David Bowie, the late musician, is regarded as an iconic and innovative singer. Born David Robert Jones, David Bowie was a renowned singer, songwriter, and actor.
Although Bowie entered the music scene in 1967 with his self-titled album, it wasn’t until 1972 that he fully established himself in the industry. Always coming up with new sounds and music styles, he carried on experimenting until 1972 when he emerged in the glam rock era as Ziggy Stardust, his alter ego. David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust looked almost bohemian with his red-dyed hair and striking costumes.
ZIGGY STARDUST – DAVID BOWIE. pic.twitter.com/po9ymaqnrh
— Rachael (ha ha) (@Rachlouise45) December 25, 2016
In 1972, the famous singer was catapulted to fame when he teamed with Spiders from Mars to release his fifth studio album. Besides his album with Spiders from Mars, David Bowie’s previous albums The Man Who Sold the World and Hunky Dory stayed on the U.K. charts for a notably long time. Later, Aladdin Sane, Bowie’s sixth studio album, went on to become the U.K.’s No. 1 album in 1973. From 1962 to 2016, the singer released over 25 studio albums, the last one being Blackstar, released just two days prior to his death on January 10, 2016.
You voted David Bowie's – Blackstar your album of the year pic.twitter.com/TTWYu3hPrW
— Absolute Radio (@absoluteradio) December 28, 2016
NPR Music noted that even though David Bowie is not around to receive the praise for his final offering, his Blackstar album has already proven itself as “one of the most enduring records of the year.”
Many have remarked that 2016 has been a difficult year – from the tumultuous presidential election to the death of so many music and Hollywood greats, from Leonard Cohen, Prince, and George Michael to Alan Rickman and Carrie Fisher – and NPR Music noted that David Bowie’s album is one that “many of us returned to to cope with 2016.”
As his career progressed, Bowie continued reinventing both his on-stage appearances and his musical styles. Various artists and critics have attempted to fully understand Bowie by exploring Ziggy Stardust and his other personas, including the Thin White Duke and Aladdin Sane. Recently, a university professor at U.K.’s Kingston University spent a year researching David Bowie by dressing up as his various alter egos. Many artists have copied the Ziggy Stardust persona to either perform David Bowie’s hit songs or simply to show their respect for the legendary singer.
— Ibero 90.9 FM (@Ibero909FM) December 24, 2016
Lady Gaga paid tribute to David Bowie at the 2016 Grammy Award ceremony by singing a medley of his songs in just four minutes while imitating his famous Ziggy Stardust persona. However, NME reports that she was criticized by several personalities, including director Duncan Jones, David Bowie’s son, who described the performance as overexcited and mentally confused.
TeamRock reports that Lady Gaga was clearly affected by the criticism because she admitted that she was deeply hurt by Duncan’s remarks.
“What are you going to do? I’m not his family and that’s his father. Whatever he was feeling in that moment I have compassion and love for him. But yes, of course it hurt.”
— Mary (@uknewse) December 6, 2016
According to Radio.com, Lady Gaga’s performance was also denounced by Mick Woodmansey, the drummer for Spiders from Mars, who commented that it was ridiculous for Lady Gaga to perform 15 songs in an incredibly short amount of time.
“We looked at it and it was going to be like 14 or 15 songs in the space of four minutes and we just went ‘no, f*** off, that’s stupid, that’s not going to represent anything good about him.'”
Mick Woodmansey has assisted artists who genuinely want to express their love and respect for David Bowie through their performances. However, the drummer believes that it is not acceptable for artists to wear a David Bowie getup and sing his songs just for the sake of it. Woodman revealed that emulating David Bowie is not easy because the legendary artist was so very unique in his music and style.
According to NME, the drummer recalled his experience while working with Bowie during the making of the 1971 Hunky Dory album.
“It was a bit scary because there was nothing around like that. There was nobody anywhere near with that kind of direction or style or anything. So we thought ‘maybe this is too far, maybe this is a musicians’ thing, that we like it but nobody else will.'”
[Featured Image by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images]