David Bowie

Actor / Rock Musician

Born: 8 January 1947
Died: 10 January 2016 (cancer)
Birthplace: Brixton, England
Best known as: The innovative rock star who was Ziggy Stardust

Name at birth: David Robert Jones

David Bowie was rock and roll's great chameleon. Across 27 albums and 40 years of stardom he was glam, androgynous, innovative, spooky, soulful, and almost always influential. Bowie's first big hit was the 1969 album "Space Oddity" with its single of the same title ("Ground control to Major Tom..."). In 1972 he recorded The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, which featured the hit songs "Suffragette City" and "Starman." Bowie promoted the album with an elaborate stage act with Bowie as his alter ego Ziggy Stardust in makeup and quirky costumes, making him a leader of glam-rock in the mid-1970s. His 1975 album Young Americans began his "plastic soul" period, and in the 1980s he became more of an elegant rock presence with hits like "Under Pressure" (with the band Queen) and "Let's Dance" (from his hit 1983 album of the same name). Bowie also had hit records in collaboration with other stars, including Lou Reed, John Lennon, Iggy Pop and Brian Eno. David Bowie also acted in films, notably in The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976), The Hunger (1983, as a vampire with Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon), Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983) and in the 1986 fantasy Labyrinth (directed by Muppets creator Jim Henson, with Bowie as the frightening Goblin King). David Bowie also played inventor Nikola Tesla in the 2006 movie The Prestige (starring Christian Bale). Bowie also took the title role in The Elephant Man in an American stage production (1980-81). In the 21st century Bowie disappeared from the spotlight, but he returned in 2013 with the album The Next Day. Another album, Blackstar, was released on his 69th birthday in January of 2016 and went straignt to #1 in the United Kingdom. A few days later, on January 10th, Bowie's family stunned the world with the announcement that Bowie had died: "David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief."
Extra credit:

David Bowie’s name is pronounced “BOH-ee (-oh as in no)” according to the BBC… David Bowie married the model Angela Barnett in 1970; they were divorced in 1980. They had one son, Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones (b. 1971), who as Duncan Jones became the director of the 2009 film Moon and other movies… Bowie married the Somali-born fashion model Iman in 1992. Their daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones, was born in 2000… A video of David Bowie singing a duet of “The Little Drummer Boy” with old-school crooner Bing Crosby makes the rounds every December. The clip is from the 1977 TV special Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas. Crosby and Bowie taped their scene in September of 1977; Crosby died the next month, and the special was aired posthumously at the holidays.

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