Waking up on January 11 to an e-mail that said David Bowie had passed away is definitely not the best way to start a Monday. It was 5am and I thought I misread, because obviously there was no way Bowie could be dead. It’s freaking David Bowie. The immortal. But after going to Twitter and seeing my timeline flooded with “RIP David Bowie” tweets, it finally hit me, and it hit me hard. It was a hard punch in the gut for many.
David Bowie was so much more than a chameleonic musician and actor; he was an artist. That is, the true embodiment of the term “artist”. He was a singer, songwriter, actor, painter, and multi-instrumentalist. He had it all.
There’s no such thing as not being into Bowie’s music: he explored so many styles, there’s no way you don’t like at least three of his songs. Each music style came with a full physical makeover, which is one of the many reasons why the world never grew tired of him. We had a Bowie that made us doubt if he was a man or a woman, a sharp-suit Bowie, an unforgettable Ziggy Stardust, and more. So much more.
Bowie left his musical mark on every decade (if you don’t believe me, go take a look at his discography, and you will see he released albums every decade since the late 60’s), exploring genres that went from glam rock to electronic and industrial – because that’s how insanely talented he was.
He collaborated with other legends, whether by writing songs with them or performing together – legends such as Freddie Mercury, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, John Lennon, and Mick Jagger. Of course, he was inspiration of many – at the top of my head, I can mention Scott Weiland, who in multiple occasions stated Bowie was his main inspiration when it came to reinventing himself in almost every album. And there are many more artists out there who owe a big part of what they are today to the incomparable David Bowie.
Bowie stopped touring in 2003, with his last live performance being in 2006 at a charity event; he made a triumphant comeback in 2013 and remained active until his very last day, releasing his last album, Blackstar, on January 8th – his 69th birthday.
His last roles were in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige and the drama film August. But definitely, his most iconic role is that of the Goblin King in Jim Henson’s (yes, the Jim Henson who gave us the Muppets!) Labyrinth.
We will never forget Jareth the Goblin King, who marked the childhood of many and the lives of every single human who has watched the film.
But Bowie’s legacy goes beyond music, films, and art in general; Bowie came to teach us to reinvent ourselves, not be afraid of change, and embrace our weirdness. If you do things with passion, with all your heart, it really doesn’t matter how you look and what others say.
Even if you are not a fan of his music (which is totally valid, although, as I mentioned above, you at least like three of his songs), you have mad respect for the man as he is one of the most talented people this planet has seen. I truly believe his creativity knew no limits.
There was a situation on social media as there were huge amounts of tweets, articles, posts, videos, etc. crying the death of an icon, remembering, and honouring his legacy, and some people (rude people, might I add) asked why we mourn the death of someone we never personally met. The answer is simple, and it was beautifully explained in a tweet (if someone can refer the actual tweet to me, I would deeply appreciate it): we mourn their deaths because they helped us find ourselves. And that’s exactly what Bowie did for many.