David Bowie, 76 years of the king of reinvention

This week brings two David Bowie anniversaries: this January 8 would have been his 76th birthday; while Tuesday the 10th marks the seventh anniversary of his death.

David Bowie may have died in 2016, but he lived outside of time.

Considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, particularly for his groundbreaking work during the 1970s, David Bowie was full of superlatives, but the one area in which he excelled far beyond any of his contemporaries was in how daring he was. it was as an artist.

Through his half-century career, Bowie had an unparalleled ability to stay relevant, giving each generation their own moment with him. Kids of the 1970s enjoyed his most prolific and influential period as one of the defining artists of the era, while those born after discovered him as a sort of rite of passage into pop culture.

Bowie started the decade a year early with his hit Space Odditylater unleashing his Ziggy Stardust and Thin White Duke persona, collaborating with John Lennon, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, and moving to Berlin to film his groundbreaking trilogy. low, Heroes Y lodger.

In 2013, Bowie released a surprise single, Where are we now? —which ‘broke the internet’ a year before Beyonce pulled the same trick—after a decade of relative silence, following heart surgery, in 2004, Bowie answered his song question with the acclaimed album The Next Daywhich the London newspaper The Independent postulated as “best comeback album in rock and roll history“.

This also coincided with David Bowie is, an acclaimed art exhibition that began in London, before embarking on a world tour at the Art Gallery of Ontario (Canada). At that time, the curator he told Huffington Post: “The thing about Bowie is that he manages to be cult and hugely popular at the same time, which is a pretty hard thing to do. So we think we’re in a very select club, but actually we’re in a huge club.“.

In the wake of under pressure Y Let’s Dance, Bowie became a full-fledged pop star, for better or worse. He dabbled in new wave, moving on to music videos, then brought concert performance to the forefront with his tour. glass spider. It may not have compared artistically to his 1970s output—at least toward the end—but it was no less current.

His project Tin Machine, from experimental hard rock, inspired by The Pixies, paved the way for grunge, although he himself moved into electronic and industrial music. when he threw Outside Y earthlinginfluenced by the drum’n’bass, his 19th and 20th albums, had escaped the gravitational pull of nostalgia. He even took Nine Inch Nails on tour!

Bowie’s status as a god of alternative culture, thanks to his own musical experimentation and ability to carry his music underground to the popular, was further consolidated when Nirvana did a cover of The Man Who Sold the Worldin his album mtv unplugged (1994). A few years later, Bowie found himself remixed by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor on his radio hit I’m Afraid of Americans.

He entered the 2000s with the acclaimed album heathen, and then, though his own musical output slowed after his heart problems, he managed to stay culturally relevant, on his own terms. His last performances, in the middle of the decade, were with the biggest indie rock band, Arcade Fire, in 2005.

Although he largely went under the radar until his comeback in 2013—which also included singing in reflectorfrom Arcade Fire, and that the astronaut Chris Hadfield will sing one of his hits in space—, Bowie’s influence was still felt as his penchant for reinvention and avant-garde influence, art that was embraced by rock and pop stars like Madonna, Tori Amos, Shirley Manson, and Lady Gaga.

In 2016, the year of his death, Bowie left the art world one of his most powerful works, a farewell in the form of the album Black Staruniversally acclaimed, which was released on his 69th birthday, two days before his death, and includes the video clip for the single Lazarusand his ever since heartbreaking lyrics, “Look, up here, I’m in heaven“.

Although Bowie’s film career was wide and varied, the classic of youth cinema Labyrinth (1986) may be the most remembered title for several generations.

magnet and bowie

The model MagnetBowie’s wife since 1992, shared a photo on Instagram of the singer, taken by photographer Bruce Weber, in 1995, in South Africa, for the magazine Vogue. In the caption of the photo, the also actress wrote: “January 8 #BowieForever”:

David Bowie

The couple was married from 1992 until the singer’s death. They had a daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones, now 22 years old. Bowie also had a son, Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones, 51, with his ex-wife Angie Bowie, whom he was married to from 1970 to 1980. Bowie died on January 10, 2016, at age 69, from breast cancer. liver.

In October 2022, Iman told Today Show Radio What do you think of Bowie?every day and every minute“. “People say ‘your late husband’ (…) He is not my late husband. He is my husband and he always will be.‘”. The actress also reflected on one of her wishes: “If there is an afterlife, I would like to see my husband again. that’s the one i want“.

In November 2021, also shared that, when asked by her youngest daughter if she would remarry after her husband’s death, she immediately replied no, adding: “This was truly the love of my life, and I just wait until I meet him again.“.

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A fringe artist at the center of society, an oddball praised by all, a flawed fellow adored by millions, Bowie was one of the best-selling singers of all time, with more than 100 million records released worldwide. He received ten platinum, eleven gold and eight silver records, in addition to eleven number ones. In the United States alone, he had five platinum and nine gold records.

Bowie was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. rolling stones included him on his list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and listed him as The Greatest Rock Star Ever, in 2016.

In the Bowie Memorial Documentary sound and visionthe BBC takes a journey through the artist’s career, his personal struggle, his achievements and successes. Includes interviews with the artist, his wife Iman, and musical contemporaries such as Iggy Pop, Moby and Trent Reznor:

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Elton Gardner

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