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Yesterday morning, the world woke up to shocking news: music legend David Bowie had died at the age of 69. The British artist died peacefully following a long battle with cancer. His absence will be sorely felt by the many people who grew up with his work.
With a musical career spanning 52 years and 28 studio albums, Bowie will go down in history as one of music’s great innovators. His art drew on a huge range of influences, and his music was never the same from one album to the next. Among his most famous songs are the tracks ‘Space Oddity,’ ‘Changes,’ ‘Under Pressure’ (performed in collaboration with Queen) and ‘Suffragette City.’ Of course, the total list is far longer, and a concert in his honour has been announced at Carnegie Hall this March.
His albums were accompanied by a range of alter egos, with albums like The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars based around the characters Bowie created. His most famous personas include the androgynous Ziggy Stardust, the flamboyant Aladdin Sane and the austere Thin White Duke. Indeed, Bowie is as much a legend for his appearance as his music, with both closely intertwined. His outfits ranged from the conservative to the outlandish, and as the Guardian reports, we see echoes of Bowie in both male and female fashion to this day. From knitted leggings to one-legged jumpsuits, Bowie’s influence on both music and fashion is staggering.
However, Bowie’s achievements extended far beyond music. Besides appearing in 10 separate bands, Bowie had a prolific acting career, appearing on both stage and screen in a variety of roles. His most famous on-screen appearance may be as the Goblin King in fantasy film Labyrinth, released back in 1986, though he also received praise for his on-stage role as the Elephant Man and his appearances in films like The Man Who Fell to Earth. More eclectically, Bowie was the founder of his own mime troupe, Feathers, and his own internet service provider. Launched in 1998, BowieNet provided internet access alongside exclusive recordings, videos, and even a 3D chat environment. It was sadly retired in 2006.
Bowie will be sorely missed. But his legacy- in music, fashion, acting and more- lives on, and will continue to inspire for many years to come.