For the past week, the music industry has been taken over by Prince’s music, as his albums and top songs have re-entered the music scene at the top of the charts.
Prince Rogers Nelson died April 21, 2016. Since his death people have bought nearly 3.5 million songs and albums, according to billboard.com.
Prince was found dead in his music studio. The cause of death has been attributed to influenza. He was 57 years old.
Prince had a prominent musical career. Since 1991, he’s had seven albums go platinum , with his overall sales summing to about 39.5 million units certified, which is the 36 best total of all time, according to the Records Association of America (RIIA).
Though his career was very successful, the Billboards seem to show that his death has caused his sales to skyrocket. Five of his albums have locked up the top five spots on the music charts for album sales and another five of his albums are on the Official Albums Chart Top 40, according to billboard.com.
Many of his singles have also re-entered the charts, including his well known song “Purple Rain,” which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Singles Chart, even though it only reached No. 8 in its initial release, according to billboard.com.
Artists such as Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston experienced similar spikes of fame following their deaths in 2009.
“In the full week after he died, the King of Pop moved 422,000 albums and 2.8 million song downloads,” according to Time magazine.
This number is significantly lower than the sales of Prince’s songs following his death. Michael Jackson has sold more music in the last seven years dead than he did during his entire career.
Joseph Allison, a freshman studying electrical engineering, said that he viewed this spike in Prince’s and other musicians’ music sales as a sort of memoir, a tribute to the artist so many people loved.
“It’s like a funeral,” Allison said. “When somebody dies, everyone gets together and remembers all the good times they shared with that person. Buying his music is a way for people to remember him and show their appreciation for the life he lived.”