Sales soar for David Bowie's parting gift, his new 'Blackstar' album

LONDON - Sales of David Bowie's last album - released two days before his death of cancer - soared on Monday along with downloads of the greatest hits of his storied career.

Streaming giant Spotify said that streams of Bowie's music were up 2,700 per cent on Monday.

In the UK, the Official Charts Company said Bowie's "Blackstar" album already was headed to the top spot on the charts with sales of 43,000 since its release on Friday.

Bowie's long-time producer, Tony Visconti, called the album the singer's "parting gift."

"I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn't, however, prepared for it," Visconti wrote on his Facebook page.

Bowie, who framed hits such as "Ziggy Stardust" with daringly androgynous displays of sexuality and glittering costumes, died aged 69 on Sunday.

"Blackstar" was the top-selling album on Apple's iTunes US and UK 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 fifth place on the US iTunes platform, according to the site. Apple does not generally release iTunes sales or download figures.

Overall album sales and streaming data in the United States will not be available until next week.

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On Amazon's UK website, "Blackstar" was the No. 1 "best seller," while it was the second most popular MP3 download behind "25" on in the United States.

Twitter exploded with some 4.3 million Tweets about Bowie's death in the seven hours after his death was announced, Twitter said.

"Blackstar" has only seven songs, but critics praised it, with Britain's Guardian newspaper calling it "a spellbinding break with (Bowie's) past."

In a music video accompanying the album's first single, "Lazarus," the singer is shown in a hospital bed with bandages around his eyes.

"Look up here, I'm in heaven," he sings. "I've got scars that can't be seen. I've got drama, can't be stolen. Everybody knows me now. Look up here, man, I'm in danger. I've got nothing left to lose."

The album is part jazz but full of what NME described as "warped showtunes, skronking industrial rock, soulful balladeering, airy folk-pop, even hip-hop."