He is the man who elevated his music to what can only be described as an art form. Driven by an entirely deeper dynamic than most pop artists, David Bowie inhabited a very special world of extraordinary sounds and endless vision. Unwilling to stay on the treadmill of rock legend and avoiding the descent into ever demeaning and decreasing circles of cliche, Bowie wrote and performed what he wanted, when he wanted.
David Robert Jones was born in Brixton on January 8, 1947. At age thirteen, inspired by the jazz of the London West End, he picked up the saxophone and called up Ronnie Ross for lessons. Early bands he played with, The Kon-Rads, The King Bees, the Mannish Boys and the Lower Third, provided him with an introduction into the showy world of pop and mod, and by 1966 he was David Bowie, with long hair and aspirations of stardom rustling about his head.
It was not until 1969 that the splash onto the charts would begin, with the legendary "Space Oddity" which peaked at No. 5 in the U.K. Amidst his musical wanderings in the late 60s, he experimented with mixed media, cinema, mime, Tibetan Buddhism, acting and love. The album, originally titled "David Bowie" then subsequently "Man of Words, Man of Music", paid homage to all the influences of the London artistic scene.
"The Man Who Sold the World" came next. It was released by Mercury in April 1971 to minimal fanfare and Bowie took his first trip to the United States to promote it that spring. In May of the same year, Duncan Zowie Haywood Bowie was born to David and his then-wife Angela.
RCA was the next label to sign Bowie, and after a trip to America to complete the legalities, he returned to London to record two albums nearly back to back. "Hunky Dory" was built from a six-song demo that had enticed the label to sign him and featured "Changes" and "Life on Mars". Almost immediately, it was followed up by the instant classic "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars".
1972 was certainly the year that Bowie began to get a glimpse of the power of pop. Previewed in London that spring, his rock-n-roll creation Ziggy Stardust staged one of the most spectacular and innovative live shows to date, and the craze that followed was the beginning of his superstar myth. The summer of 1972 was also a busy one for him in the studio, as he produced albums for Lou Reed.
The U.S. "Ziggy" tour began in September, with sold-out shows full of theatrically inspired Japanese costumes, snarling guitars courtesy of Mick Ronson, and a bold, daring approach to performance that propelled the audience into a rock-n-roll fervor. He abruptly put his own creation to rest on June 3, 1973 with the pronouncement: "Of all the shows on the tour, this one will stay with us the longest because not only is this the last show of the tour, but it is the last show we will ever do."
He continued to actively perform and make music until early 2000s. In 1992, he married Somali-American model Iman. They have one daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones, who was born 15 August 2000. The couple currently resides primarily in New York City's Manhattan and London.
He went on a hiatus after releasing album "Reality" in 2003 which was followed by a promotional tour. Ten years later, on January 8, 2013, quite without fanfare and out of the blue, he did something nobody really expected. He released a new single entitled "Where Are We Now" and announced the release of a new album "The Next Day" in March. He debuted at No. 2 on Billboard Hot 200.