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8 January 1947
Brixton, Lambeth, London, England, United Kingdom
10 January 2016 (aged 69)
David Bowie (born David Robert Jones on January 8, 1947 in Brixton, London, England, United Kingdom) is an iconic English singer, songwriter and musician. Active in five decades of popular music and frequently reinventing his music and image, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. He has been cited as an influence by many musicians and is known for his distinctive voice and the intellectual depth of his work.
As a multi-instrumentalist, he is famous for playing the guitar, piano and saxophone; but also plays the harmonica, drums, cello, marimba, bass guitar, koto, and stylophone. He rose to fame with the heady 1969 folk rock single Space Oddity and became a glam rock icon with the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972). Subsequent albums have explored blue-eyed soul, electronica and new wave, often pre-dating these genres' popularity or even the point at which they were defined as genres.
Bowie is one of the most influential rock musicians from the 1970s to the present. He has sold an estimated 136 million albums in his career and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Due to his wide spread into different genres, it could be said that he influences most modern bands at least on an indirect level (i.e. Bowie influenced a band who influenced them). In addition to his musical career, Bowie has had success as a painter, web-designer, sculptor, Broadway actor starring in The Elephant Man, and movie actor starring in many films (including Labyrinth, Basquiat, The Man Who Fell To Earth, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, The Hunger, The Prestige and Zoolander) across the years.
On September 11, 1977, David Bowie appeared alongside Bing Crosby for the filming of Crosby's annual Christmas special, shortly before Crosby's death. Their duet of "Little Drummer Boy" proved to be one of the most influential moments of music history as they bridged the generations with a single song.
Bowie is also credited as being a major inspiration behind the new romantic/futurist movement, and subsequent development of electronic/electronica music, all of which eventually led to dance music as we know it now.
His stage act is rivalled by few, with Bowie frequently bringing the worlds of high-art, mime and straight theatre to the rock stage. His most famous on-stage look was that of Ziggy Stardust. Other personae include Halloween Jack, Aladdin Sane (the album cover of which features the famous lightning bolt across his face) and the Thin White Duke.
Omikron: The Nomad Soul videogame developed by Quantum Dream (Responsible for Farhenheit and Heavy Rain)
David Bowie, who had some input into the story and game's design, has two cameo appearances within the game, although not as himself; first as Boz, a game character who's a revolutionary wanted by authorities, and secondly as the nameless lead-singer of the fictional musical group, "The Dreamers", who perform illegal concerts in Omikron. In addition, select tracks from his (then) upcoming 'hours…' album were written specifically for the game then rewritten for the actual album release. For instance, the intro song New Angels of Promise changed the chorus lyric Omikron to Suspicious Minds.
The game's soundtrack is a main feature as well, featuring songs by Bowie and Reeves Gabrels (most of which appeared on 'hours…' or as B-sides on the associated single for the song "Thursday's Child") in addition to the primary composition work by Xavier Despas. Most of Bowie's songs are then available (in-game only) for later listening either if the player opts to "buy" the recordings or simply walk into an apartment that already has some of the music laid out in plain view or in hidden compartments. Bowie's wife Iman Abdulmajid also makes a cameo as one of the numerous Omikronian citizens the player can "reincarnate" into.
David Bowie truly is a living legend.
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