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LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Even before David Bowie's death from cancer was announced, the music legend had secured another Number 1 chart hit in Britain with his new Blackstar album.
Bowie, who framed hits such as "Ziggy Stardust" with daringly androgynous displays of sexuality and glittering costumes, died aged 69 on Sunday.
"As the sad news of David Bowie's death broke this morning, the iconic singer's new album Blackstar is charging to Number 1 this week," OfficialCharts.com said in a statement.
"The legendary star's 25th studio collection takes an early lead on today's Official Albums Chart Update with combined sales so far of 43,000 - 25,000 ahead of his closest competitor."
Sales details since the announcement of his death will not be reflected in the charts data until at least Tuesday, a spokeswoman said.
On Amazon's UK website, Blackstar was the Number 1 "best seller" while Apple iTunes said a collection of Bowie's greatest hits was the fifth-best selling album.
"Blackstar", co-produced by Bowie's long-time collaborator Tony Visconti, features only seven songs, but critics praised the latest work, with Britain's Guardian newspaper calling it "a spellbinding break with (Bowie's) past".
The album is part jazz but full of what NME describes as "warped showtunes, skronking industrial rock, soulful balladeering, airy folk-pop, even hip-hop".
In a video accompanying the Blackstar album, which was released on his 69th birthday last Friday, the singer was shown in a hospital bed with bandages around his eyes.
"Look up here, I'm in heaven," he sings from a hospital bed in the video accompanying the album.
"I've got scars that can't be seen. I've got drama, can't be stolen. Everybody knows me now. Look up here, man, I'm in danger. I've got nothing left to lose." (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Gareth Jones)