Paying tribute to David Bowie on Classic Vinyl, EW Live, Howard Stern + more

David Bowie, the pioneering artistic chameleon who was unquestionably larger than life, died on Sunday, January 10 — two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his final album, Blackstar – after an 18 month battle with cancer.

His death was confirmed by Steve Martin, his publicist, this morning. “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family,” a post on Bowie’s Facebook page read.

Born David Robert Jones in London on Jan. 8, 1947, he showed an interest in music at an early age and began playing the saxophone at 13 years old, after being introduced to rock music and beat literature by his older half-brother, Terry.

Following high school graduation, Bowie began work as a commercial artist, playing music and performing under the name Davy Jones with his band the Lower Third. In 1965, afraid of being confused with Davy Jones of the Monkees, he changed his last name to Bowie after the 19th century American pioneer Jim Bowie.
Bowie took a break from the music world after recording an unsuccessful solo album, living in a Buddhist monastery and later starting his own mime troupe, before returning to music full time in early 1969.

He signed a deal with Mercury Records that summer and released the single Space Oddity, inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The song quickly became popular in the UK, thanks in part to its use during the coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Around this time he also married Angela Barnett, with whom he had one son, Duncan Jones.

His follow-up album, The Man Who Sold the World, further launched him to stardom with its heavier rock sound.
After a three-year period of experimentation, Bowie re-emerged in 1972’s glam rock era as his flamboyant, androgynous Ziggy Stardust alter ego with the single Starman and album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

His career would continue to be marked by reinvention and innovation in both music and acting. He has released 27 studio albums, 9 live albums, 46 compilation albums, 5 EPs, and 111 singles, which include popular songs such as Changes, Golden Years, Under Pressure, Let’s Dance, Rebel Rebel, The Man Who Sold The World, Life on Mars, Heroes, Dancing In The Street, Blue Jean, and Never Let Me Down, among many others.

Among Bowie’s many collaborators are such artists as John Lennon, Queen, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Arcade Fire, Scarlett Johansson, Brian Eno, Giorgio Moroder, Trent Reznor, and Tina Turner.

He released Blackstar, his final album on Jan. 8, 2016, his birthday. His producer and friend Tony Visconti wrote on Facebook that his last record, Blackstar, was “his parting gift” to fans.

He is survived by his wife Iman, whom he married in 1992, their daughter Alexandria and his son Duncan Jones.

EW Morning Live host Dalton Ross and Jessica Shaw honored the icon in a segment earlier this morning.

Howard Stern also paid tribute to Bowie, who has long been one of the his musical heroes and even served as a surprise guest almost exactly 18 years ago at his 44th birthday bash in 1998, performing Fame, Hallo Spaceboy and I’m Afraid of Americans.

“Rest in peace David Bowie; you are the best. You’re right up there with the greats,” Howard memorialized this morning. “I’m really sad about it.”

During Keith Urban’s RipCord World Tour announcement, the country star paid tribute to someone he considered an inspiration.

“He was always leading the charge to the next thing we would all be trying to cop,” he said.

Nile Rodgers, who produced Let’s Dance with Bowie, remembered his friend and collaborator, noting, “Our lives changed from the moment he and I collided.”

SiriusXM will continue to honor Bowie all week. Stay tuned for more information.

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