Say­ing good­bye

Mu­sic world mourns loss of David Bowie.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE -

David Bowie, the chameleon­like star who trans­formed the sound — and the look — of rock with his au­da­cious cre­ativ­ity and his sex­u­ally am­bigu­ous makeup and cos­tumes, died of can­cer Sun­day.

Bowie, whose hits in­cluded “Space Odd­ity,” ”Fame,“”He­roes“and ”Let’s Dance,“died sur­rounded by fam­ily, rep­re­sen­ta­tive Steve Martin said early Mon­day. The singer, who was 69, had fought can­cer for 18 months.

Long be­fore al­ter egos and wild out­fits be­came com­mon­place in pop, Bowie turned the mu­sic world up­side down with the re­lease of the 1972 al­bum, “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Star­dust and the Spi­ders from Mars” which in­tro­duced one of mu­sic’s most fa­mous per­sonas. “Ziggy Star­dust” was a con­cept al­bum that imag­ined a rock star from outer space try­ing to make his way in the mu­sic world. The per­sona - the red-headed, eye­liner wear­ing Star­dust - would be­come an en­dur­ing part of Bowie’s legacy, and a touch­stone for the way en­ter­tain­ers pack­aged them­selves for years to come.

Bowie’s birth­day was Fri­day, the same day as he re­leased his new al­bum, “Black­star.”

A state­ment on so­cial me­dia asked fan’s to re­spect the fam­ily’s pri­vacy. No more de­tails were pro­vided.

Born David Jones in Lon­don, the singer came of age in the early 1970s glam rock era. He had a strik­ing an­drog­y­nous look in his early days and was known for chang­ing his ap­pear­ance and sounds. Af­ter “Ziggy Star­dust,” the stut­ter­ing rock sound of “Changes” gave way to the disco soul of “Fame,” co-writ­ten with John Len­non, to a dron­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion with Brian Eno in Ber­lin that pro­duced “He­roes.”

He had some of his big­gest suc­cesses in the early 1980s with the bom­bas­tic “Let’s Dance,” and a mas­sive Amer­i­can tour. An­other one of his defini­tive songs was “Un­der Pres­sure,” which he recorded with Queen; Vanilla Ice would years later in­fa­mously use the song’s hook for his smash hit “Ice Ice Baby.”

“My en­tire ca­reer, I’ve only re­ally worked with the same sub­ject mat­ter,” Bowie told The As­so­ci­ated Press in a 2002 in­ter­view. “The trousers may change, but the ac­tual words and sub­jects I’ve al­ways cho­sen to write with are things to do with iso­la­tion, aban­don­ment, fear and anx­i­ety — all of the high points of one’s life.”

Bowie lived in West Ber­lin in the late 1970s and Mayor Michael Mueller said Mon­day that “He­roes” be­came “the hymn of our then-di­vided city and its long­ing for free­dom.”

Ger­many’s For­eign Min­istry added Bowie was “now among he­roes” and thanked him for “help­ing to bring down the wall.”

Bowie’s per­for­mance of “He­roes” was also a high­light at a con­cert for res­cue work­ers af­ter the 2001 World Trade Cen­ter at­tacks.

“What I’m most proud of is that I can’t help but no­tice that I’ve af­fected the vo­cab­u­lary of pop mu­sic. For me, frankly, as an artist, that’s the most sat­is­fy­ing thing for the ego,” Bowie said.

He was in­ducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, but he didn’t at­tend the cer­e­mony. Madonna ac­cepted for him and re­counted how a Bowie con­cert changed her life when she at­tended it as a teenager.

AP PHOTO

In this Dec. 15, 2003, file photo, singer/song­writer David Bowie launches his United States leg of his world­wide tour called “A Re­al­ity Tour,” at Madi­son Square Gar­den in New York.

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