Tributes planned as sales of Bowie’s final album 'Blackstar' soar

New York memorial concert announced as ‘Blackstar’ album tops download chart

A Japanese fan photographs posters depicting Bowie’s  ‘Blackstar’ album, displayed at a music retailer in Tokyo. Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters

A Japanese fan photographs posters depicting Bowie’s ‘Blackstar’ album, displayed at a music retailer in Tokyo. Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters

 

Sales of David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, have soared after the singer’s death, as a series of tribute shows and memorial events in his honour were announced.

Sales and downloads of Blackstar, released on the singer’s 69th birthday two days before he died, have soared in the 24 hours since the news of Bowie’s death broke on Monday.

The critically acclaimed album, described by his long- term producer and friend Tony Visconti as Bowie’s “parting gift”, has also topped the iTunes charts, and more than half of the UK’s top 40 chart has been taken up by albums from Bowie’s back catalogue.

Spotify has reported that global streams of Bowie’s music were up 2,822 per cent since Monday – totalling more than 6.5 million listens – and Life on Mars, Heroes, Let’s Dance and Blackstar have all entered the site’s top 10 chart.

It was announced yesterday that a tribute would be paid to Bowie at the Brit awards next month, celebrating what Brit chairman Max Lousada described as the “extraordinary life and work of one of our greatest icons”.

Memorial concert

New York’s Carnegie Hall is to host a memorial concert for Bowie on March 31st. The show, announced hours before Bowie’s death, was originally scheduled as a tribute show with performances of the singer’s hit songs by Visconti, Cyndi Lauper and the Roots, among others. The event, which organisers spent the last seven months planning, will now memorialise Bowie’s life and his profound influence on music.

“This year’s concert will certainly be remembered as a poignant celebration of his music by his friends, peers, and fans,” a statement on the organisers’ website said. “The show is taking on many more emotions. RIP David and may God’s love be with you.”

Bowie died age 69 after suffering from cancer for 18 months. Famously private, Bowie kept his illness a secret until the end, letting only a small inner circle know of his diagnosis.

Illness

The musicians who worked with Bowie on jazz-inspired Blackstar have said they had no idea the musician was ill, and Bowie’s family has chosen not to confirm what type of cancer he had, the circumstances around his death or where he died. The family have also requested that those close to Bowie do not give interviews.

It is thought the London-born singer’s funeral is likely to be held in New York, where he moved to in 1993 after marrying his second wife, Iman, and where they raised their daughter, Alexandria.

Ivo van Hove, director of Bowie’s musical Lazarus, which opened in New York last month, was one of the few people Bowie had informed of his illness, in November 2014, to explain why he would not be able to attend all rehearsals. The singer had asked that he keep the information to himself. The director said Bowie had “fought like a lion” through his illness and had been determined to keep working to the end.

The director said that on the production’s opening night, the last time the singer was seen in public, Bowie had seemed very frail.

– (Guardian service)