David Bowie has been nominated posthumously for a Mercury Prize for his final album Blackstar. The Guardian reports that this is Bowie’s third nomination after Heathen in 2002 and The Next Day in 2013. Blackstar marked the end of both the star’s glittering career and life. Bowie died on 10 January 2016 from liver cancer two days after releasing Blackstar. The album is seen as a parting farewell from the great singer to his fans.
The Nerdist states that Bowie is nominated against twelve other musicians including Radiohead. The Mercury Prize is one of the music industry’s most prestigious prizes and the decision to include Bowie has been well received across the entertainment industry.
Blackstar is perhaps Bowie’s most powerful album as it was created after he was diagnosed with cancer. The most poignant moment on the album is the song Lazarus which depicts Bowie lying on a hospital bed showing both his self-awareness and commitment to his art. New Retro Wave put the album third in their ranking of Bowie’s work demonstrating how the artist never lost his talent for creating new material.
David Bowie is considered music royalty and has performed with the world’s best musicians including Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger. The Hollywood Reporter defined Bowie’s legacy “as broad as any other cultural figure of our time.” His death triggered a wave of tributes from across the entertainment industry including music legends such as Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, and Iggy Pop.
Bowie learned to adapt his style of music as trends and genres changed over time from the rock and roll of the sixties to the electric-pop of the eighties and everything in between and beyond. Alongside his music Bowie crossed over into acting appearing in such films as Labyrinth and Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige. This ensured that whatever decade it was Bowie was always entertaining us in one way or another.
Crossovers are very common in the entertainment industry to keep brands relevant. This year has seen the release of another franchise that has had to adapt with the times: Pokemon Go. The new app that has taken the world by storm is based on the original 1995 concept. After the initial popularity faded the company created new ways to reach audiences. Arcade Sushi writes that games such as Pokemon Conquest combines the two popular franchises Pokemon and Nobunaga’s Ambition.
Another example of a crossover in the entertain industry is online gaming site Slingo. Slingo started in 1996 as a type of Bingo card filled with numbers, twenty years later and it is on nearly every entertainment platform including Facebook, handheld devices, scratch lotto tickets, and smartphones. Like David Bowie these brands adapted to the changing trends and this is where the wonder of this iconic musician really shone through and transcended generations.
Because of this crossover and evergreen appeal, Bowie’s legacy with live on for years to come through Blackstar and his other records.
Billboard reported that Blackstar was Bowie’s first number one album earning 181,000 album units in the US alone. Blackstar is the first number one posthumous album since Michael Jackson’s This Is It soundtrack in 2009. The impact of Bowie’s death inspired many music lovers to revisit his extensive back catalogue and put two other albums into the top forty: Best of Bowie and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust. The Mercury Prize nomination may be the final award Bowie will win but his legacy will continue for decades to come.