1976_close_up_duke_live_600sqCultural and music icon David Bowie passed away at the age of 69 after a long battle with cancer. The news was announced on his social media stating, “January 10 2016 – David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.” His death occurred just two days after his 69th birthday when he had released his new album, Blackstar.

David Bowie was born David Jones and rose to prominence in the 1970s with the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. His androgynous alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust, pushed the envelope in cultural and musical circles. His live shows were marked by flamboyant spectacle amidst the background of science fiction, which Bowie immersed himself into when in character during on-stage performances, once stating: “Offstage I’m a robot. Onstage I achieve emotion. It’s probably why I prefer dressing up as Ziggy to being David.”


Bowie was always pushing toward new sounds and ideas as evidenced during the 1980s starting with the release of Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). The album’s lead single, “Ashes to Ashes” propelled the New Romantic movement and the accompanying video was and still is considered one of the most innovative. Commercially, Bowie experienced even more mainstream success with his duet with Queen on “Under Pressure”, as well as individual success from the album, Let’s Dance.


David Bowie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and awarded the awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. Bowie was not as active in the early 21st century due to a heart attack in 2004 but still managed to put out The Next Day in 2013 and the aforementioned Blackstar in 2016. His influence spans all genres of music, fashion and inspiration as numerous artists including Lady Gaga, U2, Arcade Fire, Madonna, Arctic Monkeys, Charli XCX, Lorde, The Killers, Radiohead and countless others have cited David Bowie as an influence and it’s clear his legacy will continue to inspire countless generations of future artists.