According to a report from Billboard, Prince was the biggest-selling artist in the US in 2016. In the year after his death on April 21, the iconic musician’s catalog of albums and songs have sold a combined 7.7 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music, through the week ending April 13.
The bulk of his album and songs sales occurred in the month after his untimely passing: 5.65 million were registered between April 21 and May 19, 2016. Prince was the only artist to sell more than one million digital and physical albums in 2016; and sold a total of 5.4 million digital songs, putting him ahead of Drake and Adele (Adele sold 2.21 million albums last year.).
Because much of Prince’s music wasn’t available on streaming platforms, those that wanted to hear a piece of his legacy as they mourned his passing were forced to head to online stores like iTunes and Amazon to snap up copies of his biggest and most popular titles. In the weeks that followed, brick-and-mortar stores were eventually able to keep up with the demand for physical copies of his many albums, and his catalog shifted even more units.
When his music finally became available on Spotify, Apple, Amazon and Google Play this February, it was streamed 17 million times in one week – with Purple Rain alone racking up 1 million plays.