David Bowie at the 17th GRAMMY Awards in 1974
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David Bowie, 1947–2016
David Bowie, one of rock's most influential artists, died Jan. 10 after a long battle with cancer. His death came just two days after the release of his new album, Blackstar.
Inhabiting numerous different personas throughout his career, from singer/songwriter to alien rocker Ziggy Stardust and avant blue-eyed R&B singer the Thin White Duke, Bowie created an enduring catalog of music that proved instructive to many artists who followed him. Bowie's shifting musical styles, costumes and characters helped open the door for other musicians to explore their wildest imaginations.
"How can a song that someone created in 1977 in a studio in Berlin, travel through the air into a suburban bedroom in 1997 in Houston, Texas, and make all of the 'current' music playing on the radio sound old-fashioned?" wrote Arcade Fire's Win Butler about Bowie's hit "Heroes" for the GRAMMY Awards program book in 2006 on the occasion of Bowie's Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Bowie scored arguably his biggest hit in 1983 when the Nile Rodgers-produced "Let's Dance" hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. He won a GRAMMY for Best Video, Short Form for 1984 for David Bowie. His 1972 landmark glam-rock album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall OF Fame in 1999.
"[David Bowie] is remembered and celebrated today for his audacious approach to pushing creative boundaries and ability to reinvent himself time and time again, changing the course of pop music in the process," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow.