Monday, June 25, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Legendary musician David Bowie dies of cancer at 69

NEW YORK — David Bowie, the other-worldly musician who broke pop and rock boundaries with his creative musicianship, nonconformity, striking visuals and a genre-spanning persona he christened Ziggy Stardust, died of cancer Sunday. He was 69 and had just released a new album.

Bowie, whose hits included Fame, Heroes and Let's Dance, died "peacefully" and was surrounded by family, representative Steve Martin said early Monday. The singer had fought cancer for 18 months.

Long before alter egos and wild outfits became commonplace in pop, Bowie turned the music world upside down with the release of the 1972 album, The Rise of Ziggy Stardust and Spiders from Mars, which introduced one of music's most famous personas. Ziggy Stardust was a concept album that imagined a rock star from outer space trying to make his way in the music world. The persona — the red-headed, eyeliner wearing Stardust — would become an enduring part of his legacy, and a touchstone for the way entertainers packaged themselves for years to come.

Bowie turned 69 on Friday, the same day as he released a new album called Blackstar.

"While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family's privacy during their time of grief," said a statement issued via his social media accounts. No more details were provided.

The singer, who was born David Jones in London, came of age in the glam rock era of the early 1970s. He had a striking androgynous look in his early days and was known for changing his appearance and sounds. After Ziggy Stardust, the stuttering rock sound of Changes gave way to the disco soul of Fame, co-written with John Lennon, to a droning collaboration with Brian Eno in Berlin that produced Heroes.

He had some of his biggest successes in the early 1980s with the bombastic Let's Dance, and a massive American tour. Another one of his definitive songs was Under Pressure, which he recorded with Queen; Vanilla Ice would years later infamously use the song's hook for his smash hit Ice Ice Baby.

"My entire career, I've only really worked with the same subject matter," Bowie told the Associated Press in a 2002 interview. "The trousers may change, but the actual words and subjects I've always chosen to write with are things to do with isolation, abandonment, fear and anxiety — all of the high points of one's life."

Bowie lived in West Berlin in the late 1970s and Mayor Michael Mueller said Monday that Heroes became "the hymn of our then-divided city and its longing for freedom."

Germany's Foreign Ministry added Bowie was "now among heroes" and thanked him for "helping to bring down the wall."

Bowie's performance of Heroes was also a highlight at a concert for rescue workers after the 2001 World Trade Center attacks.

"What I'm most proud of is that I can't help but notice that I've affected the vocabulary of pop music. For me, frankly, as an artist, that's the most satisfying thing for the ego," Bowie said.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, but he didn't attend the ceremony. Madonna, another artist who knew something about changing styles to stay ahead of the curve, accepted for him and recounted how a Bowie concert changed her life when she attended it as a teenager. David Byrne, of the art rockers Talking Heads, inducted Bowie and said he gave rock music a necessary shot in the arm.

"Like all rock 'n' roll, it was visionary, it was tasteless, it was glamorous, it was perverse, it was fun, it was crass, it was sexy and it was confusing," Byrne said.

Bowie kept a low profile in recent years after reportedly suffering a heart attack in the 2000s. He made a moody album three years ago called The Next Day — his first recording in a decade, which was made in secret in New York City. Blackstar, which earned positive reviews from critics, represented yet another stylistic shift, as he gathered jazz players to join him.

He released a music video on Friday for the new song Lazarus, which shows a frail Bowie lying in bed and singing the track's lyrics. The song begins with the line: "Look up here, I'm in heaven."

Tributes poured in for the singer after the announcement of his death. British astronaut Tim Peake tweeted about his sadness from outer space aboard the International Space Station, saying "his music was an inspiration to many."

British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that Bowie's death is "a huge loss." He wrote he had grown up listening to and watching Bowie and called the singer a "master of reinvention" and a pop genius who kept on getting it right.

The Rolling Stones wrote they were "shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death of our dear friend David Bowie. As well as being a wonderful and kind man, he was an extraordinary artist, and a true original."

Bowie felt uneasy about some of his greatest material, once embarking on a "greatest hits" tour saying it would be the last time performing much of his old material. He later relented, however.

"I'm not a natural performer," he said in the 2002 interview. "I don't enjoy performing terribly much. Never have. I can do it and, if my mind's on the situation, do it quite well. But five or six shows in, I'm dying to get off the road and go back into the studio."

Bowie was married twice, to the actress and model Mary Angela "Angie" Barnett from 1970–80, and to international supermodel Iman since 1992. He had two children — Duncan Jones and Alexandria Zahra Jones — one with each wife.

Comments
Review: Alt-rock legends Weezer and the Pixies a study in contrasts

Review: Alt-rock legends Weezer and the Pixies a study in contrasts

A scooter whizzing through the stands. A tear away cardigan. A face smacked by a rogue beach ball. And an intimate, acoustic version of “Island in the Sun” performed in front of thousands.The show put on by the four members of Weezer, at ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Review: Alt-rock legends Weezer and the Pixies a study in contrasts

Review: Alt-rock legends Weezer and the Pixies a study in contrasts

A scooter whizzing through the stands. A tear away cardigan. A face smacked by a rogue beach ball. And an intimate, acoustic version of “Island in the Sun” performed in front of thousands.The show put on by the four members of Weezer, at ...
Published: 06/24/18
Photos: Luke Bryan brings a little country to Raymond James Stadium

Photos: Luke Bryan brings a little country to Raymond James Stadium

Raymond James Stadium was packed Saturday night as Luke Bryan brought a little country to Tampa Bay for the first time since 2015.Read more: Luke Bryan talks love, acceptance and his growing depth before Tampa stopLuke Bryant performed at Raymond Jam...
Published: 06/24/18
Boy George, coming to Tampa with Culture Club, talks fame, Pulse and the term ‘LGBTQ’

Boy George, coming to Tampa with Culture Club, talks fame, Pulse and the term ‘LGBTQ’

It’ll still be June when Boy George arrives in Florida this week to kick off a summer U.S. tour with Culture Club. But the LGBTQ icon says it won’t feel quite like a Pride parade. "I also bake cakes for straight people," he laughed. "Tha...
Published: 06/22/18
Luke Bryan talks love, acceptance and his growing depth before Tampa stop

Luke Bryan talks love, acceptance and his growing depth before Tampa stop

It’s been awhile since Luke Bryan crashed our party. The country music superstar who has racked up awards hasn’t blessed us ’round these parts in awhile. Bryan last played Tampa back in 2015. "We played many multiple nights at the (MidFlorida Credit ...
Published: 06/21/18
Ticket window: Comedy Get Down, Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Gladys Knight and more

Ticket window: Comedy Get Down, Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Gladys Knight and more

Tickets for the following events go on sale this week: • Comedy Get Down with Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley and George Lopez, 7 p.m. Nov. 17 at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, $25-$125, on sale at 10 a.m....
Published: 06/20/18
Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

HIS KIND OF NIGHT: Luke BryanIt’s been three long years since Tampa has seen the well-groomed hide of Luke Bryan, the Hollywoodiest hunk in Nashville. But he’s about to make up for lost time. On Saturday he’ll headline his biggest-ever show here, a b...
Published: 06/20/18
Clearwater Jazz Holiday lineup: Doobie Brothers, George Thorogood, Sheila E. and more

Clearwater Jazz Holiday lineup: Doobie Brothers, George Thorogood, Sheila E. and more

Get ready to break out your finest purple during this year's Clearwater Jazz Holiday.A night celebrating Prince, led by proteges Sheila E. and Morris Day and the Time, will be among the highlights of this year's 39th annual Jazz Holiday, Oct. 18-21 i...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
SoundBytes: Alice in Chains, David Sedaris, Israel Houghton and more

SoundBytes: Alice in Chains, David Sedaris, Israel Houghton and more

— Alice in Chains are heading back out on the road, and they're coming to Orlando. They'll play the House of Blues on Oct. 27. Tickets are $49.50 and up. Click here.— Gospel great Israel Houghton is coming to the Straz Center on Oct. 12. ...
Published: 06/19/18
Review: On ‘Everything Is Love,’ Beyonce and Jay-Z emerge from chaos defiant, triumphant

Review: On ‘Everything Is Love,’ Beyonce and Jay-Z emerge from chaos defiant, triumphant

In 2016 Beyoncé dropped Lemonade, a culture-quaking song cycle about her troubled marriage to Jay-Z, and more broadly about the black female experience in America. It was her best and most meaningful work, and it was nominated for Album of the Year a...
Published: 06/19/18