David Bowie (born David Jones, 8.1.1947)
David Bowie is an English singer and songwriter who rose to fame in the 1970s and has remained active in the music business for five decades.
David Bowie: 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.
David Bowie: 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.
David Bowie: 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.
David Bowie: 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.
David Bowie: Film Career
David Bowie has appeared in a number of successful movies, including Labyrinth, The Man Who Fell to Earth and Absolute Beginners.
David Bowie: 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.