As I awakened this morning and read the news on legendary musician David Bowie checking out of our world, I couldn’t help but get on Spotify and throw “Under Pressure” on, a rendition in which he collaborated with Queen, and it also happens to be my favorite Bowie-related song. He battled 18 months against the horrible disease we know as cancer, and the malignancy of his liver finally got the best of him Sunday.
As a legendary musician alone, Bowie boasted a decorated career, which included two Grammy Awards, two Best British Male Artist awards, an Outstanding Contribution to Music award, among many others throughout his journey. In addition to that, he also has served as an incredible ambassador to the arts, producing records, painting, acting, and unforgettably, his unique sense of fashion. David Bowie challenged the culture barriers of his time more than anyone, and has served as an influence to many across the globe.
Born David Robert Jones in 1947, the British musician rose to global fame in the early 1970s in the form of his alter ego, “Ziggy Stardust,” after “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” hit the record stores in 1972. Over his illustrious career, Bowie explored a wide variety of subgenres across the rock/pop craze, which includes glitter rock, the origin of pop, soul, electronica, and just about anything else you can name from that time. He produced things that embarked on each one of our souls, indirectly or directly, and whether or not we were there at the time to experience that feeling first hand.
On January 8, 2016, Bowie gave us his last parting gift before he could fight no longer. The release of “Blackstar” two days before his death explores yet another distinct sound that only David Bowie could pull off and I’m not even sure that I could describe it in words. As a personal recommendation, ‘Dollar Days’ offers a slow, yet moving ballad, which incorporates a beautiful use of instrumentation and lyricism, as emotional vocals combined with a prolific saxophone and electric guitar notes that will speak volumes. It’s something that just hits home when you realize what all he has done for the music industry.
In mourning of his passing, several prominent figures in the music industry took to Twitter and other social media platforms to offer their condolences, as well as sing his praises. First included is an announcement from his official Twitter and Facebook pages to spread the deeply saddening news.
These posts, to just name a few, from former Beatles guitarist/vocalist and solo act Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger, Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart, along with Yoko Ono, musician and wife of John Lennon show that his absence is felt by many and demonstrate the many dimensions of not only music, but the world, that David Bowie has touched upon.
I could go on and on about David Bowie and how he left this world a better place than when he entered it, but I honestly don’t think there’s a flow of words to describe it. Right now, I’m just going play ‘Heroes’ in the beginning of an all David Bowie catalog shuffle on Spotify and let the music speak for itself.
May you rest in peace, Mr. Bowie.