A music icon like David Bowie, who commanded a unique presence in contemporary culture should be a difficult character to escape your attention. Regarded as the greatest rock star of all time, the legendary singer and songwriter musically conquered the world with his super classic performances and songs.
For almost five decades, Bowie remained one of the most original and singular voices in rock & roll. Often described as his very own work of art and creation, Bowie was also a fashion icon, an actor, an art collector and a painter who remained ever unpredictable. Here’s a detailed insight into the iconic singer’s life, his successful music career, and legacy.
David Bowie was born David Robert Jones on 8 January 1947 in Brixton, London, England. He is the son of Margaret Mary ‘Peggy’ and Haywood Stenton ‘John’ Jones. Bowie attended Burnt Ash Junior School and the Bromley Technical High School where he studied art, music, and design. He began exhibiting his creative skills and interest in music from an early age. As a teenager, he learned to play multiple instruments such as the ukulele, tea-chest bass, and piano. In 1967, Bowie enrolled for dance classes under dancer Lindsay Kemp at the London Dance Centre. Under Kemp, he also studied dramatic arts from avant-garde theatre and mime to commedia dell’arte.
Bowie’s music career began as a teenager with a band which he formed that performed at local gatherings and ceremonies. The band struggled to carve a niche for itself in the music industry and experienced some turbulent years. David Bowie’s eponymous debut album which was released in 1967 was quite unsuccessful as it performed poorly in the market. But his first breakthrough came two years later with his single Space Oddity. The song which was a huge success brought Bowie great exposure in the music industry.
Bowie’s most popular and best album ever would be 1972’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars which was his fifth studio album. The album which is considered one of the greatest albums of all time was based on the story of a fictional rock star named Ziggy Stardust. Not only did the album which rightfully placed Bowie as a superstar peak at No. 5 in the UK and No. 75 in the US on the Billboard Music Charts, it was later certified platinum and gold in the UK and the US respectively.
The 1970’s and 1980’s brought more success and fame for the singer who through his amazing classic performances and songs established himself as one of the greatest rock stars of all time. Some of the singer’s most notable works and hit albums include Aladdin Sane (1973), Pin Ups (1973), Low (1977), Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (1980), Tonight (1984), and Never Let Me Down (1987).
Though his efforts in the 1990s and 2000s were not as successful as the prior years, Bowie did not rest on his laurels but continued to win more hearts with his super mercurial stagecrafts in the industry. Notably, some of his successful albums during this period include Outside (1995), Earthling (1997), Hours...(1999), Heathen (2002), Reality (2003) and The Next Day (2013).
Bowie also had a successful acting career. Some of his notable film credits include The Hunger, Mr. Lawrence, Jazzin’ for Blue Jean, and Merry Christmas.
Given how globally successful Bowie’s music was, it is no surprise that he received a plethora of accolades for his immense contributions to the industry during his lifetime and even beyond. In total, the iconic singer received 9 platinum, 11 gold and 8 silver album certifications in the UK. While in the US, he got 5 platinum and 9 gold certifications. More so, David Bowie is a recipient of six Grammy Awards, several Brit Awards and other prestigious awards in the entertainment industry. In 1996, Bowie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
His works have also been recognized and honoured globally by some governments. In 1999, the French government honored him with the highest order (Commander) of the prestigious Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Similarly, the British government posthumously honoured him in 2016 with the Brits Icon Award for his enduring impact on British culture.
Meet David Bowie’s Wife, Daughter and Son
David Bowie was married twice in his lifetime. His first marriage was to Mary Angela Barnett, a model and actress. The couple got married in March 1970 but the marriage fell apart in February 1980. David and Mary’s union produced a son, Duncan Zowie Jones born May 30, 1971.
Bowie’s second marriage was to Iman Abdulmajid, a Somali-American model. The lovebirds officially tied the knot in April 1992, in a private ceremony in Lausanne, Switzerland. Their union produced a daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones born in August 2000.
What Was The Cause Of David Bowie’s Death?
David Bowie died on January 10, 2016, which was two days after his 69th birthday. To mark his 69th birthday, the ever unpredictable singer released his 25th and last studio album – a jazz and hip-hop record called Blackstar. The news of his death was quite shocking to many globally but it was later revealed that Bowie had secretly battled cancer for several months before ultimately losing the fight to the disease.
What Was His Net Worth?
With numerous successful albums and amazing stagecrafts, David Bowie amassed a huge fortune for himself. At death, the iconic singer reportedly left an enormous monetary legacy worth $100 million for his wife and kids. While Bowie benevolently willed half of his net worth and his New York luxury SoHo apartment to his wife, he also left 25 per cent of his estate to each of his two children, Duncan Jones and Alexandria Jones. Interestingly, it wasn’t only family members that got to enjoy Bowie’s legacy. The singer surprisingly left his longtime assistant, Corinne Schwab, $2 million and shares and also gifted Alexandria’s one-time nanny, Marion Skene, the sum of $1 million.