It’s hard to know how to even begin to write a post like this. David Bowie seemed almost immortal. He was such a unique entity, a visionary who pushed boundaries that we didn’t even know needed to be pushed. Through his life, not just as a young man, he demonstrated his creative genius and, now, he’s gone. Having battled cancer for 18 months, the legendary Brit passed away on Sunday at 69 years of age.
Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage
Yes, we could recount the man’s entire history. In fact, Rolling Stone has a really good article if you are interested in all of the nitty gritty details but, for me, it’s all about remembering what he meant to his fans, how he impacted modern film and music. He was more than just an artist, he was a cultural icon, a gender-bending, out-of-this-world but deeply funny being who transformed how we consume media.
How many looks did he manage to pull off without looking ridiculous or attention-seeking. It was so authentic yet so foreign and intriguing. He could be a stylish-looking British man one moment and be totally acceptable in face paint and a wig the next.
As a kid, my brother was just beginning to put together a band and one of the first songs they learned was Bowie’s hit, “Modern Love.” My brother had been focusing on R&B and soul music with his band so the choice was surprising but, today, my older sibling wrote a tribute on his Facebook page saying that the late singer’s music was so different, so transcendent that he felt compelled to cover it. That was how I was first introduced to the magic.
Another noteworthy thing is that, despite the fact that he could hide behind his eccentricity and create an aura of mystery due to his image (much like Prince has), Bowie never shied away from being down-to-earth by appearing on things like The Muppet Show or the cult classic, Labyrinth. One of my favorite cameos was when he completely roasted Ricky Gervais’ character on the series, Extras. Here’s a quick video from the episode:
Gervais, who hosted the Golden Globe Awards last night, sent out a tweet in the wee hours of this morning that simply said: “I just lost a hero. RIP David Bowie.” Of course, other celebrities are also expressing their shock and sadness which clearly extends beyond genres.
Rap artist, Kanye West, shared: “David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime.”
Meanwhile, opera singer, Josh Groban, seemed to sum up what many people have been saying: “He never seemed of this earth. Now he’s left it. He bent rules, gender, genres, and our minds. RIP David Bowie. One. Of. A. Kind.”
Bowie’s own words seem very appropriate right now. He once said: “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” Rest in Peace, David Bowie.