The iconic rock star inspired awe in so many people because of his fixation on not wanting to become yesterday’s news. He had an array of styles and genres, from electro-pop Ziggy Stardust to the lonely Thin White Duke. But whoever Bowie decided to transform into, there always seemed to be a love for the person behind the mask.
A year on from the musician’s death, we look back at the impact he had on people’s lives and how he cemented himself as one of the world’s most remembered artist.
So many tragic deaths littered the celebrity world in 2016, from Andrew Sachs, who played irritating waiter Manuel alongside John Cleese in the classic BBC comedy series Fawlty Towers, to close friend and admirer of Bowie, and a musical legend in his own right, Prince.
The death of David Bowie, a British pop legend in his own right and a man religiously worshiped by his adorning fans, came earlier in the year than most.
In the week following his death, 19 of the world star’s albums were in the UK top 40. He has sold more than 140 million albums in his lifetime, and over 150,000 copies of his final album Blackstar were bought in the week after his death.
Leeds is widely known for its music heritage and sorely miss the influence of the musical and fashion icon as much as the next city.
The Who performed and recorded their critically acclaimed ‘Live at Leeds’ album at Leeds University, an indication of how attractive a city like Leeds remains for music legends. Even Bowie himself performed in Leeds at the old Rollarena on Kirkstall Road, treating fans to his alter ego Ziggy Stardust all the way back in 1973.
Bowie recordings were in high demand after his death, whether it was old fans wanting to re-appreciate him all over again, or new music lovers wishing to hear him for the very first time.
The Yorkshire Evening Post spoke to two record shop owners about the impact Bowie had on their stores and the affect it had on their own lives as die hard fans.
Adam Gillison, manager of Jumbo Records in St Johns shopping centre, said: “The interesting effect David Bowie’s death had for us was not that we were selling more records, that was expected, but how many people who didn’t know him that well wanted to talk about him.
“It was nice to see so many people interested in him that wouldn’t have necessarily have been before his death, it just shows how much of an effect he had on people.”
A tribute was played for the late singer and songwriter on Sunday at the Brixton Academy in London with a star-studded cast celebrating the icon. Among them was Tom Chaplin from the band Keane who sang one of Bowie’s greatest hits: Life on Mars?
David Bowie was not just followed by people who grew up with him, but always appealed to the young, due to his innovative personas and quirky performances.
Ian De-Whytell, owner of Crash Records on The Headrow, said: “David Bowie was arguably the brightest musical star we have just seen, not just in this country but globally during the last 50 years.
“His records have always sold well in the shop, but we are now seeing even higher sales, with lots of younger people discovering him for the first time.”
David Bowie left a legacy that will inspire countless aspiring musicians and singers for decades to come and his music will be revisited and treasured again and again on the anniversary of his death and long into the future.