On the night of Jan. 10, music lovers around the world received the devastating and shocking news that David Bowie had lost his battle with cancer. After fighting 18 months with a disease that was kept a secret, it was released on Bowie’s official Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts that he had passed peacefully and was surrounded by his family.
Bowie was not only a musician but a catalyst of change in style during an iconic decade and a hero for those who did not quite fit in. In experiencing his music, one is challenged to test the boundaries of what is deemed normal, escape the mundane, and reinvent one’s self however one pleases.
Bowie’s songs seemed to carry a sense of electricity that could mystify any audience and “wow” any crowd. Releasing ballads like “Life On Mars?” and “Lady Grinning Soul,” while managing to completely alter his sound with tunes like “Suffragette City,” “Fame,” “Rebel Rebel,” and “Diamond Dogs,” were just one of the ways he had expressed his talents as a singer and songwriter throughout his career.
During the 1970s, his music topped charts and stole the hearts of millions all around the globe. He sold records as his alter egos, such as iconic albums like “Aladdin Sane,” and “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” had teenage fans painting their faces with glitter faster than you can say “Glam Rock.” He was one of the first artists to make “weird” acceptable, and gave people something to feel related to.
Bowie’s avant-garde and flamboyant charm also landed him a spot on the silver screen. He appeared in films such as “Basquiat” (1996) in which he portrayed Andy Warhol and others like “Labyrinth” (1986) and “The Man Who Fell to Earth” (1976) playing far stranger, or in a sense, more suitable roles such as the Goblin King and an alien from outer space.
Though gone from Earth, David Bowie’s creativity and talent will live through the constant inspiration he gave to people throughout his life. His last gift to the world would be “Blackstar,” the album he released just two days before his death on the musician’s 69th birthday. The man had practically fooled the whole world into thinking he was immortal, which is why he leaves behind such heavy hearts.
A considerably comforting thought is the idea of the reunion of Bowie and friend Freddy Mercury, joining forces once again to perform “Under Pressure,” in the great gig in the sky. His ability to somehow change his entire persona was one of unimaginable and chameleon-like quality as every aspect of his androgynous character seemed to defy traditional thinking. His life was truly remarkable and influential, and the world will remember him as the legend he was and the man who truly fell to earth.