RIP Starman

February 5, 2016 | Charlene Lee

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2016 began with some devastating news for music fans worldwide – the death of David Bowie. The legendary artist passed away on January 10 at the age of 69, after a long battle with cancer. With a musical career that spanned nearly five decades, Bowie was an innovative visionary. With no aversion to reinvention, he has died many deaths.

David Bowie defined pop music, and pushed the boundaries of what it could be; he was a postmodern champion. Not only was he a great singer and songwriter, but also actor, producer, and performer. With such a prolific career, it seems unthinkable to pay tribute to Bowie in one measly blog post. One way to honour his musical career is to look at some of today’s artists that have flourished under his influence.

David Bowie
Photo: Creative Commons

Janelle Monae

In 2014, Monae covered Bowie’s iconic hit “Heroes”, and in an interview with Rolling Stone discussed his influence and their mutual fandom for one another. “He’s a fan and I’m a fan of him. The respect is mutual… Bowie is part of my musical DNA in so many ways… He’s reinvented himself over and over again. Even now, he’s morphed into something that no one else is doing. That’s what I love most about him; he’s transcendent.” 

Brandon Flowers

The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers has discussed Bowie’s music as life-changing, and what inspired him to pursue a career in music. In 2011 he told Independent: “I still remember when I heard ‘Changes’ for the first time… I found out it was Bowie and it was from this album called Hunky Dory. It’s the most important record to me, ever.”


Arcade Fire

Bowie was a mentor to the Montreal collective. Not only did he collaborate with them more than a few times, but he also contributed to the vocals on the band’s 2013 album Reflektor. On their Facebook page they wrote: “He (Bowie) not only created the world that made it possible for our band to exist, he welcomed us into it with grace and warmth… A true artist even in his passing, the world is more bright and mysterious because of him, and we will continue to shout prayers into the atmosphere he created.”

Check out Viveca's post for a more comprehensive look at Bowie's achievements through books, movies, and films. If you want to commemorate Bowie by playing some of his music at home, check out Bill's post on a couple of the great scores available through TPL. 

Finally, check out Toronto’s very own Choir!Choir!Choir! as they perform their arrangement of Space Oddity at the AGO.