By: Yvonne Villasenor
“As you get older, the questions come down to about two or three. How long? And what do I do with the time I’ve got left?” –David Bowie
The world lost a legendary musician January 10th, 2016 – merely two days after his 69th birthday and release of his 25th album, Blackstar, after quietly battling cancer. David Bowie was an icon who strived on originality and eccentricity throughout his 40+ years in the music industry.
In 1972, the British songwriter and singer released the glam-rock album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which would be the album that would project him into stardom. His alter ego of Ziggy Stardust represented an androgynous and flamboyant character – one that heavily inspired fans to embrace their individuality and since its introduction, will leave an impression on the music industry for decades to come.
Bowie would reach the most success in the United States with the albums Young Americans and Station to Station, which featured famous singles “Fame” and “Golden Years”. During this time, Bowie developed a new persona known as the Thin White Duke. Some of his most notable songs include “Space Oddity”, “Heroes”, “Modern Love”, “Rebel Rebel”, “The Man Who Sold the World”, “Moonage Daydream”, “Let’s Dance”, “China Girl”, “Changes”, and “Life on Mars?”.
David Bowie was the epitome of an artist and was never afraid to pursue what it was he wanted. He was diverse in his musical abilities, playing anything from glam rock to soul, new wave, dance pop, punk and electronic music in the four decades of his career. He produced albums for artists, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Lou Reed, as well as Mott the Hoople. Musicians like Lady Gaga, Arctic Monkeys, Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, The Killers, Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy, and Lorde looked to Bowie’s music with great admiration, so much that it motivated them during their writing process. As if it wasn’t already an immense accomplishment to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, David Bowie was rewarded with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award that recognized his career and its impact in 2006.
Not only was Bowie talented in music, but acting as well. In 1976, he played the role of an alien in The Man Who Fell to Earth. He starred in 1983’s The Hunger, where he took on the role of a vampiress’ love interest. Years later, he became known as the Goblin King to those who were fans of the 1986 movie, Labyrinth. Other films Bowie starred in include Just a Gigolo, Cat People and The Last Temptation of Christ. And let’s not forget that glorious moment in Zoolander during the walk-off scene.
Although David Bowie is gone, he will never be forgotten. He accomplished extraordinary things in his 69 years here. Bowie influenced many through his exemplary excellence in music, art and fashion…something that will never die.
We’re all looking up at you knowing you’re on Mars.
Rest in peace, David Bowie.
“I’m not a prophet or a stone-age man. Just a mortal with the potential of a superman. I’m living on.”