I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring.
Whether he was performing as himself or one of his many colourful alter egos, David Bowie was a musician who pushed the musical artform beyond its natural boundaries time and time again.
Born David Robert Jones in Brixton, London, Bowie showed promise in the performing arts from a young age with his teachers remarking that his dancing showed “astonishing” poise for his age and was “vividly artistic”. When his father brought home a collection of American 45s, David’s love for music deepened, even mentioning that when he heard Little Richard’s Tutti Frutti he had “heard God”. Not long after, Bowie had learned the ukulele, tea-chest bass, he was skiffling with friends, was performing at his local Wolf Club and was well on the way to becoming the artist we all came to know.
While his music may have propelled him to fame, he’s perhaps just as well known by some for his acting. His film career began with the cult classic The Man Who Fell to Earth, in which he played an alien stranded here looking for resources for his home planet. The character he portrayed in the film would go on to influence one of his most controversial personas, the Thin White Duke. He also played the goblin king Jareth in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, a role that further cemented his mystical and ethereal image.
He would continue to be active as both a musician and an actor throughout his life, right up until the release of his 25th and final album, Blackstar. The title track was released six weeks earlier alongside a ten-minute long music video-come short film, filled with fantastical imagery and potent symbolism that proved Bowie’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of entertainment, right to the end. The album was released on his 69th birthday, just two days before his unexpected death.