UK2 says goodbye to Starman David Bowie.
Musical icon David Bowie sadly passed away last night, two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his 28th studio album. He was fighting a silent battle against cancer, which became apparent following a statement from his Facebook page. Not only was he a legend in the music world but also an actor and ingenious businessman.
We all remember Bowie for his unforgettable musical talent and his original ever-changing appearance. Born in South London his path to success in the music business was not straightforward. Following a struggle in the 60’s his single “Space Oddity” became a hit in 1969, following which he retreated from the spotlight to evolve his music, re-emerging in 1972 as Ziggy Stardust: the flamboyant red head with the famous lighting bolt painted across his face. “Starman” was the first hit single from the album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”.
Bowie’s popularity crossed the pond to America for the first time in 1975 with the single “Fame”, co-written by John Lennon. At this time he revamped his style once again to a much less outrageous look. The corresponding album “Young Americans” and it’s shift in sound however did not cater to the taste of his UK fans. He then combined the UK and US market expectations in his collaboration trilogy albums with Brian Eno: “Low”, “Heroes” and “Lodger” (1977-1979). In 1981 Bowie collaborated with Queen to produce the album “Under Pressure”.
Next up for Bowie was the hit album “Let’s Dance”, released in 1983 following his relocation to New York. This was a real breakthrough record, propelling him to superstardom. In this decade he not only focussed on music but also his other passion: film. He landed roles in “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (1976) and The Elephant Man on Broadway (1980) as well as “Cat People and The Hunger” and the famous “Labyrinth”. Bowie headlined at the famous Glastonbury festival more than once and toured the world over appearing live for the last time in 2006.
In the 90’s Bowie released several albums which were not great successes, but this was the decade he married his beautiful bride, model Iman. The surprise of this decade was Bowie’s business-savvy side emerging. He created the “Bowie Bond” in 1997 as mentioned on CNN Money; he basically sold his intellectual property rights through a bond. “Bowie sold his rights to future royalties from music recorded before 1990 to a group of investors who then issued a 10-year bond.” reported Jim Boulden of CNN Money.
Bowie continued to experiment in the 1990’s and 2000’s ending with the release of his newest and final album “Blackstar” released on his birthday, 8th January 2016. Releasing just a couple of days before his death, many are calling the record a goodbye of sorts from Bowie through his most powerful medium: music.
Bowie’s music and his style influenced many artists across the world. Some of his songs which were re-invented by new bands include “Drive-In Saturday” by Morrissey and a “Space Oddity” interpretation by the Smashing Pumpkins. He even made his mark on the world of hip hop; Jay Z gives his recognition to Bowie in “Takeover” and of course the famous sampling of “Under Pressure” in Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby”. Puff Daddy and Craig David both feature samples from “Let’s Dance” in their own songs.
Today social media channels are flooded with heartfelt messages of support from family, friends and fans for David and his family. Pharrell Williams tweeted: “David Bowie was a true innovator, a true creative. May he rest in peace” whilst Lady Gaga retweeted a post in recognition of Bowie’s huge influence on style: “In all honesty, Gaga as we know her would not exist without David Bowie”. Even our Prime Minister David Cameron tweets: “I grew up listening to and watching the pop genius David Bowie. He was a master of re-invention, who kept getting it right. A huge loss.” And superstar Madonna’s sadness and grief was conveyed across several tweets, including: “So lucky to have met you!!!! Hot Tramp I love you So!”.
As a final goodbye to the legend David Bowie from UK2 Group we end this post with a tweet from Hilton Als for The New Yorker:
“David Bowie, that outsider who made different kids feel like dancing in that difference”.