Gordon Lightfoot Streams Spike 290% After His Death

Streams, sales and radio airplay of Gordon Lightfoot’s catalog jumped by triple-digit percentages following the Canadian singer-songwriter’s death.


In the April 28-May 4 tracking week, official on-demand U.S. streams of Lightfoot’s music ballooned 290% to 14 million, according to Luminate, from 3.6 million the prior week (April 21-27).

Additionally, Lightfoot’s catalog moved 41,000 song downloads, a 3,629% surge from 1,000 the previous frame.

His overall album consumption totaled 20,000 equivalent album units, up 511% from 3,000. Of that sum, 6,000 units were via album sales.

Lightfoot’s radio airplay audience vaulted by 317% to 3 million impressions, from 730,000.

The influx of interest in Lightfoot’s deep catalog — he first reached a Billboard chart in 1969 — sparks his appearances on multiple surveys dated May 13. That haul includes the No. 1-selling track in the United States, as “If You Could Read My Mind” bows atop Digital Song Sales with 10,000 sold, up 4,162%.

Additionally, “Sundown” (9,000 sold, up 2,976%), “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” (7,000, up 3,429%) and “Carefree Highway” (4,000, up 4,283%) also enter the top 10, at Nos. 3, 5 and 10, respectively.


The four songs encompass Lightfoot’s career Billboard Hot 100 top 10s. “Mind” reached No. 5 in February 1971, “Sundown” reigned for a week in June 1974, “Highway” hit No. 10 that November; and “Edmund Fitzgerald” peaked at No. 2 in November 1976.

All four songs appear on Rock Digital Song Sales at Nos. 1-3 and 5, respectively. They’re joined by 1975’s “The Soul Is the Rock” (No. 12; 2,000 sold).

“Sundown” leads a trio of Lightfoot songs on the multimetric Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart (where older titles are eligible to appear if in the top half with a meaningful reason for their resurgences). The song bows at No. 11, with its download sales joined by 3.3 million streams, up 64%.

“Mind” (No. 17; 2.1 million streams, up 99%) and “Edmund Fitzgerald” (No. 20; 1.9 million streams, up 127%) also enter the survey.

“Sundown,” “Edmund Fitzgerald,” “Highway” and “Rock” reach Country Digital Song Sales, at Nos. 2, 3, 5 and 13, respectively.

On the all-format Billboard 200, Lightfoot’s Gord’s Gold collection returns at No. 95 thanks to 11,000 units, up 3,086%. It’s the set’s first appearance on the chart since January 1977, after it reached No. 34 a year earlier.

Gord’s Gold also reaches Americana/Folk Albums (No. 3) and Top Rock & Alternative Albums and Top Country Albums (No. 17 on both).

Multiple Lightfoot songs dot Billboard’s LyricFind charts, which rank the fastest momentum-gaining tracks in lyric-search queries and usages globally and in the U.S., provided by LyricFind. “Sundown” leads the way at No. 1 on LyricFind U.S. with an 884% increase in lyric searches and usages following Lightfoot’s death, according to LyricFind.

Lightfoot died of natural causes in Toronto May 1 at age 84.

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