Prince’s 50 biggest hits worldwide

Finder 23 April 2016 NEWS

PrinceWider

We've combined chart positions across the world to identify Prince's most successful songs.

In his almost-40-year recording career, Prince created many legendary tracks. But which ones were the most successful globally? We've crunched the numbers to find out.

Some of the results are surprising. While tracks from 1984's Purple Rain have dominated the discussion in the days following Prince's unexpected death, his biggest global hit was 1986's "Kiss". And who would have guessed that "Thieves in the Temple" would rank higher than "Let's Go Crazy"?

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We've assigned points based on the chart positions on the main sales charts for the USA, UK, Germany and Australia, which are the world's biggest music markets. (It's effectively impossible to get accurate sales figures for songs globally, so chart positions, while imperfect, are the best metric we have. Japan is also a major market but doesn't have reliable national chart figures for much of Prince's active period.)

A #1 hit scores 100 points, a #2 hit scores 99, and so on through to #100, which scores 1 point. We ignored the handful of chart positions for Prince tracks below 100. The higher the total score, the bigger the hit was worldwide.

We've included commercial single releases, whether those were as Prince, Prince And The Revolution, Prince And The New Power Generation or The Artist Formerly Known As Prince. We haven't included tracks written by Prince but performed by others, such as Chaka Khan's "I Feel For You" or Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U". Re-releases while Prince was alive get included as separate entries for each time they were hits, but we haven't included the resurgence of his songs onto the charts following his death.

Rank Song Year Points
1 "Kiss" 1986 391
2 "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" 1994 390
3 "Batdance" 1989 389
4 "When Doves Cry" 1984 382
5 "Cream" 1991 365
6 "Gett Off" 1991 358
7 "Thieves in the Temple" 1990 354
8 "Alphabet St." 1988 349
9 "Purple Rain" 1984 348
10 "Diamonds and Pearls" 1991 335
11 "My Name Is Prince" 1992 333
12 "Raspberry Beret" 1985 329
13 "Sign o' the Times" 1987 327
14 "Sexy MF" 1992 318
15 "Partyman" 1989 302
16 "Money Don't Matter 2 Night" 1992 296
=17 "1999" 1982 287
=17 "Little Red Corvette" 1983 287
19 "Let's Go Crazy" 1984 285
20 "Betcha by Golly Wow!" 1996 282
21 "I Hate U" 1995 277
22 "Letitgo" 1994 276
23 "7" 1992 268
24 "Mountains" 1986 259
25 "U Got the Look" (with Sheena Easton) 1987 240
26 "Peach" 1993 216
27 "Pop Life" 1985 205
28 "The Holy River" 1997 173
29 "Take Me with U" 1985 170
30 "1999" (re-issue) 1998 167
31 "Glam Slam" 1988 165
32 "Girls & Boys" 1986 164
33 "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" 1987 163
34 "Gold" 1995 154
35 "The Arms of Orion" (with Sheena Easton) 1989 152
36 "I Wanna Be Your Lover" 1979 150
=37 "Paisley Park" 1985 146
=37 "Purple Medley" 1995 146
39 "I Would Die 4 U" 1984 141
40 "I Wish U Heaven" 1988 125
41 "New Power Generation" 1990 122
=42 "The Morning Papers" 1993 120
=42 "Black Sweat" 2006 120
44 "Controversy" 1981 117
=45 "If I Was Your Girlfriend" 1987 115
=45 "1999: The New Master" (1999 re-recording) 1999 115
47 "Anotherloverholenyohead" 1986 103
=48 "Controversy" (re-issue) 1993 96
=48 "The Greatest Romance Ever Sold" 1999 96
50 "Delirious" 1983 93

Picture: Northfoto / Shutterstock.com

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