After years of delighting the world with his blend of eccentricity and empowerment, singer David Bowie died Jan. 10, leaving fans of both his music and persona distraught.
The singer fought an 18-month battle with cancer until a statement was released on his social media accounts saying he died peacefully and surrounded by his family. Just two days before his passing, Bowie’s final album, “Blackstar,” debuted on his 69th birthday at the top of the Billboard 200 chart, marking his first time debuting at No. 1.
The album brings listeners back to the early days of Bowie’s music. He was introduced to jazz by his half-brother and given a plastic alto-saxophone by his mother after falling in love with the tunes of Charles Mingus and John Coltrane, legendary jazz musicians. “Blackstar” is a rhythmic dance between keyboards and guitars that leaves room for the likes of jazz-esque saxophone wails.
Bowie broke social norms in 1971 by introducing the world to his first and most famous persona, Ziggy Stardust. He continued changing personas, from the White Duck to Jareth the Goblin King in the 1986 film “Labyrinth.” He was beloved by fans who appreciated his boldness and brash attitude, a beacon of hope to those afraid to express themselves.
Alternative band, Panic! At the Disco, performed at the O2 Academy in London Jan. 12 and donated 100 percent of their merchandise proceeds to cancer research in honor of the late artist. They announced their charitable act via Twitter by accompanying a picture of a sign bearing the lyrics, “We can be heroes just for one day.”
Musicians continued to pay tribute to Bowie. Singer Joan Jett was one of many artists that spoke to Dazed Digital about the influence Bowie provided.
“His courage and fearless creativity was a model to follow,” Jett said. “There will never be another like him and the world will not be the same without David Bowie.”