David Bowie: Fans flock to streaming and download sites
DAVID Bowie's friend and collaborator Ivo van Hove said he died from liver cancer as sales of the rock legend's latest and past works enjoyed a spike.
Bowie, 69, who produced hits such as Ziggy Stardust during a career featuring daringly androgynous displays of sexuality and glittering costumes, died on Sunday following an 18-month battle with cancer.
A statement announcing his death did not give further details on his illness, said The Straits Times.
Van Hove, who worked with Bowie as the director on the off-Broadway musical Lazarus, said in a Dutch radio interview on Monday that Bowie had liver cancer, reported The New York Times.
He was among a handful of collaborators with knowledge of Bowie's condition, said the Times.
He told the Times that Bowie informed him that he was sick in November 2014, via Skype, when the show was in its early stages, but requested the information remain strictly confidential.
"It was immediately clear it was very serious," van Hove said, as quoted by the Times.
But he kept it a secret from the cast of Lazarus - including Michael C. Hall, who stars as the extraterrestrial Bowie stand-in, Thomas Newton.
"Confidential is confidential. I saw a man fighting. He fought like a lion and kept working through it all. I had incredible respect for that," van Hove had told NPO Radio 4.
Even close friends did not know that Bowie was ill.
Brian Eno, who worked with Bowie on his legendary Berlin Trilogy of albums, said the latter sent him an e-mail a week ago that was typical for its wordplay and invented names.
"It ended with this sentence: 'Thank you for our good times, Brian. They will never rot.' And it was signed 'Dawn'," Eno said in a statement to the BBC.
"I realise now he was saying goodbye."
Fans - including some in face paint inspired by his 1973 Aladdin Sane album cover - left flowers beneath a mural of Bowie at his birthplace in Brixton, south London.
Others gathered in tears outside his final home in New York's Soho district. A representative declined to say where he died.
An innovator to the end, Bowie, on Friday, released his final album Blackstar, whose lyrics take on new poignancy with news of his death.
The video for one song, Lazarus, shows Bowie singing from a hospital bed, blindfolded, with buttons for his eyes.
Long-time collaborator Tony Visconti wrote on Facebook that he had known for a year what was coming, reported Agence France-Presse.
"His death was no different from his life - a work of art," Visconti wrote.
"He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift."
Sales of Blackstar soared on Monday along with downloads of his greatest hits, testimony to the powerful appeal of a pioneer in pop culture and the music business, said Reuters.
Streaming giant Spotify said streams of Bowie's music were up 2,700 per cent on Monday.
The Official Charts Company in Britain said Blackstar was headed to the top spot on the charts with sales of 43,000 since its Friday release.
The critically praised Blackstar was the top-selling album on Apple's iTunes US and Britain platforms on Monday morning.
The 2002 Best Of Bowie compilation album was the second most popular on the US site, outpacing Adele's blockbuster album 25.
Bowie's 1972 album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars was in fourth place on the US iTunes platform, according to the site.
On Amazon's US and Britain websites, Blackstar was the No. 1 bestseller on Monday.