By Sean Ray | a&e editor
This past Sunday, the world was rocked by the death of British musician David Bowie.
Bowie, who passed after a battle with liver cancer, had just released his album “Blackstar” two days before his death. He was seen as one of the leading figures of the glam rock genre and revolutionized it in many ways. Known for his flamboyant costumes and androdgenous appearance, Bowie challenged traditional views of gender and sexuality.
He is perhaps most well known for his persona Ziggy Stardust, the central character of Bowie’s fifth album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” The album tells the tale of the titular character, an extraterrestial musician who preaches a message of peace even as he falls victim to the vices of the rock star lifestyle. “Ziggy Stardust” was listed by Time as one of the top 100 albums of all time.
Besides playing music, Bowie also acted in several films. He played Pontius Pilate in the Academy Award nominated “The Last Temptation of Christ.” His most famous roll came in the 1986 fantasy movie “Labyrinth.” Under the director of the famed puppetier Jim Henson, Bowie played Jareth the Goblin King, the main villain of the film with a very provocative appearance.
Response to Bowie’s death has been huge across the music world. Elton John praised David Bowie during a live performance on Dec. 12 in Los Angeles.
“We don’t have to say anything about the music because it speaks for itself,” John said. “He was innovative, he was boundary-changing and he danced to his own tune – which in any artist is really rare.”
John further plans to include a song on his upcoming album “Wonderful Crazy Night” in honor of Bowie, according to an article by Radar Online.
Tony Visconti, producer of “Blackstar,” revealed the album was created by Bowie as a final parting gift to his fans in a released statement. Indeed, the album contains many songs dealing with the concept of death and the afterlife such as “Lazarus” and “I Can’t Give Everything Away.”
Bowie is survived by his wife , Iman, and his two sons, film director Duncan and Alexandria. He was 69 dying two days after his birthday.