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.
David Bowie has created a new track for the opening credits of Sky Atlantic’s upcoming series, ‘The Last Panthers’.
David Bowie has turned his considerable talents to create a new track, entitled ‘Blackstar’, especially for the opening credits of The Last Panthers. The moody new track plays over dark opening credits which include snapshots of medieval and animal imagery as well as broken glass, smoking guns and falling bodies.
David Bowie and his wife Iman at the 2010 CFDA Fashion Awards in New York.
Finally, there's some substance to the rumours doing the rounds over the last few months that Bowie's 25th album is imminent.
David Bowie may recently have confirmed his retirement from the rigours of touring, but that isn’t stopping him from unleashing more music on the world.
A new report indicates that a new Bowie album, entitled Blackstar, is set for release in the new year. The new record will reportedly be released on January 8th 2016 – Bowie’s 69th birthday – according to a new feature in The Times on Saturday (October 24th). Little was known about the record previously, except that presumably the title track, a snippet of which recently appeared online, would feature, but now some more details have been prised from the secretive artist.
Bowie with his wife Iman in 2009
Continue reading: David Bowie Set To Release New Album 'Blackstar' In January 2016
The iconic singer’s agent has confirmed Bowie will never hit the road again.
It’s sad news for David Bowie fans who were hoping the singer would some day return to touring. While speaking at the International Festival Forum in London, Bowie’s booking agent John Giddings confirmed the singer has officially retired from touring, despite continuing to make new music.
David Bowie’s agent says he’ll never tour again.
“David [Bowie] is one of the best artists I’ve ever worked with. But every time I see him now, before I even speak to him, he goes, I’m not touring and I say, I’m not asking,” Giddings, who promotes the Isle of White Festival said.
Continue reading: David Bowie Has Retired From Touring
At a test screening for series nine, the current Doctor expressed his desire to get Bowie and Richards to put in guest appearances on the show.
Capaldi, who currently plays the timelord, made the comments during a special test screening in front of a select audience in Cardiff. They were shown the first two episodes of the forthcoming ninth series, which starts on Saturday September 19th.
With a host of high-profile names making cameo appearances in the recent past, he was asked who he’d like to see getting involved with the series. “David Bowie, he would be a very good one," he told the audience. He added he would also like to see Rolling Stones guitarist Richards “stumbling around the Tardis, knocking out a few chords.”
Ray Lopez , Jimmy Steinfeldt - The VIP preview event for the new book 'Mick Rock: Shooting for Stardust, The Rise of David Bowie & Co.' held at the Taschen Gallery at Taschen Gallery - Beverly Hills, California, United States - Wednesday 9th September 2015
That’s a lot of costume ch-ch-changes…
A British University professor is undertaking what might just be the most glamorous and rock ’n’ roll academic experiment ever, to live like and dress like David Bowie for an entire year. Will Brooker, from Kingston University's film and cultural studies department in London, is acting out different parts of the pop icon’s life for the project titled ‘Forever Stardust’, beginning with late ‘60s Bowie.
A University professor is spending a year living as David Bowie.
The professor has said he wants to ‘get into the singer’s head' and will be dressing as him, acting like him and even following his various diets from the time periods.
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.
Date of birth
8th January, 1947