Amy Winehouse Death: Record Sales Skyrocket, Label Scrambles for Unreleased Tracks

 
on July 27 2011 10:14 AM

Since her untimely death on Saturday, which placed her in the so-called "27 Club," Amy Winehouse's record sales have skyrocketed, just as they did for Michael Jackson following his death in June 2009.

Winehouse sold more albums in the past reporting week, which ended on Sunday, than she did in the first six months of this year, moving 50,000 copies compared to 44,000 year to date as of July 17, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Her second album, 2006's "Back to Black," was pushed into the #9 position on the Billboard 200 albums chart this week with 37,000 copies sold. In the previous week, that same album sold a meager 1,000 copies. Of the latest sales, 36,000 were digital, MTV reported.

But purchases of her 2003 debut album, Frank, also saw a rise, charting at #57 with nearly 8,000 in sales. As with the "Back to Black" album, the majority of the sales were digital; online purchases accounted for more than 95 percent of all Winehouse sales this week.

The figures for "Back to Black" were the highest weekly tally since the week ending March 2, 2008, when it sold 38,000 units just two weeks after the British singer won five Grammy Awards.

Fans purchased a total 111,000 Winehouse digital tracks via downloads, an increase of 2,000 percent over the previous week, Nielsen SoundScan said.

As a result of the spike in sales, and the outpouring of fan attention her death has attracted, Winehouse's record company, Universal Music, is now scrambling to find as many unreleased recordings, live or in the studio, as they can.

Universal Music issued the following statement Sunday following the death of Winehouse:

"We are deeply saddened at the sudden loss of such a gifted musician, artist, performer and friend. Our prayers go out to Amy's family, friends and fans at this difficult time."

"After Michael Jackson died, his CD went to number one again, "a music insider told the Huffington Post. "And he continued to set the charts on fire with a stash of unreleased music that went on to earn his estate and company millions. The same will happen with Amy.

"The difference between Amy and Michael is that Michael was always recording and writing," the insider said. "Michael has a vault of unreleased material and was always experimenting with new sounds. Amy, on the other hand, didn't produce anywhere near the volume that he did. At the moment, all they believe they have is a few new songs and several songs that didn't make it onto her debut CD."

But this appears to have become the standard.         

In 1967, Otis Redding's "Dock of the Bay" was released. A month after John Lennon's 1980 murder, "Woman" was released. And Tupac's label has put out numerous albums since his 1996 death.

While it is unknown what Winehouse's label will release, one track is surely forthcoming. The 27-year-old recorded "Body and Soul" with Tony Bennett for his upcoming "Duets II" album at Abbey Road Studios in March.

Bennett called Winehouse "an artist of immense proportions."

Winehouse died at her London home on July 24, at age 27, so it's likely the sales figures will spike even higher for the week ending Saturday, July 31, because fans were just learning of her death on the final day of the weekly tally.

Throughout much of her career, the singer struggled with drinking and drug problems, but on Tuesday, her father said she had been exercising every day and doing yoga recently.

An autopsy has been performed, but an official cause of death has not been determined as officials await results of toxicology tests.

The U.S. sales spike mirrors results in Britain where 24 hours after Winehouse's death, "Back in Black" occupied the top spot on iTunes album download chart.

Also read: Amy Winehouse Funeral: Father Proposes Foundation to Help Addicts

 

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