Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, Prince, David Bowie and just recently Glen Campbell. All deaths within the past year or so that have devastated fans. This series of deaths has increased attention to these artists’ catalogs tenfold and revealed enlightening data related to the ways in which fans choose to honor and remember these recently deceased artists.
One such way is reminiscing over lyrics. The recent passing of Chester Bennington had Linkin Park storming onto the LyricFind Billboard charts, securing 13 of the top 15 spots on the U.S. chart, including the entire top 10, and nine of the top 10 spots on the Global list.
09_1117_Infographic_LyricsAndLegaciesBased on web searches tracked by LyricFind, the highest surge in lyric searches happens the day after an artist passes. Fan searches for lyrics of Bowie songs increased 1,044% the day after he died compared to the day prior. More than Harry Styles, Miley Cyrus, or Bruno Mars, Billboard U.S. and Global Lyrics charts (powered by LyricFind) displayed Soundgarden and Audioslave in seven of the top 10 spots immediately following Chris Cornell’s death. “Fell On Black Days” had a 25,542% increase in lyric searches alone.
Even three weeks after each respective artist’s death, lyric searches remain well above the average search for lyrics before their death. Three weeks after Bowie died, searches remained 234% higher than the average search that occurred before his death. The way fans engage with their favorite artists during the grieving process says a lot about how they connect with the artform.
As to the types of songs fans search for while mourning these losses, there seems to be a direct correlation to the death itself. The day after Prince’s death (April 22, 2016), “Sometimes It Snows In April” experienced a 454,750% increase. And following Chester Bennington’s suicide, Linkin Park’s “Shadow of the Day,” a song about goodbyes, experienced a 10,431% increase.
“Lyrics offer an intimate glimpse into emotions and stories behind the hits. After an artist passes away, experiencing the lyrics to their songs, according to the data, seems to be one of the more popular ways to mark their loss,” says Darryl Ballantyne, Founder and CEO of LyricFind.