Rockstar Origins: David Bowie

Singer (1947–2016)

Known for his melodramatic musical changes which include his character Ziggy Stardust, but nevertheless a rock star on his own right. David Bowie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

What Do We Know About David Bowie?

He was on born January 8, 1947, in South London’s Brixton. “Space Oddity” was his first hit in 1969. He was also known as “pop chameleon,” and a sci-fi character named Ziggy Stardust, which was also his first breakout album. Carlos Alomar and John Lennon collaborated with David Bowie and wrote the song called “Fame,” which became Bowie’s first No.1 single hit in the US in 1975. He then entered the Hollywood to star in the film called The Man Who Fell to Earth in 1976. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Bowie died from cancer on January 10, 2016, just after releasing his last album.


How Did He Get Into Music?

David Bowie was born David Robert Jones.

He showed an interest in music when he was just 13-years of age and began playing the saxophone. He was heavily influenced by his half-brother Terry. He introduced and exposed the young Bowie to the worlds of rock and roll.

Sadly his half-brother Terry committed suicide in 1985, a tragedy that inspired Bowie to write the later song, “Jump They Say,” which refers to Terry and the demons in him, and his mental illness.

When he graduated from Bromley Technical High School at 16, David pursues a career as a commercial artist, while continued to play music, playing for several bands and leading a band himself called “Davy Jones and the Lower Third.” They managed to release several singles at the time, but never went boom nor had commercial success.

After playing for the “Davy Jones and the Lower Third,” Bowie went on his own to pursue a solo career in music, but never went successfully after recording his first solo album. He then exited the word of music, temporarily.

David Bowie got married by Angela Barnett on March 20, 1970, and had one son, whom they called “Zowie” in 1971, who is also now known by his legal birth name as “Duncan Jones.”


Enter Rock N’ Roll Stardom

In early 1969, Bowie har returned to start over again in music, signing a deal with Mercury Records, and during at the time he released the single titled “Space Oddity.”

And his next album was “The Man Who Sold The World (1970),” which catapulted to success.

My Name Is Ziggy Stardust

As he enjoys his fame and successful run, he announced that he was gay and introduced himself to the world as Ziggy Stardust.

He had an album at the time, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1992), which made him a superstar, signaling a new age in rock music.


I Can’t Get No Satisfaction

After he transformed himself into Stardust, he later changed again. He became David Bowie again and produced albums for Lou Reed and Iggy Pop. He disbanded the Spiders in 1973 and continued on his glam rock style with the album Aladdin Sane (1973), which featured his collaboration with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on the songs “The Jean Genie” and “Let’s Spend the Night Together.”

In 1980, he released “Scary Monsters,” that featured the single “Ashes to Ashes,” -kind of an updated version of “Space Oddity.”

He then collaborated with Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1983, and recorded “Let’s Dance.”

The Life And Death

The rock music icon died on January 10, 2016, two days after his 69th birthday and shortly after releasing his final album.

A post on his Facebook page read:

David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer.

He left behind a musical legacy, which included 26 albums.

Bowie was also recognized for his great work on his final album, as he was given quite an honor and named as the winner in the Best Alternative Rock Album, Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical), Best Recording Package, Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song categories at the Grammy Awards.

He had an HBO documentary “David Bowie: The Last Five Years,” that was aired last January 8, 2018, before his two-year death anniversary, and what would have been his 71st birthday. The documentary was about the period in which he released his two final albums.