David Bowie, 1947-2016

David Bowie – the iconic, trend-setting British rock superstar – has died at age 69. Bowie was also a member of the baby boomer generation.

Bowie was born David Robert Jones, and often performed under the name Davy or Davie Jones in the 1960s. But he worried he might be confused with The Monkees’ singer Davy Jones, so he renamed himself for American frontiersman Jim Bowie in the mid-’60s.

Bowie_2

Bowie was born with blue eyes, but when he was 15, a schoolmate punched him, leaving his left pupil permanently dilated. For the rest of Bowie’s life, that eye would appear either brown or blue depending on the light.

In the 1970s, Bowie helped popularize glam-rock, a flamboyant gender-bending theatrical style, with his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. But he later recorded disco, groundbreaking electronic experimental music, and, in the 1980s, straight-ahead pop-rock. Because of his restless refusal to remain chained to one style, Bowie was sometimes called the Chameleon of Rock.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Bowie was introduced to his second wife, the Somali-born model Iman, in 1990. It was love at first sight for Bowie, and the couple married two years later. He proposed during a boat cruise on the Seine as they passed under the Pont Neuf.

Bowie just released his 25th studio album, Blackstar, on January 8, his 69th birthday. (He shared that birthday with Elvis Presley.) Cause of his death was reported to be cancer.

One of Bowie’s best remembered songs was “Let’s Dance.”

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3 Comments

  1. A high school dance wasn’t complete without “Rebel, Rebel” or “Sufragette City”
    and only Bowie had the legs to appear on Saturday Night Live in a skirt.

    My sister and I jumped to our feet and ran to the balcony railing when he opened with “China Girl” at his LA concert in the 80s. The security guard pointed his flashlight in our eyes like a laser beam through the entire song, but we closed our eyes and “just danced.”

    Rest in peace, David, and thank you for sharing your gift with the world.

  2. The music world has suffered a huge loss. Back in the mid-1970s I was dating a girl who was an exec for RCA Records. Through her, I got to meet (and occasionally even socialize with) many of the big music stars of the day. David Bowie was signed to RCA and I got to meet him a couple times. He was a huge talent and a very pleasant person to meet in person. R.I.P. David Bowie, you will be missed but your music lives on.

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