FULL STORY: Well this was completely unexpected. DAVID BOWIE died yesterday at the age of 69. He’d had cancer for a while, but kept it pretty much a secret. They didn’t say what kind.
Here’s what the official statement said. “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.”
Obviously Bowie was a rock icon for over 40 years, and his career incorporated glam rock, soul, pop, and electronica.
His big breakthrough was the 1972 album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”. That’s the one with “Moonage Daydream”, “Starman”, “Ziggy Stardust”, and “Suffragette City”.
Ziggy Stardust kind of became his alter ego for a while too . . . the pale white makeup, the big orange hair, the weird androgynous outfits.
And he had other personas and styles over the years. Basically he was doing a weird mixture of rock, art, and fashion 40 years before Lady Gaga. And that might have been as influential as his music.
Believe it or not, he only had two #1 songs in America . . . “Fame” in 1975, and “Let’s Dance” in 1983.
Other Bowie classics include “Space Oddity”, “Changes”, “Rebel Rebel”, “Young Americans”, “Golden Years”, “Heroes”, “Modern Love”, “Under Pressure” with QUEEN, and Little Drummer Boy” with BING CROSBY.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and got the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
He also did a bunch of acting: He played an alien in “The Man Who Fell to Earth” . . . a vampire in “The Hunger” . . . the Goblin King in “Labyrinth” . . . and Pontius Pilate in the Martin Scorsese movie “The Last Temptation of Christ”.
More recently, he had a pretty big part in “The Prestige” . . . the movie where Christian Bale and High Jackman were rival magicians . . . and did a cameo as himself in “Zoolander”.
His real name was David Jones, but he changed it so he wouldn’t be confused with DAVY JONES of THE MONKEES. And he had a permanently dilated eye after being punched in the face in a schoolyard fight over a girl.
He married the model IMAN in 1992, and they were still together. They had a daughter, and Bowie had a son from a previous marriage too.
His most recent album was “Blackstar”, and it just came out on Friday . . . which was also his 69th birthday.