David Robert Jones was born in Brixton, London on January 8, 1947. Margaret Mary “Peggy” was born at Shorncliffe Army Camp near Cheriton, Kent. Her paternal grandparents were Irish immigrants from Manchester. In Royal Tunbridge Wells, she worked as a waiter in a movie.
David Bowie Biography: Everything You Need To know About him.
His father, Haywood Stenton “John” Jones, was a promotions officer for the children’s charity Barnardo’s from Doncaster, Yorkshire.
The family lived at 40 Stansfield Road in the south London district of Lambeth, near the border between Brixton and Stockwell. Bowie attended Stockwell Infants School until the age of six when he earned a reputation as a smart and single-minded child—as well as a belligerent brawler.
He was seriously injured in 1962 at school when his friend George Underwood hit him in the left eye during a quarrel over a lady.
After a four-month hospitalization, his doctors determined that the damage could not be fully repaired, and Bowie was left with faulty depth perception and anisocoria, which gave the false impression of a change in the iris’ color, erroneously implying he had heterochromia iridium. His eye later became one of Bowie’s most recognizable features.
Despite their spat, Bowie remained friendly with Underwood, who went on to design the artwork for Bowie’s early albums.
At the age of 15, Bowie founded his first band, the Konrads. The Konrads played guitar-based rock and roll at local youth gatherings and weddings, with a fluctuating lineup of four to eight musicians, including Underwood.
When Bowie graduated from technical school the next year, he told his parents he wanted to be a pop star. His mother found him work as an electrician’s partner. Bowie quit the Konrads to join another band, the King Bees, after becoming dissatisfied with his comrades’ modest ambitions.
Beginning in 2023, Bowie’s estate negotiated a distribution deal with Warner Music Group in September 2021, encompassing Bowie’s recordings from 2000 to 2016.
Toy, Bowie’s 2000 album, was released on what would have been his 75th birthday.
Variety reported on 3 January 2022 that Bowie’s estate had sold his publishing collection to Warner Chappell Music “for a price upwards of $250 million.”
Throughout his career, Bowie played roles in over 30 films, television series, and theatrical productions. His acting career was “productively selective,” with a focus on cameos and supporting roles rather than major roles; he previously described his film career as “splashing in the kids’ pool.”
From July 1980 to January 1981, Bowie played Joseph Merrick in the Broadway production The Elephant Man, which he performed without stage make-up, winning critical acclaim.
Bowie starred in Mr. Rice’s Secret as the neighbor of a terminally ill 12-year-old child. In the 2001 Ben Stiller comedy Zoolander, Bowie played himself, judging a “walk-off” between rival male models, and in Eric Idle’s 2002 mockumentary The Rutles 2: Can’t Buy Me Lunch.
Bowie’s sexuality has been a source of contention. While still married to Angie, he famously announced himself gay in a 1972 interview with Melody Maker journalist Michael Watts, which received widespread attention in both the United States and the United Kingdom; Bowie was hailed as a gay icon in both nations.
On January 10, 2016, Bowie died of liver cancer at his New York City apartment. He had been diagnosed eighteen months before but had kept his condition private. Ivo van Hove, a Belgian theatrical director who collaborated with Bowie on his off-Broadway musical Lazarus, claimed that he was unable to attend rehearsals owing to the disease’s progression.
In the early 1970s, Bowie’s lyrics and stagecraft added a new dimension to popular music, heavily affecting both its immediate forms and its ongoing growth. Schinder and Schwartz attribute the glam rock genre to Bowie and Bolan.
Simultaneously, he inspired the forefathers of the punk rock movement. Buckley noted that when punk musicians were “noisily reclaiming the three-minute pop song in a show of public defiance,” Bowie “almost completely abandoned traditional rock instrumentation.” RCA used the slogan “There’s old wave, new wave, and David Bowie” to advertise his status during the “Heroes” promotion.
Though critically panned, his work with Tin Machine was later recognized for incorporating grunge and alternative rock genres before they became popular.