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Music Tragically Hip album sales, streams soar after Gord Downie’s death

Tragically Hip lead singer Gord Downie performs with the band in Victoria on July 22, 2016.

Kevin Light/REUTERS

Fans of the Tragically Hip flocked to the band's music as they mourned the death of singer Gord Downie, which drove a huge boost in sales, streams and radio play.

Eleven albums by the Kingston, Ont., rockers climbed onto the Billboard Canadian Albums chart for the week that ended Oct. 19. It was the previous day that Downie's family announced the Hip frontman had died.

Overall sales for the band's catalogue spiked 1,000 per cent, rising to a combined 11,000 equivalent units from 1,000 units the previous week. The chart is tallied by Nielsen Music and is based on both physical and digital sales along with a calculation of on-demand streams.

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The strongest performer was the Hip's greatest hits compilation "Yer Favourites," which rose to No. 2 from No. 182 the previous week. It was held from the top position by the debut of Pink's new release "Beautiful Trauma."

Another 10 Hip albums made the Top 200, including 1992's "Fully Completely" and 1998's "Phantom Power," while Gord Downie's "Secret Path" also re-entered the chart.

Streaming of the Hip's music also grew tremendously, rising more than 700 per cent on services like Apple Music and Spotify.

On-demand streams jumped to 9.7 million for the week from 1.1 million, while many of the Hip's most popular songs are lingering on Spotify's Viral 50 chart, which monitors music sharing on social media.

Radio stations also filled their playlists with Hip favourites in the days after Downie's death.

"Ahead by a Century" was the Hip's most played track on the day the singer's death was announced, followed by "Courage," "Wheat Kings," "New Orleans Is Sinking" and "Bobcaygeon."

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