The world is mourning the loss of a true icon today, following the tragic passing of David Bowie, who has died aged 69 following a “courageous” battle with cancer.
The singer’s family shared the following statement on Facebook: “January 10 2016 – 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.”
Our thoughts go out to David Bowie’s family and friends.
Despite being born a legend (he shared the same birthday as Elvis Presley), here are some more reasons why we adore David Bowie….
He wasn’t in it for the fame
Bowie turned down two big British honors: Commander (CBE) in 2000, and a knighthood in 2003. He said: “I would never have any intention of accepting anything like that. I seriously don’t know what it’s for. It’s not what I spent my life working for.” Bowie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. We assume he didn’t have much say in that. He also has a spider species named after him which was discovered in Malaysia in 2009. It’s called Heteropoda Davidbowie.
He won the internet
In 1996, Bowie released the single Telling Lies exclusively on his website, it was the first ever downloadable single by a major artist. He launched BowieNet, his own ISP, a year later.
He was a multi-talented musician
Bowie could play 14 different instruments and nearly every instrument that appeared in his music. He began playing the saxophone in school, as well as piano and ukulele, and played the sax solo at the end of Heroes.
He said he was moonwalking before Michael Jackson
Bowie said he was moonwalking years before Michael Jackson wowed the world in 1983’s Billie Jean. He wrote on his official website that choreographer Toni Basil taught him a type of moonwalk for his 1974 Diamond Dogs tour.
Speaking of the moon….
His first UK hit, Space Oddity, was used by the BBC for the coverage of the moon landing in 1969. Of course.
He was a do-er
Bowie played just about every instrument on Diamond Dogs – including the famous guitar riff on Rebel Rebel. Also, when recording the Magic Dance song for the Labyrinth soundtrack, the baby wouldn’t provide the necessary coos and giggles so David Bowie did it himself.
He didn’t have much luck with his eye
Bowie’s left pupil was permanently dilated after apparently being punched in the eye by his friend George Underwood (they were fighting over a girl). Also, at a gig in Oslo in 2004, Bowie was struck in the eye by a lollipop hurled from the crowd. It became lodged there, before being removed by a member of his road crew. Like the legend he was, Bowie then continued with the show.
He was a style icon far earlier than we realised
A teenage Bowie was interviewed on a BBC programme as the founder of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-haired Men. He complained: “It’s not nice when people call you darling and that”. Bowie went on to have many alter egos including Ziggy Stardust, Major Tom, Aladdin Sane, the Thin White Duke, Tao Jones, Halloween Jack, and John Merrick.
He was very involved
He was in 10 bands: The Konrads, The Hooker Brothers, The King Bees, The Manish Boys, The Lower Third, The Buzz, The Riot Squad, The Hype, Tin Machine and Tao Jones Index. He also worked with many artists, including Bing Crosby who he dueted with on his last ever single The Little Drummer Boy. Luther Vandross did backing vocals for Bowie on his album Young Americans and Nile Rodgers produced the biggest-selling album of Bowie’s career, 1983’s Let’s Dance.
He didn’t take himself too seriously
Bowie made a special guest appearance on the SpongeBob SquarePants episode Atlantis SquarePantis as the Lord Royal Highness, and was the star of an episode in the second series of Ricky Gervais, where he made up a song ridiculing Gervais’ character, Andy Millman. And Labrynth, did we mention Labyrinth?