David Bowie performing during his concert in a stadium in Budapest, Hungary. Bowie died on 10 January 2016, at the age of 69, after a battle with cancer.
David Bowie performing during his concert in a stadium in Budapest, Hungary. Bowie died on 10 January 2016, at the age of 69, after a battle with cancer. EPA - ATTILA KLEB

WATERCOOLER: 7 ways David Bowie changed music forever

DAVID Bowie has "died peacefully" from cancer aged 69 after releasing his final album Blackstar last Friday.

His son confirmed the sad news after a statement from his publicist released the following statement at 6.30am this morning: "David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 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."



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To say Bowie was a rock music pioneer is an understatement from a man who constantly reinvented himself while always staying icily cool, colourfully flamboyant and relentlessly iconic. From Aladdin Zane to Ziggy Stardust to finally just Bowie, stripped back, he changed the face of music forever as the overwhelming flood of tributes prove.

Let's take a moment to remember the many ways he did it:

He gave everyday kids belief that anything could be magical

Ziggy Stardust was born David Jones in Brixton and the Spiders from Mars came from working class Hull families. Not so glamourous, but important in proving to aspiring young musicians that art and creativity can make even the most mundane of hometowns and livelihoods sparkle.

His Top of the Pops performance in 1972

One of the most inspirational, influential live performances ever, Bowie's rendition of "Starman" on 6 July 1972 broke boundaries not only in music but also in fashion (that red hair and jumpsuit, what's not to like?) and general pop culture. It was as if an extraterrestial had landed on earth, and everybody welcomed him.

He constantly reinvented not only his sound but his whole persona

Nobody can ever call Bowie boring. Many bands have kept fans on their toes by changing their style with each new album but the "Space Oddity" singer repeatedly pushed that further, showing no fear of deserters and keeping everyone enthralled with his realisation of their fantasies. He was Ziggy Stardust, Thin White Duke, Aladdin Sane, The Man Who Fell to Earth. He was the master of ch-ch-change and innovation was his middle name.

He took the Spiders from Mars to the ballet to learn a thing or too about stage lighting

Bowie's live performances were all-encompassing, they sucked everybody in and gave fans an out-of-body experience. But the atmosphere created by his shows was groundbreaking in itself. Bowie took his bandmates to the ballet so they could see how multi-coloured lighting brought new life and mood to the show, when at the time rock music relied only on reds and greens.

"Space Oddity" was used by the BBC in its coverage of the moon landing

Bowie originally hesitated to grant permission for the song to be used for such a historical moment in case the Apollo 11 landing in 1969 failed. "Space Oddity" is about astronaut Major Tom being left floating through space forever, so we can understand his concern. Fortunately, it proved the right decision.

Which of David Bowie’s biggest Billboard hits is your favourite?

This poll ended on 30 January 2016.

Current Results

Let’s Dance (1983)


Fame (1975)


Golden Years (1976)


Dancing in the Street ft. Mick Jagger (1985)


Blue Jean (1984)


China Girl (1983)


Space Oddity (1973)


Modern Love (1983)


Day-In Day-Out (1987)


I never liked David Bowie


My favourite track is not listed here because I'm a real fan


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

He invented his own language for "Subterraneans"

The closing track of Bowie's 1977 album Low is mostly instrumental but includes lyrics sung in a completely self-invented language towards the end. Bowie said at the time that he had become "intolerably bored" of standard rock'n'roll lyrics and seems to have turned instead to a "cut-up" technique made famous by an icon of his, William S Burroughs.

Linear notes from the release state the lyrics as being:




care-line riding me

Shirley, Shirley, Shirley, own

Share bride failing star

He released an online-only song in 1996

With no limits to his pioneering ways, Bowie released "Telling Lies" on the internet only. There was no wireless in 1996 and it would have taken fans more than 10 minutes to download it over dial-up. One year later he launched his own ISP, Bowienet.



Kelly Talman As the world falls down

Kris Donahue dance magic

Carol Levey Major Tom :)

Michele Thomas Space Oddity; the International Space Station has done an amazing tribute to David Bowie with Space Oddity which is on youtube

Vanessa Ross Heroes. Always gives me goosebumps and a tear or two.

Michelle Brice will remember seeing him in concert Sydney show ground 1978 tour, standing on our esky so i could see better.

Marley Byrnes Don't know about ultimate. But my favourite is Rock N Roll Suicide.

Dave Shirley changes

Sean Kelly The Jean Genie

Jass Trathen All the songs he sung in The Labrynth, R.I.P Goblin King.

Sandi Glover Dance magic, dance
(Dance magic, dance)
Dance magic, dance
(Dance magic, dance)

Jump magic, jump
(Jump magic, jump)
Jump magic, jump
(Jump magic, jump)
Put that baby spell on me

You remind me of the babe
(What babe?)
The babe with the power
(What power?)

Power of voodoo
(Who do?)
You do
(Do what?)
Remind me of the babe