One of the most influential, groundbreaking, inspirational and sorely-missed artists of this century, David Bowie
. On the day that would have been his 71st birthday we take a walk down memory lane and reminisce on the moments he won't let us forget. There were moments he made us giggle, there were times he made us cry and there were those where he had us frozen in utter awe of his being. Here is a compiled list of those such times, where we can relive these emotions all over again. Word of advice, make sure you have some tissues handy before embarking on this journey.
1. Ziggy Stardust
Bowie was renowned for his experimentation with art, culture and identity. This is emphasized in his alter ego persona Ziggy Stardust, who was formed as a kind of musical character for his album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.
He explored the concepts of sci-fi and cult phenomenons, going further by embodying this character as part of his live shows and personal life. Bowie became his alter ego as a means of creative expression giving us some of the best work he ever did during this period. The Ziggy persona shed light on various, deeper aspects to Bowie's personality, giving the public an insight into the subconscious of this incredible human.
This man knew fashion and he experimented with the confines of such an industry. Throughout his career he manifested the different aspects of his personality and turned them into clothing. He basically wore his inner self as garments, demonstrating his eccentricity through design. He was groundbreaking in the fashion world, especially in reference to androgyny. He paved the way for men and women to experiment with gender and the expression of gender through appearance. This unique ability caused a lot of controversy for many people, but he soldiered on and pushed through the negativity, supporting those who didn't have the means to be so brave. As his career spanned the decades of course his style and public persona would change with it, but he managed to maintain that quirky Bowie we loved so much.
3. The MTV Call Out
This interview makes you cringe but in a strangely good way! The way Bowie brings up the lack of representation of people of colour on MTV is simple but effective. As the interviewer is left squirming and fumbling over his obviously prejudiced position, Bowie just smiles along. He fires back extremely relevant questions and even takes note of the ‘scapegoat' attitude held by the interviewer. He strategically uses his position as an influential white man to shed light on a clearly racist decision by MTV not featuring more people of colour on their station. If this were to happen today (hopefully such exclusivity would not occur today) Bowie would probably have gone further and really pushed the issue, not accepting the reply he got. Despite that however, it's a vid worth a watch and to cheer on Bowie for this noteworthy remarks.
4. Live Aid
This festival was history making in the first place, but Bowie's involvement and performance really cemented in the history books. Organised as a huge fundraiser for the famine that was occurring in Ethiopia at the time. The headlining acts of U2, Queen, Bob Geldof, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Led Zeppelin and many more has become an iconic example of the power of music and its power to invoke change.
5. Prayer For Freddie
During the Freddie Mercury tribute concert on 1992, Bowie lead the entire crowd in the "Our Father" prayer. He gets down on one knee and recites the entire prayer as a sign of respect for his dear friend. This act moved audiences worldwide, as we were given an insight into the relationship these two musicians shared.
6. Little Drummer Boy
This duet with Bing Crosby is probably one of the most memorable and sweetest moments of Bowie's career. Despite his hesitation in actually doing it (he only did it because his mum loved Bing Crosby and was watching) It's worth a watch to lift your spirits, he jokes around about his family and all of their Christmas traditions before breaking out in song. The pair are the cutest thing you've seen in a while, and they're so in right now with their a cappella skills!
7. The Labyrinth
Probably one of his more famous performances, as the Goblin King in Jim Henderson's film Labyrinth
. His outfit itself was something to be in awe of, the way he pulled off those tights and that huge hair is a feat for anyone let alone Bowie. His personification of this evil character showcases his vast acting abilities, solidifying his position as an extremely multi talented artist, The magic dancing he does and the song literally makes the film, what would it be without his creepy sexiness? For many people out there, this film definitely awakened some strange somewhat problematic goblin king fantasies…
8. "Boys Keep Swinging" - SNL
In this small performance on SNL back in 1979, Bowie brings his quirks and odd sense of humour to the stage. Instead of Bowie himself being the centre of attention it was his weird puppet double, who starts to whip out some rather confronting dance moves and body parts. Back when SNL was wild and outrageous we all got the opportunity to witness the puppet Bowie perform and entertain his audiences, in whatever means he saw fit.
9. Zoolander Cameo
Who better to judge a modelling walk off than David Bowie? He has had some fashionable moments throughout his career, all the while rocking some pretty snazzy walks. What makes this scene great is the unexpected reveal, you just aren't expecting him to pop out and be in a film like this! But he is and it makes it ten time better. Those sunglasses and that suit are so refreshing and quite stylish, he is a stunner for the entire scene, you could even say he is the star of the scene. Move over Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, Bowie owns that walk off.
In this show Bowie plays himself alongside Ricky Gervais, where laughter and chaos follow. One of the last pieces of acting Bowie did before he past, and by far one of the best. His acting abilities prove themselves once again and they're hilariously good. In this scene we watch bowie utterly humiliate Ricky Gervais as he continues to sing "Little Fat Man With The Pug-Nosed Face." It's comically cruel but it's done with such good taste and ability that it's obviously intended for fun and not harm.