David Bowie

David Bowie
David Bowie was born David Robert Jones on January 8th, 1947 in London, England. As a struggling artist in the 1960’s, Bowie reached success with 1969’s “Space Oddity” which coincided with the moon landing that year. With Bowie changing musicals personas while venturing out into acting, he became one of music’s enduring iconic figures. Here are some fun facts about the legendary rock star, David Bowie.

The Name When David’s career began to take off in the 1960s, there was a problem. There was already a popular singer known as Davy Jones from the Monkees fame. In order to avoid confusion between the two, David (of Bowie fame) who had an interest in the 1960 movie “The Alamo” starring John Wayne and Frankie Avalon, switched his last name from Jones to Bowie, in homage to frontiersman, Jim Bowie, portrayed by Richard Widmark in the movie.

The Eyes While some believed David Bowie had two different eye colors, the assumption is incorrect. Both of Bowie’s eyes were blue, however his left eye suffered from anisocoria, a condition that leaves the pupil of the permanently dilated. This occurred when a teenaged Bowie got into an altercation with friend, George Underwood resulting in Bowie’s eye being sliced by Underwood’s fingernail.

Major Tom David Bowie’s Major Tom persona first appeared with the 1969 album “Space Oddity” and depicts an astronaut flying out among the stars who looses contact with Ground Control. The Major Tom persona would re-emerge for Bowie’s 1980’s song “Ashes to Ashes”.

Ziggy Stardust Arguably one of David Bowie’s greatest personas is the alien Rockstar Ziggy Stardust. With the flamboyant style, red hair and lightning bolt makeup, Ziggy Stardust made an impact with the 1972 album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”. The album, considered by some to be one of the greatest of all time, was selected by the Library of Congress to be included in the National Recording Registry in 2017 for preservation.

Aladdin Sane “Aladdin Sane” was Bowie’s sixth studio album and the follow-up to the successful Ziggy Stardust album. A pun on the term “A Lad Insane”, Bowie would describe the persona as “Ziggy Goes to America”.

Halloween Jack Halloween Jack would be David Bowie’s persona for his eighth album, 1974’s “Diamond Dogs”. Bowie would describe the character as a “real cool cat” who lived in Hunger City. The album cover, controversial at the time, featured Bowie as a half human, half dog character.

The Soul Man Before the arrival of the Thin White Duke, one of Bowie’s incarnations was the Soul Man. Sporting slicked back, orange hair, the Soul Man appeared during Bowie’s Diamond Dogs tour and appeared on the cover of his album “Young Americans”. The persona was officially retired when Bowie appeared in the movie “The Man Who Fell to Earth”.

The Thin White Duke Between 1975 and 1976, Bowie would drastically depart from his Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane personas. The Thin White Duke would be one of the more controversial of David Bowie’s personas.

The Music David Bowie released over a hundred songs during his career. Two of these would reach number one in the U.S. --“Fame” in September 1975 and “Let’s Dance” in May 1983. He would also release 27 studio albums ranging from 1967’s “David Bowie” to 2016’s “Blackstar” which hit number one on the charts. Bowie would also collaborate and duet with other musical stars including Bing Crosby in 1977 for the mix of “The Little Drummer Boy” with “Peace on Earth”, Queen for 1981’s “Under Pressure” and Mick Jagger for their rendition of “Dancin’ in the Streets”.

Hall Of Fame David Bowie was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 by Madonna and David Byrne. Bowie skipped the ceremony.

The Actor David Bowie’s acting career spanned the length of his music career. He appeared in numerous films, videos and documentaries including 1976’s “The Man Who Fell to Earth” for which he won a Saturn Award for Best Actor, 1983’s “The Hunger”, the iconic Jareth the Goblin King in the 1986 film “Labyrinth”, Pontius Pilate in 1988’s “The Last Temptation of Christ”, a brief cameo as himself which garnered him a MTV Movie Award nomination and in 2006’s “The Prestige” as Nikola Tesla. He also garnered rave reviews for his portrayal of the Elephant Man on Broadway in 1980.

The Star David Bowie received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 12th, 1997. The star is located near 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA.

The Grammys While first nominated in 1984, David Bowie had only won one Grammy award over the course of his career in 1985 for Best Music Video for “Jazzin’ for Blue Jean”. He had also received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2017, a year after his death, Bowie won five Grammy awards including “Best Rock Performance”, “Best Rock Song”, “Best Alternative Music Album”, “Best Engineered Album-Non Classical” and “Best Recording Package” for his album “Blackstar”.




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