David Bowie, born David Robert Jones on January 8,1947, is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, painter, and actor. Bowie has been a figure in popular music for over four decades, and is known as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. His androgynous appearance was an iconic element of his image, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s. Bowie’s first hit song “Space Oddity” in July 1969 reached the top five of the U.K. Singles Chart. After a three-year period of experimentation, he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era with the flamboyant, androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust, spearheaded by the hit single “Starman” and the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Bowie’s impact at that time, as described by biographer David Buckley, “challenged the core belief of the rock music of its day” and “created perhaps the biggest cult in popular culture.” The relatively short-lived Ziggy persona proved to be one facet of a career marked by reinvention, musical innovation and visual presentation. Just days after his 69th birthday and the release of his latest album, Blackstar, David Bowie died January 10, 2016 after an 18-month battle with cancer.
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