David Bowie left behind a path of blazed trails when he died on Sunday at the age of 69. From becoming the androgynous Ziggy Stardust to shooting a music video in space, Bowie made history time and time again. Here are some of his most groundbreaking moments:
Bowie started a revolution when his alter-ego Ziggy Stardust was born. Ziggy was a bisexual, androgynous alien-like character who wore tight bodysuits and dresses, with bright red hair and heavy makeup. Through this persona, Bowie envisioned a future in which sexuality was fluid and gender was no longer a binary.
Ziggy was met with mixed reactions. Some critics raved about his style — others were uncomfortable with it. “In Texas, one guy pulled a gun and called me a fag,” he said. “But I thought the dress looked beautiful.”
“Nobody had seen anything like them before,” Bowie told Rolling Stone of Ziggy’s clothes.
A Prayer For Freddie
In 1992, Bowie performed at a concert honoring the late Freddie Mercury. In the middle of the set, he gave a solemn speech about his friend and recited the Lord’s Prayer. It was a truly incredible moment.
In case you thought Bowie only broke ground as a musician, consider his acclaimed performances in movies like “The Man Who Fell to Earth” or the cult hit “Labyrinth.”
“There are quite a few science-fiction movies scheduled to come out in the next year or so,” wrote the New York Times’ Richard Eder. “We shall be lucky if even one or two are as absorbing and as beautiful as ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth.'”
Bowie was also a talented artist and producer.
Taking On Racism
Bowie took on racial inequality in the American entertainment industry years ago. In a 1983 interview with Rolling Stone, the singer called out MTV for not featuring enough music made by black artists. Later, he grilled MTV veejay Mark Goodman.
“Why are there practically no blacks on the network?” he said. “There seem to be a lot of black artists making very good videos that I’m surprised aren’t being used on MTV.”
During Bowie’s decades-long career, he went through many ch-ch-changes.
From his early start in a wedding rock band to his Ziggy Stardust glam rock days and his soul-heavy album “Young Americans,” Bowie reinvented himself more times than any other modern artist. Sometimes, his style reflected the era. Often, though, he inspired new trends.
The Original “Breaking The Internet”
We’ll miss you, David Bowie.