The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The life and death of rock icon Bowie

Is the moonage daydream over? Has our star man returned to the sky?

One of the most beloved and influential rock icons of the past century passed away on Jan. 10. David Bowie may have moved on from this world, but his influence will most certainly stand the test of time.

During his career, Bowie was constantly evolving. He was never on the edge of a trend.He was at least 10 miles ahead of it. Genre, style, sexuality and any other label you could try and place on him were irrelevant.

“He (Bowie) broadened my horizons with his fearless artistry and outrageous persona,” said Part-time Lecturer in Music and “History of Rock” teacher Parke Puterbaugh. “His ceaseless efforts at reinvention made me understand that change throughout one’s life is not to be resisted but pursued.”

Bowie continued to evolve until the end. He even released the album “Blackstar” two days before his death on his 69th birthday. His ability to merge the reality of himself with the wild visions of spiders from Mars and tragic stories of stranded spacemen was part of his appeal to so many people across the world.

“I think (Bowie’s legacy) has to (live on),” said WQFS Music Manager Dylan O’Connor. “Thinking about all the musicians today who were influenced by him, if their legacies live on, then David Bowie’s legacy will live on.”

Part of what allowed Bowie to remain influential for over five decades was his ability to constantly reinvent himself. The glam rock of “Ziggy Stardust,” the funk of “The Thin White Duke” and the plastic soul of the “Young Americans” album are only a few pieces of Bowie’s multifaceted image.

Bowie influenced so many genres that his presence in the music world could never vanish. Artists and celebrities, from Kendrick Lamar to Alice Cooper, have honored Bowie through social media.

“David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations,” said rapper Kanye West on twitter. “So fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime.”

People across the planet and beyond honored David Bowie’s life. Astronaut Chris Hadfield covered one of Bowie’s most popular songs, “Space Oddity,” on the international space station. The video has since gone viral.

“Bowie is an extremely important musician for WQFS,” said WQFS General Manager Gabe Pollak. “I have never heard an artist played more than David Bowie was the week after he died.”

Many students at Guilford College remembered Bowie in their own way. I went and sat outside with a close friend, and we reminded each other of why we could never forget such a force in the world.

There are hardly words to sum up such an inspirational person, but perhaps Bowie does it best himself with the lyrics in the final track on one of his most critically acclaimed albums: Hunky Dory.

“Chameleon, comedian, Corinthian and caricature.”

David Bowie has always been out of this world. Maybe he is just catching up with himself.

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Rachel Henley, Staff Writer

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