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David Bowie: Rock’s Protean Genius

1140-david-bowie-dies-obit[2]When David Bowie burst into America’s consciousness in the early 1970s, he was the sort of pop music star the world had never seen before — an androgynous, pasty-faced English enigma with a bouffant of flaming red hair, who sang not of romance or fast cars, but of an extraterrestrial savior coming to rescue our planet from itself.

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But that was just the early version of Bowie, who, before his death on Jan. 10 at age 69, would radically reinvent himself again and again while selling 140 million albums. Often defying mainstream trends, Bowie’s music daringly fluctuated from driving, edgy rock to disco-soul to brooding ballads that brought to mind Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. Here are some facts about his life and career.


Here, Bowie performs “Space Oddity” on the TV show Midnight Special in the early 1970s.

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This live performance of “Rebel Rebel” was in Paris in 1999. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rkl_3jk_Pm8

Here’s “Blackstar,” from his final album.

Photo: Getty Images

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