David Bowie (Born David Jones, 8.1.1947) was an English singer and songwriter who rose to fame in the 1970s and remained active in the music business for five decades. He passed away on the 10th January 2016.
Childhood: David Bowie (then Jones) was born in Brixton, London. His mother was Irish and his father was a Yorkshireman. The family moved to Bromley, in Kent, when David was six. As a child, David was fascinated by the records his father brought home, of Fats Domino, and Little Richard, among others. His half-brother Terry also introduced him to the likes of Charles Mingus and John Coltrane.
Music: In 1962, Bowie formed his first band, the Konrads. He later went on to perform under the name Davie Jones, or Davy Jones. To avoid confusion with Davy Jones of The Monkees, he chose the stage name David Bowie. His first, eponymous album was released by Deram Records, an offshoot of Decca. However, it wasn't until the 1969 release of 'Space Oddity', which coincided with the first moon landing, that Bowie hit the big time.
In 2000 he made his second appearance at Glastonbury festival after, 30 years since his last performance
He accepted a Grammy in February 2006 for a lifetime achievement award.
In 2014 he won a Brit award for Best British Male, this made him the oldest recipient of a Brit award and it was accepted by Kate Moss on his behalf.
Key Albums: Originally released in 1969, the Space Oddity album became one of Bowie's best-known and most popular albums. It's follow-up, The Man Who Sold the World (1970) saw Bowie, with the help of Mick Ronson, venture into rockier territory.
Hunky Dory spawned singles such as 'Oh You Pretty Things' as well as homages to Bob Dylan and Andy Warhol.
In 1972, Bowie adopted the androgynous persona of Ziggy Stardust and released The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. Many tracks from the album have since been hailed as classics, including 'Suffragette City', and 'Moonage Daydream'.
The album Aladdin Sane is as notorious for its songs (including 'Jean Genie' and 'Let's Spend The Night Together') as it is for its iconic cover, depicting Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, with a lightning bolt painted diagonally across his face. The album also featured Bowie's cover of The Rolling Stones' track 'Let's Spend The Night Together'.
In 1974, David Bowie was the UK's best-selling act, with his album Diamond Dogs going to number one in the album charts and its single 'Rebel Rebel' reaching number five.
Bowie's first US number one, 'Fame', was co-written by John Lennon (who sang back-up vocals) and Carlos Alomar. The track was taken from his album Young Americans (1975), which provided his own take on the Philadelphia soul sound. The album also features vocals from Luther Vandross.
Another of Bowie's many personae came to light with his album Station to Station (1976). The 'Thin White Duke' was considered to be an amplification of the character that he played in the film The Man Who Fell to Earth, Thomas Jerome Newton.
In the late 1970s, Bowie moved to Berlin in an attempt to rekindle his waning success. During this time, he worked extensively with Iggy Pop and released three of his own albums, known as the 'Berlin Trilogy'. Low, Heroes and Lodger were inspired by Krautrock bands such as Kraftwerk and Neu!
Bowie's 1980 album, Scary Monsters featured guitar work from a number of high profile musicians such as Pete Townsend , Tom Verlaine and Robert Fripp.
In the late 1990's, David Bowie experienced a rejuvenated music career, with the release of Earthling, his well-respected foray into the world of drum 'n' bass. This success continued in the early 21st century, with the dark electronica of Heathen.
In 2013 he released another album The Next Day which was his first studio album in over a decade. This album debuted at no.1 on the UK album chart and at the time was the fastest selling album of 2013.
In 2016 Blackstar his twenty- fifth and final studio album which was released two days before his death, producer Tony Visconti revealed that this album was a ‘parting gift’ for his fans as he knew that he was dying.
Tin Machine: In 1989, Bowie formed the band Tin Machine with Reeves Gabrels, Tony Sales and Hunt Sales. The debut album, Tin Machine, released in 1989, went to number three in the UK charts but Bowie became frustrated when his ideas were altered or turned down by the rest of the band. After the comparative failure of Tin Machine II and the live album Tin Machine: Oy Vey, Baby, David decommissioned the band, in favour of working on his own material.
Film Career: David Bowie has appeared in a number of successful movies, including Labyrinth, The Man Who Fell to Earth and Absolute Beginners.
Personal Life: In 1970, David Bowie married his first wife, Angela. They had a son, known as Zowie, but officially named Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones. Angie and David were divorced after eight years of marriage.
David's second marriage was to the Somalian model, Iman Abdulmajid, in 1992. The pair have one child, daughter Alexandria Zahra Jones.
Bowie has also admitted to drug use in his career but claimed that he stopped using after he got custody of his son, he also wishes that he had never took them at all as they took a hold of his life without him even knowing.
David died on the 10th January 2016 after battling with liver cancer for the past 12 months, he did not make his illness public and was said to have faced it with both courage and dignity.
Bowie's music was bought and streamed by more people than any other artist, including Adele and Drake, according to the BPI.
Following the shocking news of the music icon’s death, which broke in early January 2016, the official body governing the music industry in Britain reports that 1.6 million Bowie albums were either bought or streamed by British listeners in the 12 months of last year, more than any other single artist.
The rediscovery of Bowie’s massive back catalogue, combined with his final album Blackstar that was released just two days before his passing, meant that his sales figures were higher than anybody else.
We pick some of the best-looking releases coming out on Saturday April 22nd - the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day!
Much has been made of the ‘vinyl revival’ in albums sales over the last five years or so, with old-fashioned records going ever upwards while CD sales and download sales plateau or tumble. The upsurge in the format’s popularity is in part because of Record Store Day.
Record Store Day 2017
Taking place on a Saturday every April, RSD is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017, after it was founded to help out struggling independent record stores that were struggling to compete with supermarkets and the likes of HMV (now, streaming and downloads).
Continue reading: Our Guide To Record Store Day 2017
Design team This Ain't Rock 'n' Roll had hoped to raise £900,000 to build their 'thunderbolt' memorial in Brixton, but fell well short.
Plans to construct a huge ‘ZiggyZag’ thunderbolt memorial to the late David Bowie in his hometown of Brixton have had to be abandoned after the fundraising campaign fell short of its target.
Design team This Ain’t Rock ‘n’ Roll, who organised the fundraiser after gaining planning approval from Lambeth council for the three-storey sculpture, intended to be the red thunderbolt that adorns Bowie’s face on his iconic 1973 album Aladdin Sane, had wanted to raise £900,000 for the project.
'Blackstar' swept the floor with five awards.
After releasing his last album 'Blackstar' in January 2016, and therefore too late to make an impact on the subsequent Grammy Awards, David Bowie is revisited more than a year after his death to smash through this year's music celebrations with a total of five posthumous awards.
David Bowie wins five Grammy Awards
The rock pioneer's number one album landed him Best Alternative Music Album, Best Recording Package and Best Engineered Album at the 59th annual Grammy Awards last night (February 12th 2017), with the title track also winning Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song.
Continue reading: David Bowie Is The Posthumous King Of The 2017 Grammys
David Bowie's 'Hunky Dory' album has been named the best record by BBC 6 Msuic's listeners.
David Bowie's 'Hunky Dory' album has been named the best record.
The 'Starman' hitmaker - who tragically passed away in January last year aged 69 after his battle with cancer - has had his 1971 LP crowned the best piece of work the music legend has created by BBC 6 Music's listeners.
Whilst 'Hunky Dory' came top of the charts out of all of his compilations, and beat his latest work 'Blackstar' and 'Heroes' albums to the post.
Continue reading: David Bowie's Hunky Dory Named Best Record By BBC 6 Music
He didn't know he was dying until three months ahead of his death.
While many have speculated that David Bowie's 'Lazarus' song and video was about his struggle with terminal cancer, it turns out that the singer didn't actually know he was dying until the video shoot itself according to an upcoming documentary which airs this week.
David Bowie discovered his cancer was terminal in final three months
'David Bowie: The Last Five Years' hits screens this weekend on BBC Two and in it we will learn that David Bowie only discovered that his cancer was no longer beatable three months ahead of his death on January 10th 2016. Which makes 'Lazarus' prophetic as opposed to a final farewell from Bowie.
Continue reading: David Bowie Was Given Final Diagnosis During 'Lazarus' Video
2016 has been overshadowed by bad news, both politically and for the music industry itself.
Yet the shifting social landscape and loss of musical icons doesn't seem to have galvanised any one artistic movement in response, surely that's on the horizon for 2017. But while this annus horribilis may not be remembered for a particular genre or artist capturing the cultural zeitgeist, it did reinforce the simple point that the concept of an album is not dead yet. From Bowie and Cohen quite brilliantly using the format as a last will and testament, Beyonce's lavish visual album for Lemonade, to Kanye and Frank Ocean bypassing some methods of traditional distribution, it's clear that the digital age of single song downloads hasn't killed the album as an artistic statement. Vinyl has helped to massively bolster sales of physical products too, emphasising the artistic merits of the album beyond simply the music on the record.
With that in mind, many well-established artists delivered records vying for position with their best work. Bands such as Weezer, Green Day, Biffy Clyro, and Against Me! may not be making many end of year top ten lists, but their output in 2016 has been impressively solid. Even Metallica returned with a record that lived up to its hype. Elsewhere other artists produced records that at an earlier point in the year would certainly have made my list; Ray LaMontagne, Brian Fallon, Iggy Pop, Shearwater, Wye Oak, A Tribe Called Quest, Bob Mould, PJ Harvey, Joseph Arthur, and St. Paul & The Broken Bones, all comfortably fit into that category. Of particular note was the album, which kept appearing on my list and then just falling frustratingly into a lower position. Underworld's Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future is a glorious album. It's two men at a very different point in their lives using the music of their youth to paint a portrait of life post 50, and the result is uplifting and hopeful in a way that many other albums weren't this year. I'm delighted that Underworld has picked up a Grammy nomination for such a great record.
One final mention before sharing my ten favourite records of 2016 is for Jimmy Broomfield. Performing under the name Heart Of Oak, his debut EP, aptly titled EP 1, was released this year. It's a collection of songs that are deeply personal and wonderfully intimate with their bare bones performances. His song-writing is both clever and witty and if you're looking for some home-grown talent with a promising future you need look no further than Heart Of Oak's website.
Continue reading: Jim Pusey's Top Ten Albums Of 2016
Whilst 2016 has been too full of tragedy and sad loss it has also undoubtedly been a bumper year in terms of album releases.
There is no way to aptly mark the passing of some of the very best artists of any generation but in amongst the untimely deaths has come some inspirational and ground breaking music.
My albums are all ones I have enjoyed immensely and continue to play. Whilst Radiohead, M.I.A, Peter Doherty and many others may have missed the cut it wasn't really a difficult choice this year. It may not be all that eclectic but there are some great albums in there. Nick Cave's Skeleton Tree is not only this years best album but also an album that is rapidly becoming one of my all time favourites, it's just so good.
Continue reading: Andrew Lockwood's Top Ten Albums Of 2016
2016 has been an eventful year for sure
A number of historic moments happened with Brexit, the US election and the absurd amount of tragic deaths of some of the most significant figures in the arts. However, what 2016 will also one day be looked back on is an incredible year for music.
This list wasn't easy to compile, and is just a glance at the amount of excellent music 2016 has had to offer. There's been fascinating hip-hop, highly oddball experimental music, refreshing pop music, plenty of punishing hardcore/metal/noise and inspiring passion from DIY scenes. There's also been a great number of emerging artists, displaying much potential with singles, EP's and captivating performances, where hopefully we'll see them put out records soon which will make 2017 a rich year for music. Shout outs in particular to Iglooghost, Yonaka, Mssingno, Miles Mosley and Kai Whiston, be sure to keep an eye on them.
Here we are though, 2016's 10 finest records in my opinion, that display endless possibilities in this thing we call music.
Continue reading: Max Cussons’ Top Ten Albums Of 2016
The late singer just couldn’t commit to the trilogy.
There have always been rumours that David Bowie was nearly in Lord of the Rings, but now we have confirmation from one of the trilogy’s casting directors.
Speaking to the Huffington Post, casting director Amy Hubbard confirmed that it was David Bowie who director Peter Jackson originally wanted to play Gandalf, but the singer was sadly too busy.
David Bowie could have been Gandalf in LOTR
Continue reading: David Bowie Was Just Too Busy To Play Gandalf In 'Lord Of The Rings'
David Bowie - Who'd have thought that fine art could be created out of something as butch as a hammer and a bunch of nails? But that's exactly what former architect David Foster has achieved with his unique nail portraits. David's art covers a range of subjects such as celebrities, animals, flowers and, get this, even a hammer and nail! The level of precision and realism in his art is a result of years of practicing and perfecting his technique. Thrilled with the simplicity of making a picture from just dots Foster says, "I have always been fascinated with how little information the brain needs to interpret a picture." On an average, his smaller drawings number about 5,000 nails, while larger ones can have as many as 30,000. David's prize winning piece made from 16,000 nails is called Lashes and Nails. David evidently loves what he does, going by what he tells us on his website. "The whole process thrills me, taking just a hammer and a box of nails and arranging them into an artwork. It is very tactile art and the viewer will find it hard not to touch the work," he writes. He also insists that the best way to view his work is up close, since photographs don't do much justice to it. - Warrington, Cheshire, United Kingdom - Friday 22nd November 2013
Chris Hadfield - Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has created his own version of David Bowie's 1969 hit Space Oddity. In the cosmic video, pieced together during his six-month stay on The International Space Station, Hadfield can be seen effortlessly floating between hatches and playing his guitar to the camera. However, the song's actual recording process of was made a little closer to home, down here on Earth. Hadfield has posted his clip on YouTube.com. - The International Space Station - Sunday 12th May 2013
Date of birth
8th January, 1947
Date of death
10th January, 2016
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