David Bowie’s unexpected passing this weekend has unleashed a wave of sadness reminiscent of Robin Williams’ a year ago. It’s rare that a celebrity death gets such a uniform outpouring of grief. I haven’t seen one joke or bad taste comment. Everyone loved Bowie and a lot of that, apart from the music, was for his complete dedication to being a true artist. He reinvented himself constantly and pushed gender boundaries and blurred sexuality norms throughout his life. David had been married to supermodel Iman for 23 years but in his early days was famously, if unofficially bisexual. There are stories that he was once caught in bed with Mick Jagger.
What I find fascinating about everyone’s reaction to his death is that even the very straight, very masculine guys who listen to Rock and Roll all seem to really like him too. His most flamboyant era was in the glam rock era when everyone was doing it to an extent but he did it better than most. He is up there with Grace Jones for being the pioneer of bonkers that has paved the way for people like Lady Gaga.
Releasing what was allegedly always planned as his farewell album, Blackstar two days before his death, he has left an incredible legacy.