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All-Prince top five in midweek chart

BBC News BBC News 26/04/2016 By Mark Savage
Prince performs at Coachella in 2008 © Getty Images Prince performs at Coachella in 2008

Pop star Prince is on course to dominate the UK charts this week, as mourning fans rush to buy his music.

Prince plays the Super Bowl half-time show: Several of Prince's classic performances - including the 2004 SuperBowl half-time show - have been uploaded to YouTube since his death © Reuters Several of Prince's classic performances - including the 2004 SuperBowl half-time show - have been uploaded to YouTube since his death

The musician holds every spot in the top five in the midweek chart update, with 16 albums set to enter the top 100 the Official Chart Company says.

Tributes at Paisley Park: Flowers and tributes have been left around the perimeter of the Paisley Park estate © AFP Flowers and tributes have been left around the perimeter of the Paisley Park estate

His 2001 retrospective The Very Best Of is at number one, followed by the 2006 collection Ultimate.

Sheila E and Prince: Sheila E said she would act as musical director for the planned tribute concert © Getty Images Sheila E said she would act as musical director for the planned tribute concert

Purple Rain is at three, followed by The Hits / The B-Sides and 1987's double album Sign O' The Times.

BBC © BBC BBC

Six of Prince's hits are also due to re-enter the singles chart, led by Purple Rain which is currently at number two.

The song reached Number eight upon its original release in 1984, meaning the song could hit a new peak on Friday's Official Chart.

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The rock legend died suddenly last Thursday at the age of 57.

Even though last week's chart was compiled mere hours after the news was announced, the Ultimate compilation rocketed to tenth place in the countdown, with 5,389 sales.

In the US, The Very Best of Prince and Purple Rain took the number one and two spot respectively in the Billboard chart, outselling the rest of the market in less than 24 hours.

Such sales were undoubtedly spurred by Prince's absence from streaming services.

The star's catalogue is only available to stream on Tidal, while he relentlessly pursued people who illegally uploaded his material to sites like SoundCloud, Daily Motion and YouTube.

"I have a team of female black lawyers who keep an eye on such transgressions," Prince once said. "And you know they're sharp."

Prince died at his Paisley Park home near Minneapolis last week, after reports he was suffering with flu.

He was found in an unresponsive state in a lift on the first floor of his home. Emergency service personnel performed CPR, but were unable to revive him.

The star was pronounced dead at the scene. Details of the post-mortem examination have yet to be released, but his body was released to his family on Friday afternoon and he was cremated on Saturday.

Thousands of fans have flocked to Paisley Park, the First Avenue nightclub, and other sites made famous by Prince since his death, while tributes have come from Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake and President Obama, amongst others.

Eric Clapton said Prince had helped him battle depression and drug addiction in the 1980s, calling him "a light in the darkness".

"I was out on the road in a massive downward spiral with drink and drugs," he wrote on Facebook. "I saw Purple Rain in a cinema in Canada, I had no idea who he was, it was like a bolt of lightning! In the middle of my depression, and the dreadful state of the music culture at that time it gave me hope."

Justin Timberlake added: "He's somewhere within every song I've ever written."

Meanwhile, US comedy show Saturday Night Live dedicated this weekend's edition to the star, broadcasting archive performances and footage of an invitation-only concert he gave for the programme's 40th Anniversary.

The NFL also uploaded the star's memorable, rain-drenched SuperBowl concert to YouTube for the first time since it aired in 2007.

Memorial and museum

A senator in Prince's home state of Minnesota has called for purple to be adopted as its official colour, reported the St Paul Pioneer Press; while Prince's brother-in-law said plans were "in the works" for a large-scale public musical memorial.

A private memorial service was held for the rock star on Saturday, attended by about 20 of his closest friends and family.

Among them was Sly and the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham, who toured with Prince and converted him to the Jehovah's Witness faith.

Also present was drummer Sheila E, one of Prince's most frequent collaborators on records including Lovesexy, Erotic City and The Glamorous Life.

Speaking to EW after the service, she said the congregation was still struck by disbelief.

"What was challenging yesterday was listening to his music at a very low, soft volume and the room very low in lights and everyone just taking a moment, just sitting there, kind of going, 'Wow,'" she said.

The musician also confirmed plans to turn Prince's home and recording studio into a museum, akin to Elvis's Graceland.

Forthcoming tribute

"We're hoping to make Paisley what [Prince wanted] it to be. [He] was working on it being a museum," she said. "He's been gathering memorabilia and stuff from all the tours, like my drums and his motorcycle."

"There's a hallway of his awards and things, which he really didn't care about too much, but he displayed it for the fans because he knows that they would want to see it," she continued.

The percussionist added that she would be the musical director of the forthcoming tribute, which is expected to take place in Minneapolis.

And she said Prince never truly appreciated his impact on fans.

"When you're in a place of musically creating and writing, you just do your thing, and you don't realise how many people you touch," she explained.

"I don't know that he really knew how he touched almost everyone in this world."

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