David Bowie, one of the most influential musicians of the 20th Century, was admired by artists like Macklemore, Jay-Z, Queen, Nirvana and more.
David Robert Jones found the inspiration for his stage name, David Bowie, from a fabled American revolutionary fighter and his Bowie knife. The early life of Bowie, where he was described as a defiant brawler, somewhat contrasts the persona he is known for. His father brought home some 45s (vinyls) of artists like The Platters, Elvis and Little Richard… about the latter Bowie would say that he “heard the voice of God” when listening to ‘Tutti Frutti’.
Bowie was left with permanent damage to his eye, a distinguishing feature of his, after being punched by a friend. This gives his eyes the appearance of being different colours. He struggled as a musician for many years until ‘Space Oddity’ cracked the Top 5 on the UK Singles Chart in 1969.
In the 1970s he would create a lot of the music that he became so loved for. The visual presence and flamboyant stagecraft was important to Bowie and became one of his defining characteristics. Ziggy Stardust, his alter ego, catapulted him to fame after performing a show in a pub with the ’Spiders from Mars’. The song ‘Fame’ became a huge hit in 1975.
Bowie received the Brit Award for Best British Male, accepted by Kate Moss on his behalf saying: “I’m completely delighted to have a Brit for being the best male – but I am, aren’t I Kate? Yes. I think it’s a great way to end the day. Thank you very, very much and Scotland stay with us.”
Some legacy leaving albums were: Berlin Trilogy, Heroes and Lodger all done with Brian Eno, a number one hit with Queen, ‘Under Pressure’, and a US and UK chart topping ‘Let’s Dance’ in 1983.
Blackstar was the final record Bowie released, two days before his death. Bowie recorded right up until just before the album was released. He sold 140 million copies in his lifetime and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.