David Bowie (born David Robert Jones on January 8, 1947- d 10th January 2016) was an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger and mixer, whose work spans more than four decades. A knowing, indulgent and occasionally camp figure, he is universally recognised as one of the most accomplished and inspired artists in popular music. Throughout the 1970s he took cues from art, philosophy and literature, and appeared to elevate popular music to a more sophisticated level while cleverly not overplaying the gravitas card. He is also a film and stage actor, music video director and visual artist.
Bowie first caught the eye and ear of the public in the autumn of 1969, when his space-age mini-melodrama “Space Oddity” reached the top five of the UK singles chart. After a three-year period of experimentation he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam-rock era under the guise of the flamboyant, androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust , spearheaded by the hit single “Starman” and the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The relatively short-lived Ziggy persona epitomised a career defined by consistent musical innovation, reinvention and striking visual presentation.
In 1975 Bowie achieved his first major American crossover success with the number-one single “Fame” and the hit album Young Americans, which the singer identified as ?plastic soul?. The sound constituted a radical shift in style that initially alienated many of his UK devotees. He then confounded the expectations of both his record label and his American audiences by recording the minimalist and challenging 1977 album Low ? the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno. His most experimental works to date, the so-called “Berlin Trilogy” nevertheless produced three UK top-five albums. The anthem-like, towering title track of the second work “Heroes” (1977) is widely regarded as a milestone in rock and pop.
After uneven commercial success in the late 1970s, Bowie hit big in 1980 with the UK number one “Ashes to Ashes” and its parent album, Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). He paired with Queen for the 1981 UK chart-topper “Under Pressure”, but consolidated his commercial ? and, until then, most profitable ? sound in 1983 with the album Let’s Dance, which yielded the hit singles “China Girl”, “Modern Love” and, most famously, the title track.
Since the mid-80s only a handful of Bowie?s recordings have entered public consciousness, but his significance and influence remain undiminished.