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The memorial concert will raise money for music education projects

Bowie memorial gig planned in New York

WT24 Desk

A David Bowie memorial concert is to be held at New York’s Carnegie Hall on 31 March, BBC reports.  The Music of David Bowie was originally billed as a tribute show featuring his songs, but organisers changed it to a memorial in the wake of his death.  Bowie producer Tony Visconti’s house band will perform, along with artists including Cyndi Lauper.

A statement on the concert organiser’s website said: “The show is taking on many more emotions. RIP David.”  Tickets had only gone on sale on Monday, just as news of Bowie’s death was filtering through, and have already sold out. He died of cancer at the age of 69.   “The unexpected death of David Bowie has turned this tribute, which we have worked on for the past seven months, into a memorial concert,” the show’s organisers said.

“This year’s concert will certainly be remembered as a poignant celebration of his music by his friends, peers, and fans. We are all deeply saddened by this news. The timing of our public on-sale date is bizarre in its timing… may God’s love be with you.”   The event, organised by Michael Dorf and City Winery, will feature 20 artists, each performing songs by Bowie. The concert is a benefit for a variety of music education programmes for underprivileged young people.

Other performers will include The Roots, Bettye Lavette and Robyn Hitchcock.  As yet there has been no official confirmation of the type of cancer Bowie had.  But Ivo van Hove, who directed Bowie’s current off-Broadway play Lazarus, told Dutch public radio broadcaster NOS that he had suffered from liver cancer.

“He told me more than a year and three months ago just after he had heard himself… he said it was liver cancer,” van Hove said.  Meanwhile, on the US iTunes albums chart, Bowie’s most recent album Blackstar – released on his birthday on Friday – peaked at number one on Monday.

Best of Bowie was in second place, pushing Adele’s 25 into third place while two other Bowie albums also reached the top 10.  Music licensing company PPL released an official chart of the most-played Bowie tracks of the 21st Century, collating the Bowie tracks which have been played in public and broadcast on TV and radio since the year 2000.

The top five are:

  1. Let’s Dance (1983)
  2. Under Pressure (with Queen)
  3. Starman
  4. Ashes to Ashes
  5. Rebel, Rebel

Spotify also revealed that streams of Bowie saw a 2822% increase on Monday following his death.

The top five songs streamed were:

  1. Heroes
  2. Let’s Dance
  3. Blackstar
  4. Lazarus
  5. Life On Mars

Tributes have continued to pour in from around the world, and on Monday, hundreds of people flocked to Brixton in south London, where Bowie was born, to celebrate his life.  Fans also placed candles, flowers and glitter at his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, outside his New York home and outside his former flat in Berlin.

Bowie’s social media accounts said on Monday that he “died peacefully, surrounded by his family”.  Tributes have continued to be paid by fellow musicians to the “extraordinary artist” and Mick Jagger, who recorded a cover of Dancing in the Street with Bowie in 1985, said: “David was always an inspiration to me and a true original.

“He was wonderfully shameless in his work. We had so many good times together… He was my friend. I will never forget him.”  The Rolling Stones as a band also issued a statement that said they were “shocked and deeply saddened” by his death.

They said that “as well as being a wonderful and kind man, he was an extraordinary artist, and a true original”.  Sir Elton John shared a photo of a young David Bowie on Instagram.  “I am still in shock. Never saw it coming. My deepest condolences to Iman and the family. An amazing life. An amazing career,” he wrote.

Bruce Springsteen called Bowie “a visionary artist and an early supporter of our music. Always changing and ahead of the curve, he was an artist whose excellence you aspired to. He will be sorely missed.”

Debbie Harry said “without this visionary and his friend Iggy Pop where would Blondie be today? Silly question and one that can’t be answered really but there is no doubt in my mind that Bowie played a big part in our future successes. As for now, love you David Bowie”.

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