David Bowie, born January 8, 1947, was an English singer, songwriter, and actor. He was well-known for his experiments with various music styles. His music and his personal life reflected his desire to experiment constantly; for example, he once thought of becoming a Buddhist monk. Bowie sold more than 100 million records during his lifetime, racking up multiple awards. Bowie also took up acting roles throughout his career. If he hadn’t found success with his music career, many people believe he would have been a remarkable actor. Regardless, David was an entertainer at heart. This outstanding entertainer will always remain in our hearts.
David Robert Jones
The Thin White Duke, Ziggy Stardust
January 8, 1947
January 10, 2016 (age 69)
David Bowie was born as David Robert Jones in Brixton, London. His mother was Margaret Mary and his father was Haywood Stenton Jones. As a child, he had a reputation for being gifted, and single-minded. Teachers believed he was very artistic — he was also a defiant brawler. Bowie played the recorder in the school choir and also sang. When he was 15, in 1962, he formed his first band — the Konrads. After a brief stint with the band, Bowie left them for the King Bees. He did this because he believed other members of the Konrads were not ambitious.
One month after joining the King Bees, Bowie left the band again. This time, he joined the Manish Boys, but Bowie was dissatisfied with this band too. He left, joining a fourth band called the Lower Third. Bowie was a difficult man to please, however, and he left the Lower Third after a short stint. At this point, Bowie had begun to transform into a solo artist. He was also studying avant-garde theater and mime under Lindsay Kemp. Bowie did not achieve large-scale commercial success until he released “Space Oddity” in July 1969. The release of “Space Oddity” coincided with the Apollo 11 spacecraft launch — making it a massive success.
Bowie released his second album in November 1969, titled “Bowie”. This was also the year Bowie married Angela Barnett. In 1972, he created his famous Ziggy persona for his “Ziggy Stardust” stage show. The show was widely acclaimed, catapulting him to the top of the U.K. entertainment industry. Bowie later created another persona, ‘The Thin White Duke’ in 1976. He continued to make music but was also a successful actor and painter. A decade after his divorce, he met the supermodel Iman and they got married in 1992. They remained married until his death in 2016.
He begins acting and singing during this decade.
“The Man Who Fell to Earth” is the first movie he stars in.
Bowie begins to experiment with songs about romance.
Bowie begins to experiment with hip-hop sounds.
Bowie passes away after battling liver cancer.
Why We Love David Bowie
Bowie fought injustice
He led a protest against cruelty to long-haired men. He strongly believed in fairness.
Bowie was futuristic
Bowie launched his internet service provider in 1998, called Bowie.net. It was the world's first internet provider by an artist.
Bowie helped promote sci-fi culture
Few people from Bowie's generation promoted sci-fi. He was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2013.
5 Surprising Facts
He changed his name
Bowie changed his name to avoid being confused with another artist who went by his birth name.
He had an unusual fear
Bowie feared a wizard would steal his urine and use it to enchant him.
He helped pioneer streaming music
In 1996, Bowie became the first major musician to distribute a song exclusively using the internet.
He was an avid reader
Bowie read a lot of books on a variety of topics.
His dilated pupils
The color variation you notice in Bowie’s eyes resulted from a fight — he had permanently dilated pupils.
David Bowie FAQs
Who got David Bowie's estate?
David’s wife Iman got half of his estate, while Duncan and Alexandria, his children, got 25% each.
Who owns David Bowie's music rights?
Warner Music Group’s publishing unit.
What kind of cancer did David Bowie have?
Bowie died of liver cancer.
David Bowie’s birthday dates