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That time Chris Hadfield covered David Bowie in space


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Monday, January 11, 2016, 12:00 PM - The world is mourning David Bowie, a giant of music who died Sunday after a long battle with cancer.

A statement on the singer's Facebook page said he died "peacefully" and "surrounded by his family." He was 69.

Bowie's music inspired generations of artists, and resulted in at least one, out-of-this-world Canadian connection: None other than Commander Chris Hadfield, who covered Bowie's 1969 classic "Space Oddity" while aboard the International Space Station.

He recorded a version of it, and released it near the end of his tenure aboard the station.

In a look-back on his website, Hadfield said the cover came about for a number of reasons (not least of which: It was fun), but he wanted to use it to show people "where we truly are in space exploration."

"For the past 14 years, humans have lived and worked aboard a research vessel orbiting our planet. It is science fiction come to life," Hadfield wrote. "Like at all initial outposts, we’ve brought our traditions and sensibilities and are applying and appreciating them in a new place. Sometimes, as in the case of Oddity, it has let us see our ideas and creations, ourselves, in a new light. "

CHRIS HADFIELD SINGS SPACE ODDITY IN SPACE!“Hallo Spaceboy...”Commander Chris Hadfield, currently on board the...

Posted by David Bowie on Sunday, May 12, 2013

The use of the song on the Canadian Space Agency's YouTube channel was allowed under a one-year agreement. When it expired, it was dutifully taken down.

By that point, Hadfield's cover had garnered more than 23 million views, and the commander immediately began the legal process to re-obtain permission to post it -- amid the myriad copyright concerns that come with music produced by an astronaut in space.

"Despite countless on-line expressions of frustration and desire, it wasn’t anyone’s ill-will or jealousy that kept this version of Oddity off YouTube. It was merely the natural consequence of due process," Hadfield wrote, once that permission was acquired and the song re-posted.

It's on there now, and aside from the song's beauty, it also proved Hadfield had some serious musical chops. His first album "Space Sessions: Songs from a Tin Can", consisting of works recorded aboard the I.S.S., was released in October 2015.

SOURCE: Chris Hadfield

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