Bowie fans around the world have been left shocked and saddened at the news of the pop legend’s death yesterday. Reportedly he passed away surrounded by friends and family, after an 18 month battle with cancer that was not made public.
Bowie’s unexpected departure follows the release of his latest album ‘Blackstar’ last Friday, which was also the singer’s 69th birthday.
Since the announcement of his death via social media, tributes to Mr Bowie have been pouring out. Fans, celebrities, politicians and even the Archbishop of Canterbury have made tributes to the man himself. In fact there have been so many that the BBC have set up a live blog documenting the world’s reaction.
From the number of tributes and declarations of gratitude and respect it’s pretty clear that a lot of people loved David Bowie. He’s been described as an “infinitely changeable, fiercely forward-looking songwriter who taught generations of musicians about the power of drama, images and persona.”
“I don’t know where I’m going from here but I promise it won’t be boring” is one of Bowie’s most famous quotes and it nicely sums up his career for us…thanks David.
The dude was so darn popular with fans and fellow musicians alike because his music based itself on constant reinvention. Bowie’s career spanned 40 years and he was considered an innovator for his use of alter egos, colourful costumes and visionary rock music.
Bowie’s genre of music was ‘glam rock’ aka glitter rock. It was pretty different to the rock and roll that dominated the music scene in the 1970s. It challenged social conventions of the time, specifically gender roles in society, and celebrated the outcasts. All during a time that people were somewhat sceptical of those considered on the fringes of society.
Glam rockers wore crazy, colourful outfits, makeup and hairstyles. Regardless of gender, high heeled shoes were often worn and most importantly s*** tonnes of glitter. Bowie explored the idea of fluid gender roles in both men and women through his alter egos, the most famous of which was Ziggy Stardust.
Bowie received two Grammys and nine of his albums went platinum in the UK. Throughout his career he sold an estimated 135 million albums worldwide. His popular hits included Heroes, Let’s Dance and Under Pressure.
Bowie refused honours from the Queen not once but twice. It was considered a display of his rebellious streak.
His acting career saw him star in a number of recognisable roles, ranging from a cameo appearance in Zoolander, a voice over in Spongebob Squarepants to starring in the more serious role of John Merrick in the Broadway play, The Elephant Man.
Rest in peace Mr Bowie and cheers for teaching us that we can all be heroes, even if it is just for one day.