David Bowie: 5 million of the star's records have been sold in the UK since his death two years ago

OfficialCharts.com reveals the icon's most popular singles and albums on the two-year anniversary of his death.

Two years ago today (Jan 10), the music world lost one of its greatest icons following the announcement of the death of David Bowie.

Two years after his passing, OfficialCharts.com can reveal that 5 million Bowie records have been consumed in the UK across his albums (2m) and singles (3.1m) since. 

New Official Charts Company data totalling Bowie’s UK physical sales, digital downloads and stream-equivalent sales across the period since the star’s passing in January 2016, shows fans rediscovering Bowie’s diverse catalogue and snapping up a selection of new greatest hits releases, live recordings and anniversary picture discs – 14 of which have been released in the last two years.

The latest is the release of the original Demo of 1983 hit Let's Dance, put out on January 8 to mark what would have been the star's 71st birthday. 

Born in London’s Brixton, the singer-songwriter’s music career took off in 1969, when his single Space Oddity became a Top 5 hit on the Official Singles Chart. He remained a prominent figure in the music industry right up until his death at the age of 69 – his final studio album Blackstar was released just two days before his death and went on to be one of the Top 10 biggest albums of 2016.

Albums

Bowie’s 25th and final studio album Blackstar has become Bowie’s most popular album since his death, shifting 446,000 copies across all formats, while his 2008 hits collection Best Of Bowie is up in second place (335,000). His more up to date retrospective, Legacy, released in 2016, is third (247,000).

Appetite among the British public for the icon’s music is evident, with a further three Bowie albums have each shifted over 100,000 since January 2016: Nothing Has Changed – The Very Best Of, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Hunky Dory.

David Bowie’s Official Top 10 biggest albums since his death:

POS TITLE ARTIST
1 BLACKSTAR DAVID BOWIE
2 BEST OF BOWIE DAVID BOWIE
3 LEGACY DAVID BOWIE
4 NOTHING HAS CHANGED - THE VERY BEST OF DAVID BOWIE
5 THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST DAVID BOWIE
6 HUNKY DORY DAVID BOWIE
7 ALADDIN SANE DAVID BOWIE
8 THE NEXT DAY DAVID BOWIE
9 LOW DAVID BOWIE
10 DIAMOND DOGS DAVID BOWIE

©2018 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

Singles

When it comes to singles, Bowie has shifted just over 3 million across all formats since January 2016, including a staggering 241 million plays across streaming services.

His 1977 single Heroes emerges as the most popular choice by fans since his passing, with 397,000 combined sales across the period. The song re-entered the Official Singles Chart for the first time in 39 years the week after his death, reaching a new peak at Number 12.

Queen collaboration, Under Pressure, a Number 1 hit in November 1981 - is second (203,000) and also stands as Bowie’s most streamed track of the last two years on 16.7 million plays in the UK.

Other popular singles include Life On Mars and Starman, both of which re-entered the chart at Numbers 16 and 18 respectively following his death, plus his 1983 Nile Rodgers-produced single Let’s Dance.

David Bowie’s Official Top 10 biggest singles since January 2016 (sales and streams combined)

POS TITLE ARTIST
1 HEROES DAVID BOWIE
2 UNDER PRESSURE QUEEN & DAVID BOWIE
3 LIFE ON MARS DAVID BOWIE
4 STARMAN DAVID BOWIE
5 LET'S DANCE DAVID BOWIE
6 SPACE ODDITY DAVID BOWIE
7 REBEL REBEL DAVID BOWIE
8 CHANGES DAVID BOWIE
9 MOONAGE DAYDREAM DAVID BOWIE
10 MODERN LOVE DAVID BOWIE

©2018 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

David Bowie’s Official Top 10 most streamed singles since January 2016

POS TITLE ARTIST
1 UNDER PRESSURE QUEEN & DAVID BOWIE
2 HEROES DAVID BOWIE
3 LET'S DANCE DAVID BOWIE
4 LIFE ON MARS DAVID BOWIE
5 STARMAN DAVID BOWIE
6 SPACE ODDITY DAVID BOWIE
7 REBEL REBEL DAVID BOWIE
8 CHANGES DAVID BOWIE
9 MOONAGE DAYDREAM DAVID BOWIE
10 MODERN LOVE DAVID BOWIE

©2018 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

Vinyl

Bowie has always been a popular choice on vinyl. No less than seven of the star’s albums have reached Number 1 on the Official Vinyl Albums Chart since it launched in April 2015, while eight of his singles have reached Number 1 on the Official Vinyl Singles Chart, logging a total of 32 weeks at the top of the vinyl rundowns.

A selection of reissues and special picture disc releases have seen him shift 285,000 copies on black plastic over the last two years. Blackstar, Ziggy Stardust and Hunky Dory are the most popular albums on vinyl through the period, while his No Plan EP – released in February 2017 and featuring his final ever recording sessions - is his best-selling vinyl single.

David Bowie’s Official Top 10 vinyl albums since January 2016

POS TITLE ARTIST
1 BLACKSTAR DAVID BOWIE
2 THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST DAVID BOWIE
3 HUNKY DORY DAVID BOWIE
4 LEGACY DAVID BOWIE
5 CHANGESONEBOWIE DAVID BOWIE
6 NOTHING HAS CHANGED - THE VERY BEST OF DAVID BOWIE
7 ALADDIN SANE DAVID BOWIE
8 THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD DAVID BOWIE
9 LABYRINTH - OST DAVID BOWIE & TREVOR JONES
10 CRACKED ACTOR - LIVE IN LOS ANGELES '74 DAVID BOWIE

©2018 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

David Bowie’s Official Top 10 vinyl singles since January 2016

POS TITLE ARTIST
1 NO PLAN DAVID BOWIE
2 HEROES DAVID BOWIE
3 TVC 15 DAVID BOWIE
4 SOUND AND VISION DAVID BOWIE
5 BE MY WIFE DAVID BOWIE
6 GOLDEN YEARS DAVID BOWIE
7 SPACE ODDITY DAVID BOWIE
8 WITHOUT YOU I'M NOTHING PLACEBO FT DAVID BOWIE
9 FAME DAVID BOWIE
10 SUE (OR IN A SEASON OF CRIME) DAVID BOWIE

©2018 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

Look back at the artwork of all 25 of David Bowie's studio albums in our gallery:

View Image Gallery
2016 - Blackstar