The true meaning of an artist, the legendary singer-songwriter. The actor. The legend. David Bowie lost his battle with cancer Sunday night. He was 69.
The troubling news was confirmed on Bowie’s official Facebook page with the singer’s rep breaking the bad news;
“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”
He was as original as an artist could get. He had a stand-out voice that made it an iconic fixture in rock’n’roll for nearly five decades. He had mystery, rebellion and curiosity in his music.
Bowie began as a folk-rock spaceman, then he morphed into a glam-rock alien, known as Ziggy Stardust. Ziggy was a well-dressed, blue-eyed, funk maestro. Drug-loving art rocker. A new-wave hit maker.
He had flair.
In the studio, he had hits like; “Space Oddity”, “Changes”, “Fame”, “Heroes”, “Let’s Dance” and “Where Are We Now?”. Along the way, he has been covered by greats – Joan Jett, Duran Duran, Smashing Pumpkins, Arcade Fire, Oasis, Ozzy Osbourne, Morrissey, Beck, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bauhaus, Nine Inch Nails.
As the news broke, Twitter exploded with tributes, including a tweet from Kanye West;
“David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime, I pray for his friends and family.”
Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all. pic.twitter.com/Kh2fq3tf9m
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) January 11, 2016
My first memory of this great. RIP David Bowie. You were mesmerising. pic.twitter.com/igPbHSJq1Y
— Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern) January 11, 2016
RIP #DavidBowie. He taught the world that breaking down the walls of genre was a rock n roll thing to do. A true legend.
— Scott Bradlee (@scottbradlee) January 11, 2016
This death is our generation’s Lennon, really. Hideous. #Bowie
— Sali Hughes (@salihughes) January 11, 2016
David Bowie was born David Robert Jones on January 8, 1947. He was born in a working-class neighbourhood of London. His father, Heywood Jones, was a promotions director for a charity that helped children. His mother, Margaret Mary Jones, was a waitress. Bowie learned the sax at 13, while attending high school that prepped him to score his dream job – a gig as a commercial artist. When he started to focus on music, he would perform with other bands in town, including Davey Jones and the Lower Third. He even took the name, Bowie so he wouldn’t get confused with the popular Monkees singer.
After a low-charting debut in 1967, Bowie released “Space Oddity”, which told the story about an astronaut named Major Tom. Bowie had a hit. The song hit number one on the charts in the U.K. and number 15 in the States and the album made it to the top 20 in both markets. Bowie on was fire.
I was just listening to Bowie’s new album on Friday, Blackstar, the same day the album was released.
“We were listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar,” producer Tony Visconti said of the recording sessions. “We wound up with nothing like that, but we loved the fact Kendrick was so open-minded and he didn’t do a straight-up hip-hop record. He threw everything on there, and that’s exactly what we wanted to do. The goal, in many, many ways, was to avoid rock & roll.”
His long career as an actor, the memorable roles in The Man Who Fell to Earth, Labyrinth, The Hunger, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and The Prestige, among others. He most recently was part of an off-Broadway musical, Lazarus, which told the story of his character in The Man Who Fell to Earth with songs throughout his career and some originals.
I’m not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with potential of a superman. I’m living on.
This is a developing story and will be updated frequently.