Thursday 27 October 2016

Brit Awards to honour David Bowie's 'extraordinary life and work' with tribute

Published 12/01/2016 | 12:26

Flowers are left below a mural of David Bowie on a wall in Brixton, south London, as the top five slots on the iTunes chart were filled by his albums following his death
Flowers are left below a mural of David Bowie on a wall in Brixton, south London, as the top five slots on the iTunes chart were filled by his albums following his death

David Bowie will be honoured with a tribute at next month's Brit Awards.

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Brits chairman Max Lousada said the "extraordinary life and work" of the "visionary and ground-breaking" three-time award winner would be celebrated at the ceremony at London's O2 on February 24.

"David Bowie was one of the most important and influential songwriters and performers ever and, like so many fans around the world, we're devastated to hear of his loss.

"A visionary and ground-breaking pioneer, he has inspired generations of musicians and will continue to shape music for many years to come. Naturally, we wish to honour his extraordinary life and work at the forthcoming Brit Awards and pay a fitting tribute to one of our greatest icons," he said.

Bowie, who died of cancer on Sunday, was named Best British Male twice - in 1984 and 2014 - and received the Outstanding Contribution to British Music award in 1996.

His 2014 win made him the oldest recipient of a Brit in the show's history, but he was noticeably absent from the ceremony, sending Kate Moss in an original Ziggy Stardust outfit to accept the trophy on his behalf.

Bowie's death will also be marked by a memorial concert at New York's Carnegie Hall on March 31.

The concert, titled The Music of David Bowie, was already arranged before the star's death - but was originally intended as a tribute show.

The news comes as sales of his latest album doubled overnight and six more of his classic albums re-entered the album charts Top 40.

Blackstar looks certain to hold on to the number one spot on Friday with just under 90,000 combined sales since its release on January 8 - Bowie's 69th birthday.

Three retrospectives of his work and three original albums have all broken into the Top 40.

2014's Nothing Has Changed is on course to re-enter at number 7, his 1969/1974 Best Of (released in 1997) is at 13 and 2002's Best Of Bowie sits at 27.

His 1972 album, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, currently rests at number 19, 1972's Hunky Dory is at 20, and 1973's Aladdin Sane sits at 32.

A further seven albums have landed in the Top 100, while in the singles charts, nine of his tracks have achieved the feat, leading with 1977's Heroes at 25.

Figures from global streaming service Spotify show there was a jump of 2,822% in Bowie songs played in the hours following the announcement that he had died from cancer.

Singer Tina Turner is the latest celebrity to pay tribute to Bowie, saying "a piece of my heart has broken".

"Not only was David a passionate supporter of my career but more importantly a very special person in my life. An icon. Irreplaceable loving friend. I am missing him greatly," she said.

Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and Rolling Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger were also among the artists who remembered him.

Sir Mick said: "David was always an inspiration to me and a true original."

Sir Paul referenced the part Bowie's music has played in British musical history, writing on his blog: " I'm proud to think of the huge influence he has had on people all around the world.

"His star will shine in the sky forever."

Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire, who collaborated closely with Bowie, have paid tribute to the late musician.

In a statement, they said: "David Bowie was one of the band's earliest supporters and champions. He not only created the world that made it possible for our band to exist, he welcomed us into it with grace and warmth.

"We will take to the grave the moments we shared - talking, playing music and collaborating - as some of the most profound and memorable moments of our lives.

"A true artist even in his passing, the world is more bright and mysterious because of him, and we will continue to shout prayers into the atmosphere he created."

In 2005, Bowie joined Arcade Fire for a rendition of Wake Up, and again in 2013 he lent them backing vocals for their song Reflektor.

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