David Bowie Scores First Top 40 Hot 100 Single Since 1987 With 'Lazarus'

Courtesy Photo
David Bowie in the video for "Lazarus."

The late icon debuts at No. 40 with "Lazarus." He also re-enters with two other titles while taking over a record 21 of the 50 positions on the Hot Rock Songs chart.

The depth of appreciation for David Bowie, who passed away Jan. 10 at age 69, keeps becoming clearer, as evidenced by Billboard charts, as the legend lands his first top 40 hit single on the Billboard Hot 100 in more than 28 years.

He also owns nearly half the 50-position Hot Rock Songs chart, breaking a record with 21 concurrent titles. (All tallies refresh tomorrow, Jan. 20, on Billboard.com.)

David Bowie Set for 2nd Week Atop U.K. Album Chart With 'Blackstar'

"Lazarus," from Bowie's farewell album Blackstar, debuts at No. 40 on the Hot 100 (dated Jan. 30). It's his first top 40 Hot 100 hit since "Never Let Me Down," which reached No. 28 on the chart dated Sept. 26, 1987. "Lazarus" is Bowie's 14th top 40 entry on the Hot 100 overall. He logged his first, the No. 15-peaking "Space Oddity," in 1973. Of his 14 top 40 Hot 100 hits, six soared to the top 10, with two climbing all the way to No. 1: "Fame," for two weeks in 1975, and "Let's Dance," for a week in 1983.

As previously reported, Blackstar begins at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking Bowie's first-ever No. 1 on the chart with 181,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Jan. 14, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 174,000 were in pure album sales, marking Bowie’s biggest sales week for an album since Nielsen began electronically tracking point-of-sale music purchases in 1991.

David Bowie's 'Blackstar' Is His First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200

"Lazarus" launches with the bulk (86 percent) of its Hot 100 chart points from streaming, as the track starts on Streaming Songs at No. 15 with 8.1 million U.S. streams (up from 156,000). It also sold 16,000 downloads in the tracking week (up from less than 1,000).

Two Bowie classics also re-enter the Hot 100: "Oddity," at No. 42, and his Queen collaboration "Under Pressure," at No. 45. The latter reached No. 29 in 1982 (and would later be sampled in Vanilla Ice's 1990 No. 1 "Ice Ice Baby"). (Older songs are allowed to return to the Hot 100 if ranking in the top 50 and showing notable gains.) "Oddity" re-enters the Hot 100 with 5.5 million streams (up from 414,000) and 44,000 downloads sold (up from 1,000), while "Pressure" resurges with 5.9 million streams (up from 455,000) and 36,000 sold (up from 2,000). Plus, the Blackstar title track debuts at No. 78.

Thus, while "Lazarus" was the most-streamed Bowie song of the week (8.1 million), "Oddity" was his top-selling track (44,000).

Meanwhile, on the 50-position Hot Rock Songs chart (which premiered in 2009), Bowie boasts a record 21 songs, including all seven on Blackstar. (Similar to the Hot 100, older songs can chart if ranking in the Hot Rock Songs list's upper half. Both surveys blend measurements of sales, streaming and airplay.) With his 21 concurrent chart entries (one a re-entry), Bowie shatters the record for the most titles on Hot Rock Songs in a week; Mumford & Sons had previously charted 14 simultaneous hits for three weeks in 2012, following the release of their album Babel.

Here's a look at all of Bowie's songs on Hot Rock Songs this week:

*No. 3 (debut), "Lazarus" (and No. 40 on the Hot 100)
No. 4 (debut), "Space Oddity" (and No. 42 on the Hot 100)
No. 5 (debut), "Under Pressure" (with Queen) (and No. 45 on the Hot 100)
No. 7 (debut), "Let's Dance"
No. 10 (debut), "Changes"
No. 11 (debut), "Heroes"
No. 12 (debut), "Life on Mars?"
*No. 13 (re-entry), "Blackstar" (after spending a prior week at No. 36; it also debuts at No. 78 on the Hot 100)
No. 14 (debut), "Fame"
No. 16 (debut), "Rebel Rebel"
No. 17 (debut), "Ziggy Stardust"
No. 19 (debut), "Starman"
No. 20 (debut), "China Girl"
No. 21 (debut), "Golden Years"
No. 23 (debut), "Modern Love"
No. 25 (debut), "Young Americans"
*No. 34 (debut), "'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore"
*No. 39 (debut), "I Can't Give Everything Away"
*No. 40 (debut), "Girl Loves Me"
*No. 41 (debut), "Dollar Days"
*No. 43 (debut), "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)"

*from Blackstar

Radio likewise is celebrating Bowie, as "Lazarus" debuts at No. 26 on the Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart. Leading the way: 17 plays in the tracking week on WNCS Burlington, Vt., and 16 on WFUV New York. Praised WNCS program director Zeb Norris last week, "More than a musician, more than a rock star, more than an actor or celebrity, David Bowie was one of the most important artists of our times."