The music world lost one of it’s most original voices yesterday. David Bowie had been diagnosed with the malignancy eighteen months ago, but had not made public the news of his illness. He was 69.
The singer never stuck to one sound or concept for too long – a formula that would have killed many careers somehow worked for Bowie.
Bowie, whose hits included “Fame,” “Heroes” and “Rebel, Rebel,” died “peacefully” and was surrounded by family, a representative said.
He introduce us to Major Tom in 1969 on “Space Oddity,” a fictional astronaut. The epic tune featured Yes member Rick Wakeman on Mellotron. After Beatles producer Geroge Martin turned down the project future Elton John producer Gus Dudgeon was brought in. The tune became a hit again in 1973.
In 1972 the album “The Rise of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,”introduced a Bowie alter-ego the world had never seen before, a gender-bending rock star from space.
Bowie would get to work with his idol John Lennon in the mid-seventies on the ‘Young Americans” LP which features the hit they co-wrote, “Fame” with Lennon on guitar and backing vocals.
One of his biggest reinventions was his dance period in the 1980’s with hits like “Let’s Dance” and “China Girl.”
Bowie once told the associated press, “My entire career, I’ve only really worked with the same subject matter, the trousers may change, but the actual words and subjects I’ve always chosen to write with are things to do with isolation, abandonment, fear and anxiety — all of the high points of one’s life.”
“David’s friendship was the light of my life. I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is,” said longtime friend Iggy Pop.
Last Friday on his birthday the singer released his latest album, “Blackstar” widely considered a parting gift to the fans.