David Bowie’s music soars in days after death


Michelle Cathrerine took this photo of flowers and other tributes left at a David Bowie mural near his birthplace in Brixton, United Kingdom, following news of his death

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NEW YORK– A day after David Bowie lost his secret 18-month battle to cancer, his music played on. Millions and millions of times.

Ten of Bowie’s songs cracked Spotify’s “Global Top 50” on Monday, the streaming service’s daily ranking of the most played tracks. Appearing alongside contemporary hits from the likes of Drake, Adele and Justin Bieber are Bowie classics like “Let’s Dance” and songs from his just-released album, “Blackstar.”

“Heroes,” the triumphant anthem Bowie co-wrote with Brian Eno, comes in at number 8 on the list with more than 1.478 million plays. It’s followed at number 11 by “Under Pressure,” Bowie’s indelible collaboration with Queen, which was played more than 1.374 million times.

The rest of Bowie’s songs on the list:

17. “Let’s Dance” (1.307 million plays)

19. “Life On Mars?” (1.228 million plays)

20. “Blackstar” (1.225 million plays)

21. “Lazarus” (1.204 million plays)

30. “Space Oddity” (1.091 million plays)

41. “Ziggy Stardust” (923,730 plays)

44. “‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore” (870,402 plays)

45. “Changes” (834,156 plays)

News of Bowie’s death on Monday prompted an outpouring of grief. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were overflowing with tributes to the pop star whose music was influenced by his one-of-a-kind artistic vision.

Many of those fans paid homage by simply listening to his music.

Spotify said Monday that streams of Bowie’s songs had increased by 2,700% compared to the day before. There was a similar spike on Apple Music, where 21 of Bowie’s tracks are currently ranked in the top 100 of the most streamed songs.

On Amazon, the three top selling albums are all by Bowie. The audio CD and vinyl for “Blackstar” occupy the top two spots on the list, which is updated hourly, while “Best of Bowie” ranks third. All three are outpacing “25,” the latest offering from Adele.

“Blackstar” was released on January 8, Bowie’s 69th birthday and two days before he died.

Fans have interpreted the timing of the release, as well as the melancholy and even morbid themes of the album’s music, as the artist’s way of foreshadowing his imminent death.

“He made Blackstar for us,” said Bowie’s longtime producer, Tony Visconti, “his parting gift.”

By Tom Kludt

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