David Bowie was born David Robert Jones in Brixton, an industrial and poor sector of London, England on January 8, 1947. He became interested in arts in his early childhood and mastered saxophone at 13. At 16, Jones dropped off the school and devoted himself to music. He started his career as saxophonist and singer with numerous rock bands.
In 1966 he took up the David Bowie stage name to be not confused with Davy Jones. His first solo experiments did not have high achievements, which forced him to part with music for a while and go into mime study.
He even created his own mime troupe, Feathers. It soon appeared a poor commercial move, and David made another effort to reach success in the field of music. His first song to attach critical attention was Space Oddity (1969). Bowie also tried his skills in screen-acting, having a small part in the film The Virgin Soldiers. At the same time he produced a promo video David Bowie: Love You Till Tuesday, featuring him as а musician and an actor of Feathers. In the early seventies, David focused on rock and made his next album, The Man Who Sold the World, heavier than his first works.
This one was followed by Hunky Dory (1981), an experimental album, and the concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, to bring him international fame. This was a story of a rock star named Ziggy Stardust, the future basis for David’s stage outfit and behavior. This release was supported with David’ first large scale tour to make him extremely popular in the UK. According to the concept, David was Ziggy, while the other musicians were Spiders From Mars. The musical material balanced between hard rock and glam rock, a trick repeated on the next album, Aladdin Sane (1973). Bowie conquered the USA with the release of Young Americans (1975), containing the great hit Fame. This work reflected David’s experiments with R&B and soul, which did come to please supporters of his traditional rock style.
In the late seventies, Bowie focused on electronic music and moved to Berlin. He recorded there a strange album with a mixture of electronic music, avant-garde and pop, titled Low (1977).
After a streak of average albums, David finally reached tremendous commercial results with Let’s Dance (1983). He also cooperated with Queen to record the song Under Pressure. In the late eighties Bowie formed the Tin Machine band, being influenced by post-punk rock, to produce a couple of albums.
He came back to his solo career in 1993 with the critically acclaimed album, Black Tie White Noise. Each of the following albums, Outside (1995), Earthling (1996), and Hours (1999) were made in different genres.
In the new millennium, David Bowie’s recording activities shrank. He produced two albums, Heathen (2002), and Reality (2003). David reduced his touring schedule due to health troubles, too. A great musician, David Bowie demonstrated top acting skills. His first big success on the screen was a part in The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976). Later, David performed in the play The Elephant Man on the Broadway. The most notable movies with David Bowie are The Hunger (1983), Labyrinth (1986), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992).
Acting is not the only contribution made by Bowie to cinematography, as he has also participated actively in recording soundtracks. In 2006 David Bowie won Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.