NEW YORK, NY - One day after the news of David Bowie's death, as people reflect on his career and the music he gave the world, fans are giving something back to the iconic star. Sales of Bowie's records are soaring, including his final album "Blackstar," released just days before he died.
Spotify says that streams of Bowie's music are up nearly 3000%, and his album is headed for the top of the charts in the U.K. after selling more than 40,000 copies in just days. Now, there's a movement in the U.S. to buy the album and push it to number one. A headline on Slate saying "we can do this, America." If it happens, it would be Bowie's first number one record in the U.S.
That would be a major boost to his estate, because, unlike most artists, Bowie never sold the copyright to his music. Instead, he sold "bowie bonds:" a system where he raised money by temporarily selling the rights to his future earnings. The bonds, which have since been paid off, were bought by prudential financial in 1997 for $55 million, letting Bowie retain the ownership of his work.
The same model was later adopted by James Brown and the Isley Brothers. The investor who helped bowie with the idea says it was never about the money, explaining, "he was able to retain his legacy. His songs were his babies."
Bowie's estate is estimated at about 100 million dollars, thanks to the savvy business move. But true fans know his life's work is priceless.