Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: David Bowie has his first number one album

Blackstar, the last David Bowie album to be completed and released during the late icon’s lifetime, has now become his first-ever number one album on the Billboard 200. As the newly-released Blackstar bumps Adele‘s 25 from the top slot for the first time since the latter album’s debut, the greatest-hits compilation Best of Bowie lands at number four on the chart and the Bowie classic The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars comes in at number 21. (Rolling Stone)

Bowie’s son Duncan Jones broke his social-media silence for the first time since his father’s death to share a letter from a British palliative-care physician. Mark Taubert writes that Bowie’s story — in particular, the way he used his final months to create powerful new music — is making it easier for doctors to discuss the end of life with their patients. (Billboard)

On Saturday, Arcade Fire and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band led Bowie fans on a traditional second-line parade through the French Quarter of New Orleans. With Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler on a megaphone, the musicians led fans in singing Bowie songs like “Heroes” and “Suffragette City.” (Rolling Stone)

We are remembering the life and music of David Bowie in a series of features. Find the complete list here, and share your own memory of Bowie.

The drummer from an important Bowie-connected group has died at age 67. Dale Griffin was a member of Mott the Hoople, who had a hit with the Bowie-penned “All the Young Dudes” in 1972. Later, Griffin worked as a producer with the BBC. (Billboard)

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Glenn Frey has also died at age 67. As a member of the Eagles, Frey performed on and co-wrote classic songs like “Hotel California,” “Heartache Tonight,” and “One of These Nights.” Frey also had hits — including “The Heat is On” and “You Belong to the City” — as a solo artist. (The Current)

Another important music figure has died, at age 82. Giorgio Gomelsky was the first manager of the Rolling Stones, replaced early in the group’s career by Andrew Loog Oldham. Gomelsky later managed groups including the Yardbirds. (Billboard)

Prince has announced more details about his “gala event” on Jan. 21. Tickets for two different performances that night have been made available, and quickly sold out. (Local Current)

Kendrick Lamar will be given the key to the city of his native Compton, in a special ceremony scheduled for Feb. 13. “Kendrick Lamar is a phenomenal artist whose work has served as a catalyst to raise a new level of consciousness for this generation,” said Compton mayor Aja Brown in a statement. (Rolling Stone)

Ice Cube has hinted that his set at Coachella this summer might be the occasion for a reunion of his legendary group N.W.A. “I’m gonna try to bring the members of N.W.A together,” said Ice Cube on The Talk. “Give everybody a little history lesson.” (Rolling Stone)

Meanwhile, protests are brewing over the Oscars’ omission of actors of color from this year’s Academy Award nominations. “In 2016,” said producer Will Packer, “it’s a complete embarrassment to say that the heights of cinematic achievement have only been reached by white people.” Packer was an executive producer of Straight Outta Compton, the N.W.A. movie that became the highest-grossing music biopic of all time and was considered by some to be a contender for nominations in several major categories. The film’s only nomination, for Best Original Screenplay, recognizes the work of the film’s two screenwriters — who are white. (Billboard)