Take a look at this graph. It’s a Google trends snapshot, measuring interest in David Bowie (as in the number of Google searches) over time.
Guess where on the timeline he died.
Bobby points us to ReadThink.com and a discussion of death as a career move.
In its first week, Blackstar sold 181,000 equivalent album units in the United States, a figure that’s based on sales of physical albums as well as streaming activity and digital downloads.
But Bowie is by no means the only musician to posthumously reach #1 on the charts with a new album.
In 1971, for example, Janis Joplin’s Pearl was released three months after her death and remained at #1 for 9 weeks. The album was later certified quadruple-platinum, selling 4 million+ units.
In 1994, Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged in New York was released approximately seven months after frontman Kurt Cobain’s death. That album debuted at #1 and would go on to sell 5 million units over the course of the next three years.
A final example: In 1997, the Notorious B.I.G.’s appropriately titled album Life After Death (a follow-up to 1994’s Ready to Die) was released a mere two weeks after Biggie’s passing. In addition to reaching #1 on the charts, it became one of the first hip hop albums to ever earn the RIAA’s Diamond certification, selling 10 million+ units by the year 2000.