*Since his passing last week, Prince fans have rushed out to buy his music, most of which isn’t available to stream online. Still, their devotion has resulted in an “amazing leap in sales and chart positions” for much of the icon’s work.
“The Very Best of Prince” has claimed the number one spot, while previous chart-topper “Purple Rain” settles for number two this time around. By controlling the number one and two positions on the Billboard 200 at the same time, Prince joins an exclusive group of musicians who have dominated the charts with more than one work. The first artist to own both spots was singer-songwriter Jim Croce back in 1974, per MSN.com.
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Croce was killed in a plane crash, and not long afterwards he was on top of the charts. His album “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” was already available, and it went to number one quickly and remained there for over a month, while the posthumous follow-up “I Got A Name” ended up peaking at number two.
The other two acts that are members of this exclusive Billboard chart dominance club are Guns N’ Roses, who released two volumes of “Use Your Illusion” at the same time in 1991, and they placed in the top two positions simultaneously.
In 2004, rapper Nelly released a pair of albums, “Sweat” and “Suit,” – both debuted high on the charts.
On the day Prince died, “239,000 of his albums were bought by grieving fans, according to Nielsen Music. During the weekend, another 399,000 albums were sold,” per CNN Music. Those weekend sales were up more than 16,000% from the previous weekend.
Since its release in 1984, “Purple Rain” has sold over thirteen million copies in the decades since.