David Bowie died on January 10, and fans have been doing tributes or other charity events in his honor ever since.
However, despite contributing to a number of charity events in his lifetime, David Bowie’s last will and testament that divides up his estimated $100 million estate does not detail any good causes, according to late-January reports in the media.
The New York Times reported on January 30, that David Bowie left most of his estate to his family and a few million to his personal assistant and a former nanny.
Despite the lack of details published about David Bowie’s charity donations in his will, his fans are certainly taking up the slack.
Around the time of David Bowie’s death, tributes, memorials, and benefits began to pop up around the world intended to raise money for charities. For example, the Independent reports that David Bowie’s Labyrinth was returning to cinemas to raise money for cancer causes.
Although Labyrinth has already been through one run, it was reported by the Bath Chronicle that David Bowie’s film was so popular that it will return again in the near future to raise money for cancer charities.
It was pointed out by the Seattle Times that David Bowie did not disclose to the public before (or after death) which type of cancer he was suffering from, but fans do not seem to need this information to give their time and money to cancer causes in remembrance of Bowie.
Showings of the movie Labyrinth may have been one of the most prominent charities or benefits for David Bowie in the press over the month of January, but there are at least 50 informal “tributes” to him found online that are intended to raise money specifically for cancer patient care or research.
The MIT Orchestra reports that they will perform “Low” and Symphony No. 4 of “Heroes” for MIT’s cancer research institutes because “both works were inspired by David Bowie and Brian Eno’s groundbreaking albums that were part of the famous ‘Berlin Trilogy.'”
St. Jude’s Hospital, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, will benefit from a David Bowie tribute, according to Memphis Magazine.
About the Memphis event, organizer and musician Graham Winchester, stated the following.
“The motivation [to do the David Bowie tribute] was to turn a sad and tragic moment in music history into a catalyst for positivity. St. Jude’s involvement makes the tribute and the charity work a double header of amazingness.”
In the U.K., David Bowie tributes to raise money for cancer research are also common and their reasons for the benefit shows mirror those in Memphis.
For instance, the Scotsman reports that one organizer for a David Bowie benefit (that has already raised £86,000) stated “[This tribute to Bowie will] be the best type of catharsis to sing out the sorrow.”
Most of these tributes involve playing some of David Bowie’s hit songs, but NME reports that one unique way the worldwide record store, Rough Trade, contributed to a cancer charity was through the sales of his last record, Blackstar.
The one exception to David Bowie benefits that raise money for cancer is the fundraiser memorial at Carnegie Hall in New York City on March 31.
According to Rolling Stone, charities that will share contributions from the star-studded David Bowie tribute are, “[T]he Young Audiences New York, Little Kids Rock, Church Street School of Music, the Center for Arts Education, the American Symphony Orchestra and Grammy in the Schools.”
Brooklyn Vegan reported that the David Bowie memorial at Carnegie Hall was so popular that a second performance has been added for April 1 at Radio City Music Hall and guests include the following.
“Michael Stipe, Laurie Anderson, Cat Power … The Roots, Jakob Dylan, the Mountain Goats, Bettye LaVette, Perry Farrell, Robyn Hitchcock and Ann Wilson of Heart.”
Of course, David Bowie was a big fan of charities and often took his work for good causes to extremes.
David Bowie is also noted for making large philanthropic contributions through his music.
For instance, Global News points out that David Bowie did many performances for good causes such as the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute concert in London.
Village Voice writes that their favorite charity performances of David Bowie’s were his benefits for Tibet House in 2001, 2002, and 2003 at Carnegie Hall.
Finally, Entertainment Weekly adds that sometimes concerts were David Bowie’s way of showing he tried to be there for everyone. In their example, David Bowie’s powerful performance of “America” by Simon and Garfunkel from the Concert for New York City after the September 11, 2001, attacks was one of their best David Bowie moments.
[Picture by Kevork Djansezian/Stringer/Getty Images]