For the misfits, hippies and rebels of the '70s, David Bowie was not just another name. Glam rock, art rock, hard rock, punk rock, dance or pop, you name it and the legendary singer-songwriter had done it all. No wonder then that his envy-inducing legacy till date remains unscathed.
David Bowie. Pic/AFP
One of the few artists to bring to the world the power of music and fashion fused together, Bowie was born David Jones but reinvented himself David Bowie in 1966. While his first album 'The World of David Bowie' left just a mild impression, it was his work in 'Space Oddity', which made him a name to reckon with. His dramatic presence was an important element of his iconic image and many artists who came later picked up on the sheer enigma of drama for a rockstar. He invented mystery and theatrics a decade or two before the likes of Madonna and now Gaga caught up.
Bowie glamourised the power and strength in being the eternal outsider, the misfit, the oddity, the quirk who didn't belong, and blended it in his music to produce geniuses like Ziggy Stardust, Fashion, Changes, Rock n Roll Suicide, Panic in Detroit, Modern Love and Heroes. His classic 'The Man Who Sold the World' became muse to artists like Kurt Cobain and Lulu. His sexual ambiguity was also cause for much talk and gossip, something that became an essential element of his onstage persona.
There wasn't a music genre that the idol did not dabble in, a voice that seamlessly went down to a deep baritone and then leaped confidently into a falsetto. He also carved out an acting career in the midst of his drugs, sex and rock n roll lifestyle. While he struggled a bit in the '80s and '90s, his flamboyant ways and mark on the world of pop is astounding.
After a courageous 18-month-long battle with cancer, he breathed his last yesterday. He is survived by his wife Iman, son Duncan Jones and daughter Alexandria but it is clear that the world mourns the loss of one of the most legendary musical geniuses with them. If he had to have an anthem, these lines from his own song Quicksand, would be most befitting: 'I'm not a prophet or a stone age man, just a mortal with the potential of a superman.' RIP Bowie.