David Bowie (born David Jones, 8.1.1947) is an English singer and songwriter who rose to fame in the 1970s and has remained active in the music business for five decades.
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.
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.
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.
The late Velvet Underground leader was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the weekend, but Bowie is quoted as saying that one of his most poorly-received albums might actually be Reed's "greatest work".
Never one to back away from a controversial opinion, David Bowie has pretty much a unique opinion on Lou Reed’s career. Believe it or not, he reckons that the late singer’s greatest musical work was his recent collaboration project with Metallica.
Lulu, released in 2011 with the metal legends, was one of the former Velvet Underground singer’s final projects before his death in 2013. It was almost universally panned by critics and listeners who were baffled by its complexity and lyrical themes. While not as challenging as Reed’s notorious 1975 album Metal Machine Music (seriously, don’t even bother with that one), it was instantly overlooked.
Lou Reed's best work was his Metallica collaboration Lulu', according to David Bowie
Bowie played the lead role in the 1976 cult sci-fi film.
David Bowie is helping to bring The Man Who Fell to Earth to the stage, in an off-Broadway production at the New York Theatre Workshop. The play, titled Lazarus, will center on Thomas Jerome Newton, Bowie’s iconic character from the 1976 cult movie.
David Bowie is working on a new off-Broadway production
In the film, which was based on the 1963 novel by Walter Tevis, Newton is a humanoid alien who crash lands on earth looking to take water back home to his planet which is experiencing a severe drought.
Pink Floyd’s ‘The Endless River’ has become the the fastest-selling vinyl album this century.
It seems that vinyl is once again back in fashion (thanks hipsters). This year, vinyl sales in the UK have passed the one million mark for the first time since 1996, according to the Official Charts Company. Albums by veterans Pink Floyd and David Bowie have helped boost sales of the format, which achieved the one million milestone last weekend.
Pink Floyd's The Endless River has helped boost vinyl sales in the UK
Currently David Bowie’s new best of collection, Nothing Has Changed, holds the top spot on the vinyl chart replacing last week’s number one Pink Floyd’s The Endless River.
Disney are going all hipster on us and will release a cassette version of the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' soundtrack.
Disney has announced it will release Guardians of the Galaxy mixtape on cassette. Awesome Mix Vol 1 will be the studio's first cassette release in more than a decade and marks a resurgence of the medium.
Chris Pratt's character Peter Quill was given the Awesome Mixtape by his later mother
Billboard reports that the limited-edition cassette will be released on November 17, though will only be available exclusively at independent record shops. Strangely, the release will ignore the Black Friday Record Store Day, which takes place across indie record stores just 11 days later.
The full album will be out in November.
Here’s a Sunday treat for you: David Bowie has a new song out. Now this is Bowie we’re talking out, so get ready for some weird here. It’s a seven-minute jazz thing. No joke. Bowie premiered the track on Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour. Sue (Or in a Season of Crime) will feature on Bowie's upcoming compilation album Nothing Has Changed, alongside a number of his greatest hits and unreleased tracks.
A 7-minute jazz track? Why the hell not?
The story that the Jim Henson Company has been working on ‘Labyrinth 2’ has been doing the rounds on the internet for the past 24 hours, but should we start getting excited or not?
The news that there could be a sequel to 80’s cult classic Labyrinth has hit the internet hard. It’s been years since we've read so many mentions of David Bowie’s crotch and hair. But who could blame them? The idea of another Labyrinth movie really is enough to set imaginations and heart’s racing. But it's time to take a breather and ask, is it actually happening?
David Bowie starred in Labyrinth back in 1986
The story that Labyrinth 2 (and seriously, they better not call it that) was in the works all started thanks to an article in Variety about Billy Crystal joining The Jim Henson Company’s new animated project Which Witch.
Continue reading: Time To Magic Dance Again? Is ‘Labyrinth’ Really Getting A Sequel?
Bowie’s longtime producer has said fans can expect follow up to 2013’s The Next Day ‘soon’.
Tony Visconti, David Bowie’s longtime producer has revealed the legendary singer will release an album of new material ‘soon’, following on from the success of 2013's The Next Day.
Are we getting a new Bowie album soon?
Speaking to CNN the producer said, "There's gonna be another album, definitely ... soon.” Visconti’s comments come just weeks after the announcement of a new greatest hits package which is set for release just before Christmas.
Continue reading: New David Bowie Album On Its Way Soon, Says Producer Tony Visconti
British cultural icon to release a new track as part of a thorough greatest hits campaign.
Legendary British rock icon David Bowie has announced the release of some more new material alongside a new greatest hits package.
David Bowie will release a new track and greatest hits package on November 17th
Having taken the world by surprise twice last year – firstly, with the quick release of The Next Day, his first album in decade, and secondly, with that album actually being really good – Bowie is set to cement his legacy still further with an expansive, career-spanning collection entitled Nothing Has Changed.
Continue reading: David Bowie Set To Release Greatest Hits Package With New Track
Susan Sarandon has detailed her romance with one Mr David Bowie.
Susan Sarandon, the Hollywood actress best known for Thelma and Louise, has detailed her relationship with David Bowie. Sarandon said the pair got together when working together on the British horror movie The Hunger.
Susan Sarandon at the Tammy premiere
"He's worth idolising. He's extraordinary. That was a really interesting period. I wasn't supposed to have kids, and I'm the oldest of nine and had mothered all of them, so I wasn't ever in a mode where I was looking to settle down and raise a family, so that definitely changes the gene pool you're dipping into," she said in an interview with The Daily Beast.
Continue reading: Susan Sarandon Details Relationship with 'Idol' David Bowie
Is David Bowie preparing a new album?
David Bowie has promised that more new music is on the way, following his surprise comeback in 2013. A statement from the musician was read out at a fundraising event for the Terrance Higgins Trust in a bar in Denmark Alley, London.
David Bowie at the Webby Awards in 2007 [Getty/Bryan Bedder]
It read: "This city is even better than the one you were in last year, so remember to dance, dance, dance. And then sit down for a minute, knit something, then get up and run all over the place. Do it. Love on ya. More music soon. David."
Continue reading: David Bowie Fan? Then We Have Some Good News
Who cleaned toilets, who killed cows, who worked at the gap? Some of these musicians had unenviable pre fame jobs…
Everybody’s got to earn a living somehow and when you're an aspiring rock star you might end up having to take a few bad jobs along the way to pay the bills. Take these 10 for example, who certainly learnt the meaning of a hard day’s work before finding fame.
Ozzy, an enemy of both bats and cows
Continue reading: From Kanye to Kurt: Musicians Who Started Out With Ordinary Jobs
Date of birth
8th January, 1947