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The business of being Bowie

Even as David Bowie fans mourn him, few know he had a crystal-ball view of how the music industry would evolve and how he should roll with it.

Bowie (above, at Glastonbury in 2000) securitised the future royalties from his catalogue of 287 songs. In effect, he sold the future revenues of these songs to Prudential Insurance, offering 7.9 per cent interest on the US$55 million he received.

DAVID Bowie was that rare kind of rock star: You didn't have to like his music to admire him. He was a business visionary like the ones in Silicon Valley who don't see the point of building companies: He was his own greatest product. 

Bowie, born David Jones, died on Jan 10 at the age of...