Thousands of David Bowie fans attend charity concert on late star's birthday
Thousands of David Bowie fans gathered in London for a charity concert almost a year after his death.
Hollywood actor Gary Oldman led former band-mates and friends of the Ziggy Stardust star on stage for a sell-out show at the Brixton Academy.
Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott and La Roux were among the singers to perform on a string of hits at the Celebrating David Bowie concert.
The singer-songwriter, who was born near the venue, died on January 10 last year aged 69 and Sunday’s show took place on what would have been his 70th birthday.
An emotional Oldman, a close friend of the star, sang the first song before being joined by musicians who performed with Bowie – born David Jones – including keyboardist Mike Garson and guitarist Earl Slick.
While the concert was happening, Bowie’s son, the filmmaker Duncan Jones, tweeted pictures of his father, writing: “Happy birthday (grand)dad. We love you. Goodnight.”
The packed venue in south London was treated to a greatest hits performance lasting almost three hours.
The songs included Ashes To Ashes, Changes, All The Young Dudes, Life On Mars, Fame, Rebel Rebel, Five Years, The Man Who Sold The World, Let’s Dance, Ziggy Stardust, Suffragette City, Starman and Space Oddity.
At the end Oldman told the cheering crowd: “Our thanks to these amazing, amazing musicians and of course to the amazing music of David Bowie.”
A number of events are being held across Bowie’s birthday weekend, including the launch of a David Bowie walking tour through Brixton which features songs, stories and anecdotes from his life.
Further events in the series will take place in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Tokyo raising money for youth arts education.
The London gig will raise funds for the Children And The Arts charity.
The concert came a day after it was revealed the singer only found out his cancer was terminal months before he died.
A BBC documentary that aired on Saturday night revealed that Bowie learned his treatment was to be stopped as he was starring in death-shrouded music video Lazarus, taken from his final album Blackstar.