 10.

The pop icon died suddenly at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota last Thursday, the last day under consideration for the weekly chart, indicating a massive interest in his work in the hours after the news broke.

The Very Best Of Prince, a greatest hits collection released in 2001, topped the weekly chart and his classic 1984 album Purple Rain came in at No. 2 of the Billboard chart, tracking service Nielsen Music said.

A three-disc collection from 1993, The Hits/The B-Sides, re-entered the latest chart at No. 6.

The strength of the compilations indicates the renewed popularity of Prince's hits such as Let's Go Crazy, When Doves Cry, 1999, Raspberry Beret and Kiss.

In one factor that likely increased outright sales, fans looking for Prince's music were unlikely to find it through streaming, which is factored into the chart through its own formula.

Prince, whose relationship with the Internet swung between love and hate, only streamed his music on Jay-Z's Tidal service, through which he released his last two albums.

A champion of artists' rights against labels, he aggressively took down unauthorised versions of his music from the Internet, including YouTube.

It is rare for artists to assume both the first and second places on the benchmark US chart, with the feat last achieved by rapper Nelly when he simultaneously released the Sweat and Suit albums in 2004. Prince released 39 studio albums during his life, selling more than 100 million records.

The top new album on the chart was country singer Sturgill Simpson's Sailor's Guide To Earth, which debuted at No. 3. Simpson has enjoyed an unusual amount of crossover praise as a country artist for his philosophical lyricism, which has included examinations of Tibetan Buddhism.