Interest in Prince’s music exploded hours after the death of the multi-talented U.S. rock, funk and pop idol. By Thursday evening, eight out of the 10 most popular digital song downloads bought on Apple’s iTunes Store were from the Minnesota-born artist, with his signature “Purple Rain” supplanting Lukas Graham’s “7 Years” as the best-selling track, followed by “Little Red Corvette” and “1999.”
Prince’s full albums were also the most popular iTunes picks, led by two “best of” compilations, followed by “Purple Rain.” Seven of the 10 most popular albums on iTunes as of Thursday evening were from Prince.
Even Adele, the immensely popular British crooner, couldn’t withstand the onslaught of demand – her album “25,” which has hovered near or at the top of the Apple iTunes chart since its November release, was knocked from No. 5 to No. 10. Chris Stapleton, Twenty One Pilots, Lukas Graham and James Bay were wiped off the top 20 list completely as Prince’s albums took over half the slots.
The deaths of immensely popular music artists have a tendency to be windfalls for Apple, the music industry and the recipients of residuals as consumers flock to revisit or discover the works.
A similar phenomenon happened following the Jan. 10 death of David Bowie, the dynamic British rock star, whose works took up nearly half of the top 10 most popular albums sold on iTunes within hours after news of his death emerged. His last album “Blackstar,” released two days before his death, briefly knocked Adele’s “25” off the No. 1 spot.
I was so thrilled to be so close, but was I enough of a Prince fan to deserve this incredible proximity? For a $10 cover? I felt lucky.
— Sharyn Jackson (@SharynJackson) April 21, 2016
Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson, 57, died Thursday morning at his Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, Minnesota, from still-unknown causes. Prince had reportedly suffered a bought of the flu, but performed to a small audience Saturday at his estate, which features two public performance venues. He charged a $10 cover.