David Bowie: Death Of a Rock Legend

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David Bowie: Death Of a Rock Legend

Trisha Basak

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By whatever name we call him, David Bowie will forever remain one of the greatest rock legends of all time.  Bowie died, at age 69, on January 10, 2016 after releasing his final album, Blackstar. The music world lost a visionary and the world itself, a vibrant and honest genius. In the form of a lightning bolt, David Bowie shot down from the sky and revolutionized rock music in the 1960’s. He changed everything. From the standards of fashion and society to tackling ideas of youth, aging, loneliness, struggle, and oddity, David Bowie gave the world new perspective in the form of dramatic and beautiful musical transitions.

After his 1969 hit, Space Oddity, Bowie released his groundbreaking album, The Man Who Sold the World, which further catapulted his stardom. Soon thereafter, Hunky Dory was released with hits like Andy Warhol and Changes. His music became a symbol for exuberance and vibrant nonchalance. It forced people to reassess their lives and “turn and face the strange.” In 1972, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars made Bowie an undeniable superstar. His music was a harmonious bridge between fantasy and reality. His influence was global, as it received acclaim and attention from big stars such as the Velvet Underground, Mick Jagger, and Bob Dylan. However, his genius was not contained to music as Bowie starred in a film in 1976 (The Man Who Fell to Earth) and performed on Broadway in 1980. He continued to shed his light and share his spirit both on screen and musically up until his passing.

Despite his life on mars, Bowie remained down during his stardom and for years after. He constantly joked and laughed and appeared to fans as they wished to see him. But they did the same for him. His followers and supporters, his alien friends and comrades all aspired to be the people he would want them to be. Bowie gave people the outlet they so desperately needed and changed his tune to remain conversant with the times yet his core ideas lingered. No matter where, what, how or why, Ziggy Stardust is there is help you through it. His music was so eclectic and original that it altered and shook the foundation of the world. He created an alternate life that everyone could be a part of, even if they were just a mere object or phantasm.

Ziggy Stardust was not a character. Major Tom was not a myth. Thin White Duke was not a fantasy. Starman was not imaginary. They were all one man by the name of David Jones, who indubitably gave music everything he had. And because all good things must have an end, we release him back to where he belongs: the infinite and beautiful universe. We all know his spaceship knows which way to go.

 

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