David Bowie just broke Adele’s record with the release of the star’s new music video. Shortly after the news of his death was announced earlier this week, his fans listened to his music from various sites and streaming services to pay tribute to his music.
Now, the late and great singer has set a new record. Bowie’s extensive back catalog has attracted 51 million views on Monday, January 11, according to his music video producer. The previous record holder was Adele, whose back catalog of songs and videos received 36 million views on Oct. 23, 2015, when her new song, “Hello,” was released.
Vevo also announced that Bowie’s back catalog has increased a staggering 5,198 percent on Jan. 11, compared to the prior week. His new music video, “Lazarus,” racked up 11.1 million views. “Lazarus” is from Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, which was released just days before his death. The song also appears in Bowie’s off-Broadway musical of the same name. His longtime producer and collaborator, Tony Visconti, described Bowie’s album as a farewell album to his fans.
He also took to his Facebook page to mourn the loss of his good friend.
“He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life — a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift.”
Bowie kept his battle with cancer a secret from his fans until the announcement of his death. Fans have been looking for hints and secret messages on his final album. The song “Lazarus” begins with the haunting lyric that hints toward death: “Look up here, I’m in heaven/I’ve got scars that can’t been seen/This way or no way/You know, I’ll be free.”
The chilling new music video shows the rock star lying in a hospital bed with buttoned bandages over his eyes. As he sings, Bowie is seen levitating and shaking, as if he’s about to enter the afterlife. It’s as if Bowie knew that he was going to pass away soon. Or, maybe he finally found peace after his 18-month-long battle with cancer, and wanted to express that through his art like he always did.
“This was more than an album released on the artist’s 69th birthday; it was a goodbye note to the world, all who could not be at his side when he died in Manhattan. Bowie knew the time was near. For ‘Lazarus,’ he danced and writhed about a hospital set — during a period that probably found him spending a significant amount of time in a real hospital,” writes contributor Chris Payne of Billboard.
Johan Renck directed Bowie’s two final videos, “Lazarus” and “Blackstar.” Bowie’s last album was released on January 8, and is also making records to become the singer’s first recording album to top the Billboard 200. It’s also expected to rise at No. 1 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart.
Despite having a successful music career, Bowie kept himself out of the public. He would only attend events when he needed to. The prolific musician didn’t even promote or perform during his last decade.
David Bowie passed away on Sunday, January 10, just two days after his 69th birthday. The news was confirmed on the singer’s Facebook page, shortly after the Golden Globes aired.
“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”
Funeral arrangements for Bowie have yet to be announced.
[Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images]