[Jakarta, LttW] Pop icon David Bowie has died on Sunday, at the age of 69 after battling cancer in secret for 18 months. His death was confirmed on his official Facebook page: “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family…”
He just released a new album Blackstar and a haunting video which shows him on hospital bed while singing “Look up here, I’m in heaven” on Friday – on his birthday. It appears to be a farewell from a man who knew he was dying. His longtime producer Tony Visconti added that “He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of art”.
He was born David Robert Jones on 8 January 1947 in Brixton, South London. At his teenage, he was forming a several bands and led the group as he called himself Davy Jones, and by 1966 he was David Bowie. David Bowie’s career began with a handful of mostly forgotten singles but a head full of ideas. It was not until 1969 that the splash onto the charts would begin, with the Space Oddity (which peaked at No. 5 in the UK) from the album Man of Words, Man of Music.
1972 was certainly the year that Bowie began to get a glimpse of the power of pop. His role act as Ziggy Stardust on music performance/album of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, considered as the performance that turned Bowie into a star. In the same year, he produced album for Lou Reed (Transformer) – a seminal record that to this day enthuses critics the world over and spawned the surprise hit, Walk on the Wild Side, a fairytale of the dark side of New York. His first US No. 1 was collaboration with John Lennon on Fame, which topped the charts in 1975. In the late 1970s he produced three albums collaboration with Brian Eno known as the Berlin trilogy.
He combined his rock career with appearances in films. Bowie’s acting career took off with his performance in The Man Who Fell to Earth which using Stomu Yamash’ta score, followed by roles in films such as The Last Temptation of Christ, Basquiat, and The Prestige.
He earned admiration across the musical spectrum, from pop star like Madonna to classical composers like Philip Glass, who created two symphonies based on his albums Low and Heroes. Nirvana chose to sing The Man Who Sold the World, the title song of Bowie’s 1970 album, in their set for MTV Unplugged in 1993.
Rest in Peace Mr. Bowie..
*From various sources