Many of have heard the tragic news of the passing of David Bowie at the age of 69 on Monday. However, to many it seems to many that David Bowie is nothing more than a name. People know very little as to how many artists and genres of music that he influenced. Artists such as Madonna and Lady Gaga would later mimic his extravagant attire and makeup during shows and in public life. One of Nirvana’s most popular songs, The Man Who Sold The World, was in fact written by Bowie himself; the Nirvana version became so popular that that people would compliment Bowie after shows for covering a Nirvana song. Even rapper and songwriter Kanye West, a man not known to give out compliments in any fashion, stated that “David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime”.
But Bowie did more than influence others, he helped change the perspective of an entire society. When Bowie first stepped into the mainstream eye, no one knew what to make of him: he wore makeup, a wig, and called himself Ziggy Stardust. Six platinum-selling albums later and everyone wanted to be like him. Bowie challenged the conservative and conformist society of the 50s and early 60s with his extravagant style and emphasis on individualism and sticking it to the man. What started out as a dedicated small cult following soon turned into a national phenomenon, Bowie became one of the leading faces of 70s and 80s popular music. His musical creativity seemed to know no bounds: blending elements of folk, rock, and electronic music into a sound that was in itself wholly unique. The musical and social change brought on by Bowie only solidify the fact that he is one of the few individuals that can proudly say that he made the world’s jaw drop in more ways than one.