David Bowie RIP

Monday 11th January was a bit of a weird day. After having come down with a cold late on Sunday night and feeling as rough as a badger on Monday morning, I was expecting to spend the morning in bed being grumpy, coughing, spluttering and consuming lemsips (other cold medicines in a cup are available).

My alarm went off at about five minutes to seven (timed so I can catch 6 music’s Shaun Keaveny generally being a bit miserable and sounding unprepared as he takes a handover from Chris Hawkins). Rather than the usual short-tempered banter, all we heard was a handover saying that Shaun would be next.

As we were about to discover, news was just reaching BBC 6 Music that David Bowie had passed away that morning, the Monday after his 69th birthday, and only a few days after his most recent (and now, sadly, final) album Black Star was released.

I can’t claim to be a huge Bowie fan. I’ve never seen him live, and I’ve never bought one of his albums (or listened to one of them all the way through on Spotify). However, I am aware of the huge influence he had on bands and artists around the world, and there’s a surprising number of his tracks that I would always consider throwing on or including in a playlist.

What became clear on Monday morning though, was quite how much he meant to so many people. If ever you wanted an example of when DJs and music fans acted as one, then I would invite you to have a listen back to how Shaun Keaveny and Matt Everitt, followed by Lauren Laverne and Mark Radcliffe handled the news on iPlayer (UK only).

There’s a great article on the Guardian which documents the behind the scenes activity as the news came through. It makes me proud to be a listener of 6 music and Shaun Keaveny’s show in particular. Commercial radio couldn’t have come close.

For those who never appreciated his versatility (like me!), there are some great playlists on Spotify – the “This is: David Bowie” playlist of 50 tracks, as well as a “Best of Bowie” collection which was released in the last few years, but still contains some of his most iconic tracks. This is where services like Spotify, Deezer, et al come into their own. Streaming of Bowie tracks increased by 2000%+ on Spotify. I can now listen to any or all of his back catalogue at the click of a mouse. Brilliant.

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~ by richiebabee on January 16, 2016.

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