Doves cried on April 21, 2016 when one of the biggest icons of the 80s passed away, Prince. A unique artist in many aspects, the star went through multiple ups and downs during his 38-years long career. Are his sales as flashy as his songs and concerts were? Exactly 40 years ago, his debut single Soft and Wet entered Billboard charts, let’s use this opportunity to answer this question.
Writing, composing and playing nearly in full his first album For You at less than 20, Prince was immediately regarded as a music genius. The success came a year later though thanks to his early hit I Wanna Be Your Lover, his first US Gold record. The profile of the singer increased in 1983 when the album 1999 along with the song Little Red Corvette became smash discs, quickly followed by the title track and Delirious. A year later, the release of Purple Rain raised him to superstardom in the US while opening the global market.
The story isn’t as well known after that step. He got additional hits like Kiss, Batdance and Cream, but at the same time sales of his post-Purple Rain records are often summarized as disappointing. Where is the truth then?
As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge his results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all Prince‘s albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming. In fact, it will also determine their true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, the next page explains it with a short video. I fully recommend watching the video before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the figures.