Remembering an Icon: David Bowie


David Bowie, after an 18 month battle with cancer, passed away Sunday, January 10 at the age of 69. His death comes just after the release of his 25th studio album, Blackstar. News exploded on Twitter before hitting local news stations around 3am, after being confirmed by both Bowie’s publicist and his son.

The news of the star’s passing has rattled the world, with countless of artists and fans paying their respects in different ways. Snapchat had a compilation with snaps from fans all over the globe. Bowie’s home town of Brixton had a party that lasted the entire night, with people singing and dancing in the streets. Many artists took to Twitter to express their sympathies, while Patrick Stump wrote an article on Alternative Press saying “it’s an honor to have lived in the same time as Bowie.” Even the International Space Station re-released a tribute to Bowie, which can be watched below this article.

His music and performances has spanned across four decades, connecting and resonating with people of every age. Bowie influenced and inspired so many, including us here at Music Unlabeled. He made it okay to be different and made an effort to push his own boundaries and the boundaries of music as we know it, right up until his death.

There’s speculation among fans that David Bowie knew that he was going to pass soon, that he might have even planned it. Lazarus, his last music video, is haunting when you watch it now. With David Bowie sprawled out on a bed, singing lyrics that resonate and shake you right to the very core. The whole Blackstar album has a reoccurring theme of death, a dark reflective tone about it, and lyrics that make you question if he really did know the end was coming.

Just hours after the news broke, David Bowie’s longtime producer Tony Visconti said that Bowie’s death was “a work of art – not unlike his life.” He confirmed that Blackstar, which he worked with Bowie on, was a parting gift to his fans.

“He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.”
– Tony Visconti, Facebook Eulogy

Everywhere you looked, Monday seemed like a vague fog and was spent crying, laughing, and remembering. Every fan alive dug out their favorite Bowie records or pulled them up on Spotify to listen, with Spotify streams jumping 2700% in the first day after his death. All across the world, people celebrated the life of this icon, and mourned the loss of such a brilliant person.

There are no words to sum up what he meant to people, the impact that he had on this world, or how loved he was by his family, friends, and fans. It’s safe to say though, that we will miss him dearly.

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