Entertainer. Performer. Musician. Legend.
David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie, was a singer-songwriter and actor who was the face of popular media for over five decades. From the start of his early career to three days before his death, he was performing, writing, and recording music.
He also had a successful career as an actor, appearing in over 20 films.
In an age where the persona of musicians had to be considered "safe" and marketable, David Bowie went against the odds with his zany, androgynous appearance. He was instrumental in the glam-rock movement of the 1970s, combining hard rock that was popular in the time with artistic flair. Throughout his career, he would introduce persona characters, such as "Ziggy Stardust", the rockstar who communicated with aliens, and "The Thin White Duke", the carabet fascist romantic.
In the 70s, his output was more forward-thinking than pop music of the era. His music delt with science-fiction, the extra-terrestrial, the apocolaypse, sexual orientation, urban chaos, and mythology. This was a radical departure from popular music of the time, which dealt with more lenient subject matter, typically love songs.
His finest achievement in innovation, however, was the "Berlin trilogy" - the albums Low, Heroes, and Lodger. With these albums, he collaborated with famous musician and produer Brian Eno and took a step into the avant-garde. His efforts helped bring electronic music into the mainstream.
David Bowie was extremely successful, critically and commercially. His record sales are estimated at 140 million records sold worldwide, making him one of the most successful musicians of all time. Among these come nine UK platinum album certifications, and five US platinum album certifications.
In addition, Bowie won two Grammy Awards and four Brit Awards. He was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2013. In a BBC poll of the "100 Greatest Britons", David Bowie was ranked No. 29.
In total, David Bowie was nominated for 63 total awards ranging from his entire entertainment careers. Of these, he has won 25.
"David was a great star and I treasure the moments we had together. His music played a very strong part in British musical history and I’m proud to think of the huge influence he has had on people all around the world."
"David would have an identity in mind. He’d know who the person singing it was, and their attitude. And when he was singing, he’d take the pose."
"We all know how inspiring he is. We all know that his music stands. We don't have to say anything about the music: it speaks for itself. He was innovative, he was boundary-changing, and he danced to his own tune — which in any artist is really rare."
"David Bowie had everything. He was intelligent, imaginative, brave, charismatic, cool, sexy and truly inspirational both visually and musically. He created such staggeringly brilliant work, yes, but so much of it and it was so good. There are great people who make great work but who else has left a mark like his? No one like him."
"The experience of having him on set was wonderful. He had a level of charisma beyond what you normally experience, and everyone really responded to it."