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David Bowie

David Bowie

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Also Known As: David Robert Jones, Ziggy Stardust Died:
Born: January 8, 1947 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: South London, England, GB Profession: singer, songwriter, actor, music producer, producer, painter, commercial artist in advertising agency

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Hailed by many as the founding father of "glam rock," David Bowie defied any conventions of what a star is and blurred the lines between music and performance art. Embracing the avant-garde, Bowie created futuristic, androgynous characters to represent the music he released in the form of seminal rock albums such as Space Oddity (1969), The Man Who Sold the World (1970), and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972). A musical chameleon, Bowie reinvented his persona with every album and live performance, from the decadent Ziggy Stardust, to the enigmatic Thin White Duke, and helped pioneer several genres of music, including New Wave, industrial, and electronic. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee's constant reinvention and love of theatrics also influenced artists like Madonna and Lady Gaga, while his enormous talent allowed him to enjoy equal success as an actor, working with filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese and David Lynch. Renowned for exploring the fringes of pop music, Bowie carved a successful career out of change, and retained his reputation as an experimental artist as well as a true music icon.

Hailed by many as the founding father of "glam rock," David Bowie defied any conventions of what a star is and blurred the lines between music and performance art. Embracing the avant-garde, Bowie created futuristic, androgynous characters to represent the music he released in the form of seminal rock albums such as Space Oddity (1969), The Man Who Sold the World (1970), and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972). A musical chameleon, Bowie reinvented his persona with every album and live performance, from the decadent Ziggy Stardust, to the enigmatic Thin White Duke, and helped pioneer several genres of music, including New Wave, industrial, and electronic. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee's constant reinvention and love of theatrics also influenced artists like Madonna and Lady Gaga, while his enormous talent allowed him to enjoy equal success as an actor, working with filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese and David Lynch. Renowned for exploring the fringes of pop music, Bowie carved a successful career out of change, and retained his reputation as an experimental artist as well as a true music icon.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Bandslam (2009)
4.
 August (2008)
6.
 Glastonbury (2006)
7.
 Prestige, The (2006)
8.
 Il Mio West (2005) Jack Sikora
9.
 Mayor of the Sunset Strip (2003) Himself
10.
 Zoolander (2001) (Cameo Appearance)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
To avoid confusion with child actor and The Monkees member Davy Jones, changed name from David Jones to David Bowie; adopted Bowie after the Bowie knife
1967:
Apprenticed in Lindsay Kemp's mime troupe, exchanging musical scores for pantomime lessons
:
Acted in a 15-minute short ("The Image"), a commercial for ice cream and a BBC-TV play, "The Pistol Shot"
1968:
With co-star from "The Pistol Shot", started Feathers, a mime troupe
1969:
First hit record, "Space Oddity"; an international smash at the time of the US moon landing, it peaked at Number 5 in the UK
1969:
Started Beckenham Arts Lab to experiment with theater and music
1969:
Feature debut in a bit part in "The Virgin Soldiers"
:
Mimed at some T. Rex concerts
1972:
Told MELODY MAKER he was gay, enjoying the idea of a cult growing around his androgynous image
1973:
Feature film debut as performer and songwriter, the concert documentary, "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" (not released in the USA until 1984)
1975:
Collaborated with John Lennon on "Fame", song from the "Young Americans" album which became his first Number 1 single in the USA
1976:
Starred in "The Man Who Fell to Earth" (directed by Nicolas Roeg), his first significant feature work
1977:
Toured Europe and America as Iggy Pop's pianist; had produced Pop's albums "Raw Power","The Idiot" and "Lust for Life"
1977:
US TV debut (taped in London), "Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas" special; performed duet of "Little Drummer Boy" with Crosby
1979:
Portrayed Prussian war veteran in "Just a Gigolo", notable as Marlene Dietrich's last film
1981:
Broadway acting debut as John Merrick in "The Elephant Man"
1982:
Appeared in BBC-TV production of Bertolt Brecht's "Baal"
1982:
Was splendid as a WWII British major in Nagisa Oshima's first English-language film, "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence"
1983:
Portrayed 150-year-old vampire in "The Hunger"; Bowie's aging scene is considered one of the film's highlights
1985:
Appeared in Martin Scorsese's "Into the Night"
1986:
Played Jareth, King of the Goblins, in Jim Henson's "Labyrinth"
1988:
Acted the part of Pontius Pilate in Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ"
1988:
First network TV special, "David Bowie: Glass Spider Tour" (ABC)
1994:
Served as executive producer on "Magic Hunter" and "Mesmer"
1996:
Portrayed Andy Warhol in "Basquiat"
1997:
Received star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (February 12)
1997:
Co-founded the art book publishing house 21
2002:
Released album "Heathen" to positive reviews;
:
Voice featured in "Arthur and the Minimoys," a live-action/computer-animated fantasy feature based on a popular French children's book by filmmaker Luc Besson, who is directing the project
:
Set to score the Broadway musical that will be based on the life of Bruce Lee
2006:
Cast as an inventor and electrical wizard in the Christopher Nolan-directed "The Prestige"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Bromley Technical High School: -

Notes

Pulled a no-show at his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

Received an honorary doctorate of music from Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts in May 1999.

In July 1998, formally announced plans to launch a high-speed Internet service provider at www.davidbowie.com.

In December 2001, due to his frustration with the "corporate structure" of his longtime record label Virgin Records, announced formation of own independent music company.

"The three or four years that followed 'Let's Dance' were for me particularly tough about reevaluating what I wanted. I thought, 'Who are these people? They kind of look like a Phil Collins audience.' Suddenly, I had all these people for whom the songs on the radio--'China Girl', 'Modern Girl' and 'Let's Dance'--had become my oeurve. That was all they knew of me, and it was MOR [middle of the road] enough that it encouraged this enormous audience. And I started thinking, What kind of music would they like? I was bastardizing who and what I am and didn't know how to break out of it." --David Bowie in GQ, January 1997.

"Ever since I discovered the Dadaists I related to them. They became my family. I could see the sense of their nonsense. These were fellow uncles and aunts. The idea that they completely deconstructed the world around them and destroyed every orthodoxy and said with glee that art is shit and art is dead and art no longer exists--was a triumphal rebelliousness of an extreme order . . . For me, it was the joy of recreating the gleeful mischief of the Dada era and applying it to rock. That kind of juxtaposition, that synthesis, always excites me because it takes two known ingredients and produces a third totally new thing. You don't stick with communism and you don't stick with capitalism--you take the best of both and create a new way, a new system that has no name. That's really what I think my work does. I create the little monsters of our time." --Bowie in Interview, February 1997.

"About 15 or 16 years ago, I really got pretty tired of fending off questions about what I used to do with my [penis] in the early 70s. My suggestion for people with prurient interests is to go through the 30 or 40 bios on me and pick out the rumor of their choice." --Bowie quoted in Us, November 1995.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Angela Bowie. Actor. Married on March 20, 1970; divorced in 1980; mother of Joey Bowie.
companion:
Melissa Hurley. Dancer. Born c. 1967.
wife:
Iman. Model, actor. Married on June 6 1992; proposed in November 1991; Somalian; formerly married to NBA star Spencer Haywood with whom she has a daughter, Zulekha born c. 1988; mother of Bowie's daughter Alexandria.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Hayward Stenton Jones.
mother:
Margaret Mary Burns. Died in 2001.
brother:
Terry Jones. Institutionalized; inspired Bowie's song "All the Madmen"; Bowie claims generations of insanity in his family.
son:
Zowie Duncan Heywood Bowie. Born c. 1971; was studying philosophy as of fall 1995.
step-daughter:
Zulekha Haywood. Born c. 1988.
daughter:
Alexandria Zahra Jones. Born on August 15, 2000; mother, Iman.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Backstage Passes: Life on the Wild Side With David Bowie" G.P. Putnam's Sons

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