David Bowie passes away at 69
David Bowie, the iconic rock star whose career spanned over five decades, passed away on January 10 after a long battle with cancer. Media persons were asked to respect the "family's privacy during their time of grief". Bill Zysblat, Bowie's business manager, confirmed the death to news channels stating that Bowie "passed away after an 18-month battle against cancer."
Who is David Bowie?
David Bowie, born David Jones in Brixton in 1947 has shaped the rock and roll industry over a 40+ year career of being a singer, multi-instrumentalist and actor. He is credited with reinventing theatricality in live performances and pioneering Glam Rock with his performances as Ziggy Stardust in the 1970s. He was inducted into the Rock n Roll hall of Fame in 1996.
Where it all began?
David took an interest in playing music as early as when he was 13 years old. When he graduated from high school, he began playing with a number of musicians at different venues and under different names, most popularly as Davy Jones and the Lower Third. He later renamed himself David Bowie, so as not be confused with Davy Jones of the Monkees.
In 1969, David Bowie was inspired by Stanely Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and wrote the hit single Space Oddity which instantly shot him to fame. BBC used the song during its coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The song was subsequently released in the US where it reached #15 on the charts for most popular songs that year.
Ziggy Stardust and the end of Woodstock
Bowie got married in 1970 and released his next album The Man Who Sold the World, with tributes to Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground and his brother Terry, who introduced him to rock and roll. He claimed he was gay and introduced the world to his alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust, a doomed rockstar in 1972. This phase signalled the end of the 1960s Woodstock era.
The 1970s: More fame and acting too
In 1973, Bowie shelved Ziggy Stardust and announced he was done with live performances. He released 2 albums, David Live (1974) and Young Americans (1975). He co-wrote his song Fame with John Lennon and it became his first American #1 hit. In 1976, he bagged a lead role in the movie The Man who Fell to Earth, his first time dabbling in acting.
More albums, and expansion
In 1980, Bowie released his hit album Scary Monsters which traced back to his early musical roots from the 1960s. By the 1990s, Bowie had released four more successful albums. He remarried in 1992, and decided to levarage his celebrity status by creating and marketing Bowie Financial Bonds and Bowie Financial Securities in 1997, which earned him $55 million.
Queen and Bowie sue Vanilla Ice
In 1990, British rock band Queen and Bowie filed a lawsuit against Vanilla Ice for copying the bass line of their song Under Pressure with only minor modifications in his hit song Ice Ice Baby.
A heart attack, collaborations
In 2004, while performing on stage in Germany, Bowie suffered a heart attack. He made a full recovery and went on to collaborate with Arcade Fire and actress Scarlett Johansson. In 2006, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and that same year played Nikola Tesla in Christopher Nolan's The Prestige. He released his last album in January 2015, 2 days before he passed.