In his 63 years on this earth, Bowie (born David Jones) has re-invented himself enough times to even make Madonna seem stale.
Bowie bounced around as a saxophonist in a few English bands before eventually spending some time in a Scottish Buddhist monastery. After leaving the monastery he formed a mime company. The mime company didn’t last long and then he formed an experimental arts group called Beckenham arts lab. To finance the arts lab he signed with Mercury records and finally got a major hit with “Space Oddity” off of his Man of Words, Man of Music album.
In 1971 he released the Honky Dory album and then started working on something new… Ziggy Stardust. Ziggy Stardust was more than just an album, it was a lifestyle. The album and its over the top concerts helped Bowie become the first glam rocker to make it big in America.
In the following years he worked with Lou Reed, The Stooges and helped Mott the Hoople with their comeback, writing the title track for the All the Young Dudes album. At the end of 1973 he announced his retirement.
After a couple of mediocre albums he released Young Americans in 1975, which made its way in to the American top ten, and got him his first number one single with “Fame” a song co written by John Lennon.
Bowie had been living in LA, but decided it was too boring, and returned to England. Upon his return he gave the awaiting crowd a Nazi salute, which caused enough controversy that he left the country for Berlin. While in Berlin he began working with Brian Eno, starting a long-lasting collaboration.
In the late 70’s he also worked with Iggy Pop, even touring as his keyboardist. Bowie continued releasing albums and acting in movies through the late 70’s and 80’s. The 90’s turned out to be a rough decade for Bowie. He released som critically acclaimed albums, but they never caught on with his audience. He even toured with Nine Inch Nials, but most of the crowds left before he made it to the stage.
Although Bowie had a rough go of it musically through the 90’s, he is still the ultimate in cool for multiple generations. He has been getting more critical acclaim for both his acting and music in recent years.