Beyonce Will Knock Prince From Number 1 Next Week But Prince Could Take Six in Top Ten

Update (April 28, 4:40 PM)
Hits Daily Double has updated their projections for the week and Prince still has number 2 through 6 for the week:
  1. Lemonade - BeyoncĂ© (475-525k)
  2. The Very Best Of - Prince (210-230k)
  3. Purple Rain  - Prince (115-130k)
  4. The Hits/B-Sides - Prince (50-60k)
  5. Ultimate - Prince (33-38k)
  6. 1999 - Prince (27-30k)
  7. Traveler - Chris Stapleton (24-27k)
  8. Always Strive & Prosper - A$AP Ferg (21-24k)
  9. Therapy Session - NF (18-21k)
  10. 25 - Adele (18-21k)
  11. Cleopatra - The Lumineers (15-17k)
  12. Sign O' The Times - Prince (15-17k)

We're only midway through the current chart week in the U.S. but there are already a couple of near sure things.

First, Beyonce will take the number 1 spot with her new album Lemonade. According to Hits Daily Double, the album is expected to sell half-a-million albums, 900,000 tracks and 45 million streams before the week closes on Friday.

Second, Prince will have most of the rest of the top ten.

The Hits Daily Double Building Albums chart, which is based on a sampling of music retailers and only takes into account actual sales of an album, is currently 76% complete and shows Beyonce at 350,635 in projected sales so far this week. After that, Prince takes spots 2 through 6 and number 9 for six spots in the top ten. He also has 11 of the top twenty and 16 in the top 50.

Now, these are not final numbers for the week and does not include streaming equivalents, although his music has seen very good numbers from streaming since his death. Taking into account just album sales, Prince sits at:
  • 02. The Very Best of Prince (180,172)
  • 03. Purple Rain (101,259)
  • 04. The Hits/The B-Sides (46,059)
  • 05. Ultimate Prince (31,092)
  • 06. 1999 (22,798)
  • 09. Sign O' the Times (13,571)
  • 11. Prince (9,216)
  • 14. Controversy (7,037)
  • 15. Dirty Mind (6,796)
  • 17. Around the World in a Day (6,483)
  • 19. Parade (5,019)
  • 23. HITNRUN Phase One (4,627)
  • 26. Diamonds and Pearls (4,384)
  • 28. Batman (3,868)
  • 29. Art Official Age (3,625)
  • 41. For You (2,733)
That give Prince just shy of 450,000 in sales through the middle of the week, not counting albums that fell outside the top 50. 

So, how does this type of performance, if it holds, compare to the fury around the death of Michael Jackson in 2009? First, we can't use the Billboard 200 because, at that time, older albums were not included on that chart so we'll have to see how Jackson did on the Catalog Albums chart.

For the week of July 11, 2009, Jackson had fourteen of the top 25 including both solo disc and recordings with his brothers. That included nine of the top ten (the Woodstock soundtrack stopped him from making it perfect) and thirteen of the top twenty. He did make it a perfect ten the next week. 

How those albums would have ranked with the rest of the albums on the top 200 is not known. Topping the chart at that time were sets by the Black Eyed Peas (The E.N.D.), the Jonas Brothers (Lines, Vines & Trying Times), Regina Spektor (Far), the Dave Matthews Band (Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King) and Eminem (Relapse).

The next week, Jackson did have the two biggest selling albums with Number Ones moving 339,000 copies while Thriller sold 187,000. In third was the newly released NOW That What I Call Music! 31 with sales of 169,000.

The final projections for the week will be out on Friday. Final charts will be released next Tuesday. 

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