David Bowie, the legendary rocker also known as Ziggy Stardust and The Thin White Duke, died Sunday after an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 69.
Bowie was one of the most influential and most prolific musicians the world has ever seen, and he inspired legions of fans as well as scores of artists both younger and older than him with his ever-evolving personas, styles, and sounds.
"Yet, throughout Mr. Bowie’s metamorphoses, he was always recognizable," The New York Times commented
in his obituary. "His voice was widely imitated but always his own; his message was that there was always empathy beyond difference."
Gathered below are nine notable pop culture moments that capture the brilliance of Bowie.
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1. "Space Oddity" (1969)
— One of Bowie's first breakout hits, "Space Oddity" told the story of the fictional astronaut Major Tom, a character that would reappear in later songs, including the "Blackstar" album, which was released just days before Bowie's death. Notably, the song was used in a video made by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield
while he was aboard the International Space Station.
2. "Life on Mars?" (1971)
— Perhaps Bowie's most frequently covered song, the hit single also inspired a BBC television drama, and has been used on several movie soundtracks, and is often cited as one of the best songs of all time by rock journalists and critics. It was around this time that Bowie turned his psychedelic rock look into his famously androgynous glam-rock style.
3. "Rebel Rebel" (1974)
— The simple riff of this highly-recognizable song makes up what is often seen as the capstone and farewell address to Bowie's signature glam style. Bowie re-released the song in the early 2000s, and highlighted it during his A Reality Tour.
4. "Young Americans Medley (Live on The Cher Show)" (1975)
— Bowie expanded his repertoire of sounds when he released "Young Americans," and notably performed a medley version with Cher on her TV show.
5. "Let's Dance" (1983)
— When David Bowie sang, "Put on your red shoes and dance the blues," he scored a massive pop hit — one that is still frequently heard on dance floors around the world. Notably, Bowie performed the song with Tina Turner during her Private Dancer tour in 1985.
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6. "Dancing in the Street" (1985)
— In the mid-1980s, Bowie teamed up with Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones to cover the 1964 Motown hit "Dancing in the Street" to raise money for Live Aid.
7. "Heroes" Symphony (1997)
— World famous composer Phillip Glass wrote a tribute album to David Bowie's 1977 album "Heroes" in the late 1990s.
8. "Province" (2006)
— Just 10 years ago, David Bowie provided a vocal accompaniment during a collaboration with the band TV on the Radio, helping create a big hit for the young indie rockers.
9. "Lazarus" (2016)
—Two days before his death, David Bowie released his 25th studio album, "Blackstar." It features the single "Lazarus," which is also the title of his recent off-Broadway musical.
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