David Bowie

Hailed by many as the founding father of "glam rock," David Bowie defied rock star conventions and blurred the lines between music and performance art. Embracing the avant-garde, Bowie created futuristic, androgynous characters to represent the music he released in the form of seminal rock albums such as Space Oddity (1969), The Man Who Sold the World (1970), and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972). A musical chameleon, Bowie reinvented his persona with every album and live performance, from the decadent Ziggy Stardust, to the enigmatic Thin White Duke, and helped pioneer several genres of music, including New Wave, industrial, and electronic. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee's constant reinvention and love of theatrics also influenced artists like Madonna and Lady Gaga, while his enormous talent allowed him to enjoy equal success as an actor, working with filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese and David Lynch. Renowned for exploring the fringes of pop music, Bowie carved a successful career out of change, and retained his reputation as an experimental artist as well as a true music icon. After more than a decade of musical silence, marked by health concerns, David Bowie returned with an iconoclastic new album, The Next Day, in 2013, followed by an even more experimental release, Blackstar, released on his 69th birthday, January 8, 2015. Sadly, David Bowie died following an 18-month battle with cancer only two days later, on January 10, 2015, at his home in New York City.