Back in April 2016, the world lost of the most enduring, iconic musicians of all time, but at least new chart data is now showing that Prince fans both new and old are appreciating the great purple legacy as much as ever. According to the Billboard charts, it’s now official: Prince sold more records than any other act in all of 2016.
Since Prince’s passing on over one year ago, he’s sold over 7.7 million combined album and singles, with, as you might expect, a comparatively small 2.3 million of those representing physical, non-digital album sales. That officially edges out the other top-selling act of 2016, Adele, who sold 2.21 million over the course of 2016.
The Very Best of Prince collection accounted for 668k of Prince’s 2016 sales, with 100k of that being sold in the half-day immediately following the news of his death. Following that, the next highest-seller was of course Purple Rain, with 498k copies moved.
It’s worth noting that Prince “only” sold 280k albums throughout the whole of 2015, this lower number likely exacerbated by the fact that at the time, his catalogue was only available to stream through one of the major streaming players. Back in 2015, Tidal had exclusive rights to the extensive purple library, and the service’s comparatively smaller subscriber base as compared to Spotify and Apple Music’s undoubtedly limited Prince’s modern exposure to a new audience in the time prior to his passing. That state of affairs is no longer the case, and now Prince’s material is available no matter what your streamer of choice is, and that’s a good thing for the two types of people in the world: Prince fans, and people who haven’t heard him.