A Tribute to David Bowie (1947-2016)

The music world just lost one of its biggest innovators as David Bowie passed away from a battle with cancer. (Photo property of Getty Images' Patrick Riviere)

The music world just lost one of its biggest innovators as David Bowie passed away from a battle with cancer. (Photo property of Getty Images’ Patrick Riviere)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

One of rock’s greatest voices has lost his private battle with cancer.

Multiple news outlets such as  The Hollywood Reporter, NBC, The New York Times & TIME have reported that David Bowie passed away at the age of 69-years-old surrounded by his family.

Since a very young age, Mr. Bowie was attracted to the arts. While growing up in Bromly, England, he heard his calling after his father brought home the latest records from America. When he first listened to Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti,” he told Mojo Classic’s Peter Doggett that once he “heard God” in that song.

During the early days of the 1960s, David Bowie was hard at work trying to get noticed.  Countless performances at wedding gigs and youth gatherings and moving from band-to-band were getting him nowhere.  However, his life changed when he enrolled in Lindsay Kemp’s dance classes at the London Dance Centre.  His new mentor taught him multiple performing genres from the magic of avant-garde theatre and Commedia dell’arte.

In addition to Lindsay Kemp, another important person entered David’s life…someone who helped him began his journey to transfigure the music industry and his life for the better: his first wife, Angela.  Angela became his muse as David begun to fuse Kemp’s teachings with his musical desires to create one unforgettable character, Ziggy Stardust.

Ziggy blazed through the United Kingdom and his journey took him to BBC1’s hit television program: Top of the Pops. His performance of his hit single: “Starman,” hypnotized viewers and continued to captivate the British public.  At the height of Ziggy’s popularity, Bowie abruptly retired the character on July 3, 1973.

While he conquered the hearts of his home country, Bowie decided to expand his reach on a global scale. He moved to the United States and continued to evolve as a performer.  He created a new character, the Thin White Duke.  Unfortunately, Mr. Bowie’s love for cabaret could not overcome the demons that his cocaine addiction fueled during the Thin White Duke period. He retreated to West Berlin, where he recovered and recorded the Berlin trilogy (Low, “Heroes” and Lodger).

The 1980s marked a turning point in Mr. Bowie’s career as he turned to the acting world. He performed three months on Broadway in the 1980 production of The Elephant Man, portrayed a prisoner of war in the World War II drama in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, Vendice Partners in the critically slammed film Absolute Failure, Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ and was forever made immortal in the eyes of science fiction lovers as Jareth, the Goblin King in the 1986 Jim Henson film: Labyrinth.

Mick Jagger and David Bowie

Mick Jagger poses with David Bowie on their set of their music video for “Dancing in the Street.” (Photo courtesy of REX)

In addition to his acting ambitions, the late 1970s to 1990s also saw Mr. Bowie collaborate with some of his iconic peers such as Bing Crosby (“The Little Drummer Boy”/”Peace on Earth”), Mick Jagger (“Dancing in the Street”), Tina Turner (“Tonight”) and Queen (“Under Pressure”).  After 11 years of not performing “Under Pressure” live, Mr. Bowie paid homage to the late Freddie Mercury when he joined Queen and Annie Lennox at the iconic 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.

For the final decades of his life, Mr. Bowie was honored for his work as he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award 10 years later. He also appeared in several movies such as Shrek 2, the Prestige, Arthur & The Invisibles and made a hysterical cameo as the Walk-Off Judge in Zoolander.  He also released his last two studio albums: The Next Day in 2013 and Blackstar, which was released two days before his death.

Mr. Bowie is survived by his second wife, Iman, and children: Duncan Jones and Alexandria Zahra Jones.

Jake’s Take’s thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Bowie’s family, friends and fans at this time. Thank you, Mr. Bowie for all that you did for the entertainment legacy. You will not be forgotten!

I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this tribute. They belong to the respective production companies and record labels.

Comments

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