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David Bowie's Blackstar hits No. 1 on Billboard chart

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Blackstar, the new album by David Bowie released just two days before the star's death, has entered the Billboard charts at the number one spot. Billboard says that the album achieved 181,000 "equivalent album units," according to Nielsen, of which 174,000 were straight album sales — the biggest sales week for a Bowie album since Nielsen's records began in 1991. It's Bowie's first No.1 album in the US, and ends Adele's five weeks on top of the chart with 25.

Best of Bowie also re-entered the Billboard charts at number 4, and Bowie's 1972 classic The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars takes the number 21 slot. Seven other Bowie albums feature in the top 200, the full list of which will be made available on Wednesday.

Recorded in the 18 months following Bowie's cancer diagnosis, which wasn't made public before this week, the already-acclaimed Blackstar has taken on a new dimension in light of the singer's death. The album contains several reflections on mortality, and fans have pored over the lyrics for possible allusions to Bowie's eventual passing. "His death was no different from his life — a work of art," hinted producer Tony Visconti. "He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift."