Prince’s Music Sales Are Soaring After His Death

Prince performs during the halftime show at Super Bowl XLI football game at Dolphin Stadium in Miami on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2007. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
Photograph by Kevork Djansezian — AP

Pop and rock star Prince’s digital music sales have surged as music lovers flocked to his music catalog following his unexpected death last week.

As CNBC notes, Prince is dominating the digital charts on (AMZN) and Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes store. On iTunes, the top five selling songs are currently all Prince hits, led by “Purple Rain” and “Little Red Corvette.” Over on Amazon, Prince’s albums and singles command all of the top five selling slots, again led by “Purple Rain.”

The music industry has seen this trend before. After a famous artist dies, fans quickly buy their music, resulting in a spike in sales. For example, earlier this year, David Bowie’s catalog saw a boost after the rock star’s death from cancer at 69.


For Prince, who died at 57, interest in his music in the wake of his death likely hints at just how popular (and profitable) his music will remain in the years to come. The value of his estimated $300 million estate is expected to increase over time, with his name and image expected to bring in “significant” licensing income, according to experts interviewed by the Los Angeles Times.

Streaming services are for the most part not enjoying the windfall just yet. Prince removed his music catalog from Spotify last year, a move he made because he felt that streaming services paid labels more generously than artists. While a handful of his songs remain on Spotify, none of his biggest hits from the 1980s are.

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.