Goodbye Starman

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Nathan Shube, Editor in Chief

Few artists have achieved as much success over decades, genres, and medium as David Bowie. The singer, if one dares to limit him to that simple role, died on Sunday, just two days after his 69th birthday, which was also the release date for his most recent album Blackstar. This new album pushes the boundaries, much like Bowie has done over his entire career. His breakthrough in the music industry came in 1972 with the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Spiders from Mars (try saying that three times fast). He returned to the theme of space throughout his career with songs like “Space Oddity,” “Starman,” “Halo Spaceman,” “Life on Mars?” “Loving the Alien,” and most recently “Blackstar.” Although certain themes stayed constant, the artist’s styles varied greatly over the years. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The influential singer-songwriter and producer excelled at glam rock, art rock, soul, hard rock, dance pop, punk and electronica during his eclectic 40-plus-year career.”


Besides his music, Bowie was also very influential in the fashion industry, for, you guessed it, pushing boundaries. His image changed drastically over the years, and he was well know for an outrageous and extreme style long before this trend became mainstream with more recent artists like Madonna and Lady Gaga. Perhaps what Bowie is most known for outside of his songs are his eyes. Bowie had a condition called anisocoria – his pupils were different sizes. In Bowie’s case, his left pupil was permanently dilated creating the illusion of having different coloured eyes, the right looked blue, the left brown.


David Bowie’s influence is hard to define, but doubtlessly, like all great artists, his insight into the human condition was undeniable. Long time Bowie fan Mrs. St. Amant reminisces saying, “his music was a gateway into a culture that was way better than the mainstream, it introduced the world of new wave and punk rock that I have enjoyed through my entire life.” Fittingly, his final album, Blackstar, demonstrates Bowie’s understanding that his own death was eminent. In “Lazarus,” Bowie hauntingly sings,


“My David don’t you worry,

This cold world is not for you,

So rest your head upon me,

I have strength to carry you.”
And so Bowie, who in life was never afraid to push boundaries, continued to challenge all aspects of life, even death.