Jan 19, 2016

    Bowie's swansong Blackstar is his first US No. 1 album


    DAVID Bowie's final album on Sunday hit number one in the United States, his adopted home, with the British music legend posthumously achieving a feat he never managed in life.

    Blackstar, which was released two days before his Jan 10 death from a secret battle with cancer, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart for the week through Thursday.

    Amid the outpouring of grief, Bowie not only scored his first US No. 1 album, but also became among the rare artists to have two in the top five, with his greatest hits collection Best Of Bowie, released in 2002, at No. 4.

    Blackstar wrested No. 1 from Adele's blockbuster 25, which had topped the chart for seven weeks.

    Blackstar - which came out on Bowie's 69th birthday - had immediately won critical acclaim for its experimentalism as the long-reinventing artist developed a dark, hard jazz sound.

    His death threw a whole new light on Blackstar as it emerged that he had intended the album as a final statement, full of meditation on a half-century on the cutting edge of music.

    Bowie spent the final two decades of his life living in New York and had said that his first love was African-American music, especially funk and soul.

    Yet, while he cast a huge influence over US pop culture, he was generally considered an avant-garde artist and did not win the same mainstream success as in Britain and a number of other European countries.

    In the US, Bowie had gone to No. 2 with his previous album, The Next Day, in 2013 and reached No. 4 with his pop-driven Let's Dance in 1983.