NEW YORK (AFP) - Pop icon Prince is expected to re-enter the US album chart at number one after his shock death at age 57, Billboard said Friday (April 22).
The music journal, which publishes the benchmark US chart, said that hits collection "The Very Best of Prince" was on course to top the sales chart that will be published Sunday (April 24).
Prince died at his Minnesota compound on Thursday (April 21), the last day under consideration for the weekly chart, indicating a surge of sales within hours of his passing.
It would be the fifth number-one album for Prince whose classic 1984 work "Purple Rain" spent a near-record 24 weeks on top of the chart.
"The Very Best of Prince" was propelled to the top of the latest chart, rather than "Purple Rain" or other albums, because the 2001 compilation includes many of the singer's hits such as "Let's Go Crazy," "Little Red Corvette," "Raspberry Beret" and "Kiss."
The chart factors in purchases of individual tracks as well as streaming. But Prince, who had a complicated relationship with the Internet, only streamed his music on one site, rap mogul Jay-Z's Tidal.
The past week included releases by critically acclaimed artists PJ Harvey and Sturgill Simpson, but not any albums by mega-selling artists.
Artists often see vastly higher sales after their deaths, with British legend David Bowie scoring his first US number one with "Blackstar" after his death in January.