13,000 people signed a petition to stop Kanye West from recording a David Bowie cover album

There are rumours circulating that Kanye West is planning a tribute album in memory of David Bowie.

Is it true? No one is sure, and Kanye’s camp has yet to comment on the claims.

But the uncertainty hasn’t stopped a lot of people from getting very, very angry about the idea.

More than 13,000 people as of this writing have signed a petition demanding that West “stop … being allowed to record covers of David Bowie’s music”  — and that figure is rising fast.

The petition, started by “Peter Piranha,” says that “David Bowie was one of the single most important musicians of the 20th and 21st century, it would be a sacrilege to let it be ruined by Kanye West.”

Legendary musician David Bowie died earlier this month after a secret battle with cancer, prompting a global outpouring of grief. West was among the mourners.

It’s not clear exactly where rumour of West’s Bowie project came from, though the Independent suggests it arrives via not-always-reliable British tabloid the Daily Star, which reported (based on an unnamed source) that West is working on the album: “Some are straightforward covers with Kanye actually singing. On others he is rapping with his own lyrics over Bowie’s music.”

Peter Piranha created the petition as “a tongue-in-cheek thing I did off the cuff,” he told Business Insider by email. He says that its explosive growth “has certainly taken me by surprise,” and that he is “even getting hate-mail.” (Piranha declined to do a phone interview because he was going to bed.)

13,000 people (and counting) agree with the sentiment: “Kanye West is the Donald Trump of music,” commented one person. “David Bowie was a unique and extremely talented artist, nothing to do with Kanye’s music or the way he is exposed in the public,” said another.

But some have come out in support of the still-theoretical tribute record.

“West is the closest we have to Bowie in the modern mainstream. There is nobody else who can sell as many records as West does (30m-odd album sales and counting) while remaining so resolutely experimental and capable of stirring things up culturally and politically,” wrote Joe Muggs in the Guardian.

Christopher Hooton wrote in the Independent: “If anyone’s going to make a David Bowie tribute album (N.B. I still don’t think anyone should) who could be more fitting than Kanye? A man who has taken huge risks, who reevaluates his own work, persona, and artistic goals on a near daily basis and who seems driven by a desire to shake things up?”

Kanye West has been targeted by negative petitions before. When he was booked to headline Glastonbury, 136,000 people signed a petition calling for him to be dropped in favour of a “rock band.”

The petition failed.


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