Following the tragic death of Adam “MCA” Yauch, Beastie Boys album sales have increased by 1235 percent. Seven Beastie Boys albums have appeared on the Billboard Hot 200 this week with the group’s 1986 debut album Licensed to Ill entered No. 18. The last time the LP was on the chart was in 1986 where it became the first hip-hop LP to hit No. 1. Six of their other albums — Solid Gold Hits (No. 51), Paul’s Boutique (No. 56), Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (No. 107), Ill Communication (No. 109), Check Your Head (No. 124) and Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science (No. 141) — also returned to the chart. SoundScan calculates their overall album sales growth at an impressive 1235%, from 4,000 to 55,000 collective copies week over week. The increase is not unprecedented. Sales for musicians such as Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson increased significantly following their deaths.
However the surviving band members and their label might not pocket all of the profits. A day before MCA’s passing, the trio was slapped with a lawsuit by record label Tuf America, which are claiming copyright infringement from samples used on the first two Beastie Boys albums both released in the late 1980s before sampling laws came into effect. If they succeed in court, Tuf America could benefit immensely from the recent sales peak of Beastie Boys music.
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