Prince’s purple reign continues. In the wake of his April 21 passing, the Purple One rules the Billboard 200 chart with the No. 1 and No. 2 albums.
Selling 179,000 equivalent album units, The Very Best of Prince tops the chart, marking Prince’s fifth stay at No. 1. It’s his first since 2006’s 3121. Meanwhile, Purple Rain comes in at No. 2 with 69,000 units, which includes 63,000 in pure album sales.
This was a major jump for both albums, of course. The Very Best of Prince jumped by 10,872 percent and Purple Rain came up by 3,101 percent. Overall, Prince’s discography, which is only available for streaming through TIDAL, saw an increase of 5,298 percent in sales after moving 256,000 units.
The Purple One didn’t just have the No. 1 and No. 2 albums this week. He also had a third project, The Hits/The B-Sides, in the top 10. That effort reached No. 6.
This is somewhat surprising because it all happened so relatively quickly. Prince died on the final day of tracking for this week, meaning his impact was made in a short span of time. His death is expected to impact next week’s chart as well.
With this chart appearance, Prince became the first act with both the No. 1 and No. 2 position in the same week in over 10 years. The previous act to reach this feat was Nelly in 2004. This is also the first greatest hits project to reach the top of the chart since 2007 when the Notorious B.I.G. had that distinction.
More milestones were reached here. For instance, Purple Rain’s rise to No. 2 helps mark its 100th week on the chart. This week, Prince also has eight albums on the Billboard 200, including 1999, Ultimate, and Sign ‘O’ the Times.
Billboard 200 Top 10
1. Prince – The Very Best of Prince – 179,000
2. Prince – Purple Rain – 69,000
3. Sturgill Simpson – Sailor’s Guide to Earth – 55,000
4. Rihanna – ANTI – 48,000
5. Santana – Santana IV – 42,000
6. Prince – The Hits/The B-Sides – 41,000
7. Chris Stapleton – Traveller – 37,000
8. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo – 37,000
9. The Lumineers – Cleopatra – 36,000
10. Justin Bieber – Purpose – 36,000