News February 1, 2016

Bowie’s estate divided among family and close friends

Poppy Reid

David Bowie has left an estate valued at around US$100m (A$141.4m) with half reportedly left to his widow Iman.

David Bowie’s will was filed in a Manhattan court on Friday, under his birth name, David Robert Jones.

Iman will also receive the home she shared with Bowie in Manhattan, New York. The other half of Bowie’s estate will be shared between his son Duncan Jones and daughter Alexandria Zahra Jones. 15-year-old Zahra Jones was also left a home on Little Tonshi Mountain, near Woodstock.

According to New York Daily News, Bowie’s long-standing personal assistant, Corinne Schwab, was left US$2m and another US$1m went to friend and former nanny of his 44-year-old son Duncan, Marion Skene.

The will, which was written in 2004, requested he be cremated in Bali and his ashes scattered in a Buddhist ritual. The will noted that if his cremation in Bali was “not practical” then his ashes should be scattered on the Indonesian island “in accordance with the Buddhist rituals”.

In agreement with Bowie’s wishes, there was no funeral held for him. According to a death certificate filed with the will, Bowie was cremated two days after his death on January 12 in New Jersey. It’s been reported that his ashes have been scattered. 

Of his 26 albums released in his five-decade-long career, David Bowie sold an estimated 140 million records. His highest-selling album, 1983’s Let’s Dance, sold around seven million copies. He also earned an estimated US$55m from “Bowie bonds”, his world-first privately-placed securitisation of music royalties. By securitising the royalty rights to his songs in 1997, Bowie was able to sell them to Prudential Insurance Company for the lump sum.

Bowie has this week tied a chart record in the UK set by Elvis Presley in 1977. The pair now have the most simultaneous entries in the Top 40 of the UK Albums chart, with 12 records. Bowie’s last release Blackstar has also entered its third consecutive week at #1 in the UK. The album was released on his 69th birthday, two days before his passing on January 10.

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