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 had very rarely performed live after his heart attack on tour in 2004.
David Bowie was at one point contemplating a short tour to support his final album Blackstar before his death, according to the man who designed the artwork for the record.
Designer Jonathan Barnbrook, speaking at an event at London’s V&A museum to mark the late rock icon’s 70th birthday, told the NME that Bowie and he had discussed the possibility of a short, intimate tour to support his 25th studio album at a preview listening session in the summer of 2015 – when Bowie was still optimistic about beating his cancer.
“I asked him as I always did, 'are you going to do a tour?' The first he said, which was ridiculous was 'I'm not much of a performer, you know?'”, Barnbrook said.
Continue reading: David Bowie Contemplated A Tour For 'Blackstar', Says Artwork Designer
Iman shared some photographic tributes on the first anniversary of her husband's death.
David Bowie’s widow Iman has shared a tribute to her late husband via social media to mark the first anniversary of his passing.
The pop icon, beloved by different generations of music fans for a lengthy, varied and innovative career, died on January 10th 2016. Tributes flooded in from throughout the world at the time, and subsequent twelve months saw a great number of memorials and performances to remember his life.
Somalian-born model Iman, 61, who married Bowie in 1992 and had a daughter Alexandria with him, shared a picture of the New York City skyline with a beautiful double rainbow via her Instagram.
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
The model paid tribute to her late husband who died on January 10, 2016.
Bowie passed away on January 10 last year, after a private 18-month battle with cancer. His death came just two days after his 69th birthday, when he had released his final album, Blackstar.
Continue reading: Iman Remembers David Bowie On His 70th Birthday
David Bowie documentary reveals 'Lazarus' did not hint at the singer's death.
David Bowie only learnt his cancer was terminal three months before his death.
The late legendary singer sadly passed away at the age of 69 from liver cancer just two days after he released his final album 'Blackstar' in January last year but a new documentary on his life has suggested that he had no idea he was battling the illness while he was recording the LP.
Speaking in the documentary 'David Bowie: The Last Five Years' Johan Renck - who directed the video for 'Lazarus', which sees the star lying in a hospital bed with bandages over his eyes - said the concept had ''nothing to do'' with his illness.
Continue reading: David Bowie Didn't Know Of Cancer
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
Alex Turner's side project took Art Vinyl's prize for the best vinyl album artwork of 2016, for their second record 'Everything You've Come To Expect'.
The annual list, compiled by website Art Vinyl, of fifty shortlisted pieces of album artwork of the last 12 months was revealed at the end of December, and the final list of the top three was revealed on Thursday (January 5th).
A 1969 image of Tina Turner adorns the front cover of The Last Shadow Puppets’ second record, which was released in April last year, almost eight years after the group – consisting of Miles Kane and Arctic Monkeys lead singer Alex Turner – released their debut The Age of The Understatement.
Continue reading: The Last Shadow Puppets Beat David Bowie To Take Vinyl Artwork Prize
Bowie’s final album ‘Blackstar’ was 2016’s biggest selling vinyl record.
Vinyl sales in the UK reached a 25-year high in 2016, with more than three million LPs sold over the past 12 months.
The death of music icon David Bowie in January was a key driver in sales of LPs, with his final album Blackstar becoming the UK’s biggest selling vinyl of the year.
David Bowie’s Blackstar is 2016’s biggest selling vinyl
Continue reading: David Bowie Helps Vinyl Sales Reach A 25 Year High In The UK
Will anyone ever forget the year 2016?
2016 has been a strange year. Starting off with the death of David Bowie (pictured below) and ending with nobody in the world quite sure what is going it has been a constant journey of ups and downs.
David Bowie seen in the moving video for Lazarus
But still, there has been some excellent music videos created to match this state of confusion; from Bowie to Anohni, there has always been a constant source of inspiration available in the ever-changing climate. Here we do a recap of our favourite videos of the year, good luck 2017 in trying to match some of these...
Continue reading: Top 10 Music Videos Of 2016
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
A memorial on David Bowie's star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood. The music and fashion icon David Bowie died earlier January 10 at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer. - Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 11th January 2016
David Bowie's New York Residence - A memorial has been established by fans outside David Bowie's NYC residence to pay tribute to the passing of the pop icon - New York City, New York, United States - Monday 11th January 2016
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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