Whitney Houston album, track sales, radio play explode
Not surprisingly, the public’s appetite for Whitney Houston’s music erupted in the hours after she died Saturday in Beverly Hills, as more than 100,000 albums and nearly 900,000 individual tracks sold in a little over 24 hours.
The Nielsen SoundScan retail sales monitoring service reported that 91,000 digital albums and another 10,000 physical albums along with 887,000 digital tracks were sold by the close of the reporting period that ended Sunday night. Those numbers and new Billboard chart positions will be released on Wednesday.
The top-selling title among the albums was her 2000 compilation “Whitney Houston — Greatest Hits,” which sold 64,000 copies, enough to place it in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart, possibly inside the Top 5.
The most popular song was her hit version of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” which was responsible for 195,000 of the downloaded tracks. Additionally, according to Nielsen BDS, which tracks radio airplay, that song was played 2,137 times on U.S. broadcast radio stations Saturday and Sunday.
Sales figures constitute a quantum leap in public interest in Houston’s music. Compared with the week before she died, her digital album sales increased more than 17,000%, sales of the greatest hits collection jumped by more than 10,000% and digital track downloads were up 5,730%. Radio airplay of “I Will Always Love You” rocketed from 134 plays before her death.
— Randy Lewis
Photo of memorial placed by fans outside the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J. Credit: JMP / Abaca Press / MCT.