David Bowie is being sued for $9.5 million (GBP5 million) by the estate of a record producer who helped him with his breakthrough 1969 single SPACE ODDITY.

The late GUS DUDGEON was called in to help Bowie on the classic song, reputedly based on NASA's Apollo 8 space mission, in April 1969. He was paid a $475 (GBP250) advance against a promise of a two per cent cut of the sales - which he allegedly never received.

Dudgeon, who died aged 59 in a car crash in 2002, also worked with THE Rolling Stones and SIR Elton John.

Royalties investigator DAVID MORGAN, who was Dudgeon's assistant at the time, says, "I was running the claim for him, and we had opened a dialogue with Bowie and his representatives in New York.

"We had rather a lot of evidence of the money we claim was owed to him.

"Apart from the huge sales of Bowie albums, the single has been on almost every compilation of top hits.

"I was with Gus the day before he died, and he seemed disappointed. He wanted Bowie to sort it out, and instead we get a letter of rejection from his representatives."

17/04/2005 10:24