George Michael’s U.S. Music Sales Surge Following Death

The death of George Michael on Dec. 25 prompted a big sales surge for his albums and digital songs in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music. In the week ending Dec. 29, sales of Michael’s music — including with his former duo, Wham! — increased 2,678 percent (to 477,000 albums and songs, rounded to the nearest thousand), compared to the previous week (17,000). Of the 477,000 total, album sales equaled 48,000 (up from just 1,000 the week previous), while song sales totaled 429,000 (an increase from 16,000 a week earlier).

In total, Michael/Wham! earned 103,000 equivalent album units during the tracking frame — a gain of 2,071 percent compared to the 5,000 units earned a week earlier.

Concurrently, three of Michael’s solo albums and Wham!’s 1984 breakthrough set Make It Big return to the Billboard 200 chart (dated Jan. 14). The chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums and streaming equivalent albums.

Michael’s 2008 greatest hits album Twenty Five re-enters the list at No. 12 — a new high for the album, surpassing…