BY MELISSA RUGGIERI
Days after the release of his 25th album, “Blackstar,” art-pop music icon David Bowie has died.
The British singer passed away three days after his 69th birthday, following an 18-month battle with cancer.
“While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief,” read the statement.
The chameleonic Bowie broke through in 1972 with “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” but didn’t achieve mainstream success until “Fame” hit No. 1 in 1975.
Bowie would score one more No. 1 hit, the 1983 MTV staple “Let’s Dance,” but his output is indisputably one of the most influential in rock history: “Heroes,” “Changes,” “Under Pressure,” “Rebel Rebel,” “Fashion,” “Suffragette City,” “Space Oddity” and many, many more.
In a review of Bowie’s “Blackstar” album, Billboard noted that the seven new songs contained a grim thread (“…they serve up a veritable Grand Guignol of dread, death, even dismemberment.”).
The man born David Jones also forged a successful career as a producer and songwriter (Mott the Hoople’s “All the Young Dudes”) as well as a charismatic actor (“Just a Gigolo,” “The Last Temptation of Christ,” “Absolute Beginners,” “The Prestige”).
His influence on other artists was vast – from Duran Duran to Lady Gaga to The Killers to The Cure -and he stayed current with his interests. Producer Tony Visconti said Bowie’s “Blackstar” was inspired by rapper Kendrick Lamar and his “To Pimp a Butterfly” album.
Throughout his career, Bowie played many Atlanta venues, including the Fox Theatre, the Omni, Lakewood Amphitheatre and even Smith’s Olde Bar. The singer/actor/artist last played here in May 2004 during his “A Reality Tour” with a stop at Chastain Park Amphitheatre.
Goodbye, to a musical hero.