Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Catalog Jumps 16% in Streams After Guitarist’s Death – Billboard


Lynyrd Skynyrd’s catalog gained in streaming and sales following the death of founding guitarist Gary Rossington March 5.

In the March 3-9 tracking week, the Southern rockers drew 16.4 million official U.S. streams, according to Luminate. That’s a 16% jump over the previous period of Feb. 24-March 2 (14.1 million).

Pacing the group, which was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, in overall volume for its songs was “Sweet Home Alabama,” from 1974’s Second Helping. The classic track, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s lone top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 (No. 8 peak, October 1974), earned 4.5 million streams March 3-9, up 7% from 4.2 million.

The song is followed by “Simple Man,” from 1973’s (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd), at 3.9 million streams, a 5% boost. Next up, “Free Bird” from the same album, with a 11% jump to 3.1 million streams. The latter sports a slightly larger bump than the other songs, unsurprisingly: Rossington was the architect of the hit’s signature slide guitar riff.

A fourth Lynyrd Skynyrd song impacts the week’s top 2,000 streams in the U.S.: “Gimme Three Steps,” also from the 1973 LP, with 1.6 million streams, up 8%.

Those gains are enough for “Alabama,” “Simple” and “Bird” to hit Billboard’s Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and Hot Rock Songs charts (where older songs are eligible to appear if in the top half and with meaningful reasons for their resurgences). “Alabama” leads at No. 17, followed by “Simple” (No. 21) and “Bird” (No. 24). (“Simple” is in its third consecutive week on the ranking, having re-entered thanks to a viral American Idol audition with the song.)

All three titles also enter Rock Digital Song Sales, each with 1,000 downloads sold. In all, the band’s catalog moved 6,000 song downloads March 3-9, a vault of 103%.

The group’s All Time Greatest Hits concurrently scales Top Rock & Alternative Albums, bounding 28-15 with 11,000 equivalent album units earned, up 19%.

Rossington died March 5 at age 71. His cause of death has not yet been revealed. He had been the final surviving original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, whose origins date to 1964.


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