On this day in English music

English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, painter, actor and all round legend, David Bowie passed away from liver cancer at his New York home two days after releasing the album Blackstar on his 69th birthday.

The cliché about David Bowie is that he was a musical chameleon, adapting himself according to fashion and trends.

While such a criticism is too glib, there’s no denying that Bowie demonstrated a remarkable skill for perceiving musical trends at his peak in the ’70s.

After spending several years in the late ’60s as a mod and as an all-around music hall entertainer, Bowie reinvented himself as a hippie singer/songwriter. Prior to his breakthrough in 1972, he recorded a proto-metal record and a pop/rock album, eventually redefining glam rock with his ambiguously sexy Ziggy Stardust persona.

Ziggy made Bowie an international star, yet he wasn’t content to continue to churn out glitter rock.

Did You Know These 5 Facts?

1, His first television appearance was in 1964, at the age of 17, he was interviewed on a BBC program as the founder of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-haired Men.

2, His hit song “Fame”, was co-written by John Lennon, who also sang backing vocals.

3, Bowie’s left pupil is permanently dilated after being punched in the eye by his friend George Underwood (they were fighting over a girl).

4, In 1975, Nile Rodgers auditioned to play guitar in Bowie’s band. He didn’t get the part.

5, Bowie has had various alter egos, the most famous of which is Ziggy Stardust. Other alter egos he’s had over the years include: Major Tom, Aladdin Sane, the Thin White Duke, Tao Jones, Halloween Jack, and John Merrick.