David Bowie Tribute Concerts in New York City

Show originally meant to star Bowie have now become tributes

ByABC News
March 29, 2016, 12:26 PM

— -- New York City benefit concerts paying tribute to the late David Bowie will take place this Thursday and Friday, respectively, at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall.

The sold-out shows are the latest in a series of star-studded themed tribute events organized annually by entrepreneur Michael Dorf.

When he initially began planning the Bowie tribute, Dorf told ABC News he'd hoped the rock legend would considered performing himself at the show, something a few previous honorees have done. Sadly, the very day that plans for the March 31 concert at Carnegie Hall were announced to the public, Bowie died. He was 69.

Dorf said he feels that the singer will still, "be there in spirit."

Bowie's untimely passing led to a swell of interest in the tribute concert at Carnegie Hall from both fans and musicians, prompting Dorf to line up a second show the following night at Radio City Music Hall. Dorf said he expects the second event, at the much larger Radio City, to be a boon to his organization's fundraising.

"We're going to raise close to three times what we normally do per year in terms of the donation to music-education programs for kids," he said. "So, [it's] a silver lining to some extent."

Additional funds will be raised for the charities via a live stream of the Radio City Music Hall available to those who donate at least $5 through MusicofDavidBowie.com.

Among the big-name artists who will be performing at one or both of the concerts are Heart's Ann Wilson, ex-R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe and Patti Smith, all of whom are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Dorf said having Wilson on the bill of both concerts "is very exciting," noting that she maintains her great voice.

Stipe, who also will sing at both gigs, performs live "very, very rarely these days." His band R.E.M. was the previous honoree at one of the tribute shows.

As for Smith, who will only appear at the Carnegie Hall show, Dorf said she is someone whom he will, "seriously consider trying to do a tribute to soon," adding that her, "presence just adds such depth to anything she touches."

The full details about this week's Bowie tribute concerts are posted to MusicOf.org.