Alive on the Charts

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For music's "Forever 27" club a rise in catalog sales, reissues, anniversary products and events means that acts often find plenty of life after untimely passings.

Kurt Cobain

  • Sales Before Death: 5.6 million Nirvana albums.
  • Sales Since: 8.9 million, including studio albums, MTV Unplugged, 1996 live album.
  • Peak: Nevermind hit No. 1 in early 1992; "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is a Gen-X anthem.

Jimi Hendrix

  • Sales Before Death: 2.5 million, based on three studio albums, a Best Of and a live collection.
  • Sales Since: 24 million discs including live sets, reissues.
  • Peak: 9 a.m. performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the headliner at Woodstock.

Brian Jones

  • Sales Before Death: Original Rolling Stones guitarist played on 10 LPs that sold 7 million.
  • Sales Since: 46 million albums and record-setting 2006 tour that grossed $437 million.
  • Peak: The No. 1 1965 album Out of Our Heads.

Jim Morrison

  • Sales Before Death: 5 million Doors albums. 
  • Sales Since: According to its management, the band soon will pass the 100 million mark worldwide.
  • Peak: Waiting for the Sun spent four weeks at No. 1 in 1968.

Amy Winehouse

  • Sales Before Death: Back to Black moved 2.3 million, plus 307,000 for debut Frank.
  • Sales Since: In the 72 hours after her death, Back to Black shot to No. 1 on iTunes and sold 50,000 copies.
  • Peak: Five Grammys in 2008.