Entertainment & Arts

David Bowie tribute concert draws stars in Carnegie Hall in New York

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionOrganisers were overwhelmed by requests to perform after Bowie's death

An all-star tribute concert to David Bowie, announced shortly before he died, has been held in New York.

The concert in Carnegie Hall was announced on 10 January as a retrospective of Bowie's life.

But hours later, the singer's family announced his death from cancer. The concert then quickly sold out.

Among the acts performing were the Flaming Lips, the Pixies, Debbie Harry, Cyndi Lauper and former REM singer Michael Stipe.

Demand was so high that a second concert was added for Friday night at Radio City Music Hall. It will be broadcast online.

David Bowie obituary

Bowie's life in pictures

"God bless David Bowie," Jakob Dylan said after performing one of the singer's most recognized songs, Heroes.

Another of his hits, Starman, brought the crowd to its feet, in a performance by Blondie leader Debbie Harry. Heart's Ann Wilson got the audience moving with Let's Dance.

The Flaming Lips performance saw singer Wayne Coyne wearing a suit of lights sat atop the shoulders of a band mate dressed as Chewbacca to sing Life on Mars.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Debbie Harry was among the performers, as was Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips who was accompanied by Chewbacca
Image copyright AP
Image caption Cyndi Lauper sang Suffragette City
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Former REM singer Michael Stipe was among those who took part

But Cyndi Lauper's version of Suffragette City and Laurie Anderson's take of Always Crashing in the Same Car seemed to have failed to impress the public.

Other hits such as Rebel, Rebel and Life on Mars, and some more obscure songs, were also performed.

Carnegie Hall was where Bowie made his New York debut in 1972, a city where he would live for 20 years.

The annual tribute concerts, that have previously focused on acts including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Joni Mitchell, were set up to raise money for charity.

Organisers were overwhelmed by requests by performers keen to take part after Bowie's death.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ann Wilson performed Bowie's Let's Dance
Image copyright AP
Image caption Heroes, another of Bowie's hits, was performed by Jakob Dylan
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Organisers were overwhelmed by requests to perform after Bowie's death

"We felt kind of awkward because we are usually so humbly grateful to anyone who wants to participate in this," producer Michael Dorf said.

One scheduled act, hip-hop band The Roots, pulled out of the shows on Thursday, after accusing another unnamed group of refusing to allow them to use their equipment.

More on this story