Friday, 2 December 2016


"There's a star man, waiting in the sky" and his name is David Bowie. Style icon, artist, musical legend. From the early '60s right through to his death in 2016, David Bowie was admired and loved by many fans and friends throughout the creative world for his contributions to style, music, art and fashion, with a career that spanned for over forty-eight years of his life. He paved the way for many other artists to be unique and taught them to be themselves with their music, their performance and their looks. He in many ways, single handily changed what it meant to be an 'artist', not just in music, but in fashion, in art and in performance.

I begin, of course, with his music, of which there are many songs, written by himself and by others that we all know and love. Bowie's lyrics, style of writing and the structure of some of his songs such as 'Let's Dance' forever changed the way in which we as music lovers listen to music, and the way in which songwriters and lyricists write their songs. The BBC documentary "David Bowie, Five Years" (which is available on Netflix) is a fantastic insight into the way in which he wrote his music, alongside such legends as John Lennon  who helped him co-write 'Fame', a song he wrote based on personal experiences with his management, and the band Queen, who co-wrote 'Under Pressure'. He has performed onstage and in music videos with pretty much every single musical talent, you can think of including Mick Jagger, Cher, Luther Vandross, Bing Crosby, Tina Turner and Coldplay. His last album to ever be released 'Blackstar' debuted in January 2016 and was the biggest selling album of the year, coincidentally, the same day as his birthday, a mere two days before the shocking news of his passing from cancer and was a triumph to the collection of albums and songs the artist had released since the debut of his first solo single 'The Laughing Gnome' in 1967. Tributes to his music are everywhere online from fans, but I think for me, my favourite has to be Lady Gaga's at the 2016 Grammy's. She single-handedly embodied Bowie's essence and gave a truly spectacular visual and vocal performance in collaboration with technology giants 'Dell' of some of his best and well-loved songs. Legendary songs such as 'Fashion''Ashes to Ashes''Life on Mars' and 'Let's Dance' will forever be in both my iTunes library and my heart as personal favourites of mine, particularly 'Fashion' (for obvious reasons). 

He was very much, a visual artist, his looks and style were shocking, unique, thought provoking and interesting to look at, influencing and changing the way that we see artists when they perform and changing even the way in which fashion designers created their clothes even today. In 2013, Jean Paul Gaultier created a fitting tribute to Bowie and several other 1980s iconic looks and styles, including Grace Jones, Michael Jackson and Boy George.  Bowie created and forever changed his looks both in his music videos and within his onstage performances and created characters that reflected his style and his music at the time of its release (my favourite being the clown from the album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) which was referenced in the BBC TV drama 'Ashes to Ashes'. Ziggy Stardust was probably one of the most popular among fans and his most iconic (his reference to the space age heavily influenced his music with songs like 'Space Oddity') and is often the most talked about when people speak of him and his music. He certainly was a visual man, giving the likes of Grace Jones and Madonna a run for their money when it came to fashion, but it was thanks to the crazy, eccentric and fun decades of the 1970s & 1980s that he was allowed to experiment with his visual looks and wardrobe (let's be honest, most guys these days certainly wouldn't paint their faces white and wear eyeliner). An artist who is massively influenced by both Bowie and Queen alike is Lady Gaga. Her ability to be able to change her looks and style so often both onstage and in her everyday life, was heavily influenced by the two artists, which she herself has said in many interviews and is rather fitting and fun to see that even modern artists today within my generation, are still being influenced by iconic artists.

He was and still will forever be someone to be admired by myself, by other musicians and by fans, someone who's influence will carry on even after his death, someone who will influence the way we dress on catwalks and on stages, someone who's music will make people dance in bars, it'll be played in people's homes and on people's playlists I think for as long as music is written and will forever influence the way in which artists perform, someone who changed what it really meant to be an 'artist', and someone, who will never be forgotten.

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