The biggest names in rock and roll came together at Radio City Music Hall on Friday night to celebrate the music of David Bowie.

The concert, the second of two major benefit shows held in the city this week paying tribute to the late rock legend, featured an eclectic lineup that included Heart’s Ann Wilson, Blondie, R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, Mumford & Sons, Rickie Lee Jones, Pixies, The Flaming Lips and Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction.

“Ashes to Ashes” — Michael Stipe with Karen Elson

The show featured 20 different performances, with the various artists playing reverent versions of songs from throughout Bowie’s deep catalog. Serving as the house band for much of the event was Holy Holy, a group led by longtime Bowie producer Tony Visconti and also featuring Woody Woodmansey, the drummer of David’s early-’70s band The Spiders from Mars.

Wilson kicked things off with a powerful version of Bowie’s first hit, 1969’s “Space Oddity.” Stipe teamed up with singer Karen Elson, Jack White’s ex-wife, and pianist Paul Cantelon for a quiet-yet-intense rendition of “Ashes to Ashes.”

Mumford & Sons turned the glam-rock gem “It Ain’t Easy” from 1972’s Ziggy Stardust album – into an Americana-inspired anthem. The Pixies played their own song, “Cactus,” which Bowie covered on his 2002 album, Heathen.


As the concert neared its finale, some of the biggest names on the bill got the crowd on its feet with rousing versions of some of Bowie’s best-loved songs. Jones got the audience to join her in singing “All the Young Dudes,” Farrell rocked the house with “Rebel Rebel” and Blondie delivered a heartfelt take on “Heroes.”

The Flaming Lips put their surreal spin on “Life on Mars?,” as frontman Kevin Coyne, wearing a robe draped in tubes of flashing lights, sang while riding piggyback on a guy dressed in a Wookiee costume.

To close out the show, Toronto-based singing group Choir! Choir! Choir! took the stage with The New York City Youth Chorus and many of the evening’s other performers and led the crowd in a sing-along of “Space Oddity.”

As previously reported, the Radio City Music Hall show, and a similar Bowie tribute held the previous night at Carnegie Hall, were organized by local entrepreneur Michael Dorf to raise money for a number of charities supporting music-education programs.

For more details about the events, visit

Here’s the complete list of performances at Friday night’s show:


“Space Oddity” — Ann Wilson of Heart

“The Width of a Circle” — Holy Holy

“Sorrow” — Jakob Dylan

“If You Can See Me” — Esperanza Spalding

“Lazarus” — Donny McCaslin Group with Mark Giuliana, Jason Lindner and Tony Visconti

“Moonage Daydream” — Ron Pope


“The Bewlay Brothers” — Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio

“Quicksand” — J Mascis and Sean Lennon

“Ashes to Ashes” — Michael Stipe with Karen Elson

“Cactus” — Pixies

“The Man Who Sold the World” — Joseph Arthur

“Slip Away”/”Memory of a Free Festival” — The Polyphonic Spree


“Blackstar” — Amanda Palmer, Anna Calvi and Jherek Bischoff with Kronos Quartet

“It Ain’t Easy” — Mumford & Sons

“Five Years” — Cat Power

“All the Young Dudes” — Rickie Lee Jones

“Rebel Rebel” — Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction

“Heroes” — Blondie


“Life on Mars?” — The Flaming Lips

“Space Oddity — Choir! Choir! Choir! with The New York City Youth Chorus