Friday 13 December 2019

'The cleverest and most interestingly brilliant man of our time' - Tributes pour in for David Bowie

Sasha Brady & Wire Agencies

Stars from the world of showbiz and entertainment have summoned the words of David Bowie to pay tribute to the rock star.

The 69-year-old - known for hits such as Changes, Ashes To Ashes and Starman - left a legacy created by pioneering musicianship and ground-breaking lyrics dating back almost half a century.

He died on Sunday after suffering from cancer for 18 months.

Australian actor Russell Crowe, referencing one of Bowie's better known singles which featured on covers album Pin Ups 1973, wrote: "RIP David. I loved your music. I loved you. One of the greatest performance artists to have ever lived. #sorrow"

Rock guitarist Joel Madden, quoting Changes, simply added: "Turn and face the strange."

Actor Mark Ruffalo wrote: "Rip Father of all us freaks. Sad sad day. Love always Legendary singer David Bowie dies at 69."

Astronaut Chris Hadfield, who famously played Space Oddity, while on the International Space Space Station paid tribute on Twitter.

"Ashes to ashes, dust to stardust. Your brilliance inspired us all. Goodbye Starman," he wrote

Comedian and writer Eddie Izzard said: "Very sad to hear about the death of David Bowie but through his music he will live forever."

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme he became a Bowie fan during the singer's early rise to prominence.

He said: "I'm very, very saddened to hear of his death.

"I remember sitting listening to his songs endlessly in the '70s particularly and always really relishing what he was, what he did, the impact he had.

"Extraordinary person."

And Prime Minister David Cameron, whose musical tastes are well documented, also offered his condolences.

He said: "I grew up listening to and watching the pop genius David Bowie. He was a master of re-invention, who kept getting it right. A huge loss."

Paying tribute to the singer on Twitter, comedian and actor Ricky Gervais, who convinced his long-time idol to star as himself - and ridicule Gervais - in an episode of 2006 sitcom Extras, wrote simply: "I just lost a hero. RIP David Bowie."

He also uploaded an image of himself from the late 1990s dressed as Bowie's famous alter-ego Ziggy Stardust, taken from the comedian's 30-minute Comedy Lab episode in which Gervais played the part of a Bowie impersonator.

Radio DJ Fearne Cotton wrote on Instagram: "Devastated. There will only ever be one David Bowie.

"A pioneer, a maverick and a visionary. I've been so inspired by him and his intent on doing what he wants without thought of judgment and views of others. RIP to one of the last icons."

Former Radio 1 DJ Tony Blackburn wrote: "So sorry to hear of the death of David Bowie at only 69. A man who really was a giant in the world of music R.I.P."

BBC 6 Music's Lauren Laverne said: "Still in shock, this is a huge loss to everyone who loves music. We'll be on air at 10. Tell us what you want to hear and we'll do our best."

Rapper Kanye West said: "David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime."

Television presenter Phillip Schofield said: "We just lost one of the coolest guys on the planet. RIP David Bowie."

Politicians, led by Mr Cameron, also shared their memories of the Heroes singer.

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale wrote: "Deeply saddened to learn of the loss of David Bowie: a unique and extraordinary talent whose influence was felt around the world."

Business Secretary Savid Javid said: "David Bowie brought great joy to me and many millions across the world. An iconic British artist that will be sorely missed. RIP."

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "Terrible news to hear Brixton-born David Bowie has died. No-one in our age has better deserved to be called a genius."

Chancellor George Osborne said: "So sad to hear about the great David Bowie - his music was a backdrop to my life. An incredible icon of British creativity who made us proud."

RIP #Bowie Bigger and greater than any rock star. #davidbowie

A photo posted by Dave Fanning (@fanningrte) on

Former Number 10 spin doctor Alastair Campbell tweeted a memory about Bowie and a former Prime Minister.

He said: "Only two times I saw Tony Blair star struck were when he met David Bowie at Brits and Barbra Streisand in a make up room. Star goes out RIP."

Bowie collaborator Rick Wakeman credited the star as having been the greatest influence on his career.

He wrote on Twitter: "As I'm sure you can imagine I'm gutted hearing of David's passing. He was the biggest influence & encouragement I could ever have wished for."

In an interview with the Telegraph in 2014, Wakeman said Bowie had advised him to "be your own man and don't listen to people who don't know a hatchet from a crotchet and try to fulfil their own ideas through you because they haven't got any".

American musician and performer Pharrell Williams, a long-time Bowie fan, described the late performer as "a true innovator, a true creative", while Leicester rockers Kasabian described themselves as "devastated".

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, quoting Bowie's Eight Line Poem from 1971's Hunky Dory, added: "But the key to the city is in the sun that pins the branches to the sky..."

Comic writer David Baddiel wrote on Twitter: "Not just upset by Bowie's death but disorientated: like I've woken up and the world is out of joint. I think I assumed he was immortal."

Britain's other "star man", astronaut Tim Peake, tweeted from the International Space Station: "Saddened to hear David Bowie has lost his battle with cancer - his music was an inspiration to many."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that Bowie was a "great musician, great entertainer".

"As soon as I heard of his death, very, very sad, Life On Mars comes flowing back into my mind. Wonderful song, wonderful guy."

One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson described Bowie as "a music legend".

Rock pioneers Pixies tweeted an undated picture featuring the late musician sitting around a sofa joined by the likes of Foo Fighters founder Dave Grohl, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan and The Cure's Robert Smith.

The caption read: "A true Inspiration".

British actor Simon Pegg wrote: "If you're sad today, just remember the world is over 4 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie."

Stand-up comedian John Bishop added: "Very sad news about David Bowie. Few people leave the world a better place and inspire so many people in so many ways."

Scottish singer-songwriter Midge Ure paid tribute on ITV's Good Morning Britain, saying he and other musicians had seen Bowie as a role model.

He said: "I think if you spoke to any musician who has been around in the last 30, 40 years, we all have benchmarks that we try and emulate, we all have benchmarks that we put our feeble efforts next to, and somewhere along the line you do think, 'well, what would David Bowie do here?'.

"Because he wasn't just a brilliant songwriter and an amazing creator, he excelled at everything. He gave us the point to run towards, we are all still trying to run towards that, everyone.

"We are all swimming in his wake, so I don't think you could top on creativity, and consistent creativity, I don't think you could top, anyone could top, David Bowie in the UK musical history."

On Bowie's illness, Ure said: "I think people within the industry had heard rumours about cancer, we'd heard rumours about him not being well.

"We all knew something was amiss but this is more than just turning on your phone in the morning or turning on the television and finding out that another celebrity has passed on.

"I'm standing here, my hands are shaking, I feel as though I've lost something, I've lost something incredibly important today."

Tony Blair described himself as "a huge fan" of Bowie.

The former prime minister, a keen guitarist, said in a statement: "I am so sorry to hear the news of David Bowie's death. I was a huge fan.

"From the time I saw his Ziggy Stardust concert as a student, I thought he was a brilliant artist and an exciting and interesting human being.

"It was a great privilege when I got to meet him later in life. My thoughts are with his family and friends. He will be deeply mourned."

Top Gun actor Val Kilmer offered his own passionate tribute on Twitter: "David Bowie is a searing genius who will inspire millions for thousands of years. Planets will be named after him."

Gene Simmons, from American rock band Kiss, was one of many to cite Bowie's songs as having influenced him.

He tweeted: "David Bowie, you will be sorely missed.

"Bowie's 'Changes' and the Ziggy story songs were a major influence for me."

Madonna tweeted a series of messages declaring her appreciation of Bowie's life and works.

With frequent references to his lyrics, the Queen of Pop said: "I'm Devastated! This great Artist changed my life! First concert i ever saw in Detroit! R.IP.

"Talented. Unique. Genius. Game Changer. The Man who Fell to Earth. Your Spirit Lives on Forever!

"So lucky to have met you!!!! Hot Tramp I love you So!"

Eighties singer Kim Wilde "no-one was more Glam than Bowie".

Recalling her early memories of Bowie in the 1970s, the Kids In America performer said: "My dad, Marty, had already played Hunky Dory off the turntable and, having watched man first walking on the moon just a couple of years before, Life on Mars had fed into the imagination of my 12-year-old mind.

"Fast forward to the 80s when my career began and Bowie was once more at the centre of the music scene. On Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) the stand-out track was Ashes to Ashes which featured the style icons of the time, The Blitz Kids including Steve Strange.

"On my bedroom wall was a poster of David Bowie, a hypnotic portrait of an extraordinary artist who will never be forgotten."

Friend and collaborator Iggy Pop said on social media: "David's friendship was the light of my life. I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is."

Glastonbury Festival's Facebook page carried images of the superstar - who performed there in 1971 and 2010 - with the message: "Thank you David Bowie for all the magic and memories."

Founder Michael Eavis told the BBC of Bowie's maiden appearance at the Somerset festival: "He had lovely long flowing hair, a right hippie-looking lad. Fantastically beautiful he looked, actually.

"Nobody knew who he was, he played at 4 in the morning at sunrise, songs we'd never heard before.

"He's one of the three greatest in the world, ever - Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and David Bowie. There's no one else even close."

He said organisers had been told to "stop ringing" Bowie several years ago because he had retired from performing.

Commons Speaker John Bercow said: "I am shattered to learn of the death of David Bowie. From the age of 11 he was my musical hero, the most creative, innovative and exciting rock star I ever saw or heard.

"The quality of his song writing and his ability to reinvent himself in so many different guises remain unsurpassed in modern music. Sincere condolences to his family and friends."

In a tribute to the star's global influence, the German Foreign Office wrote on Twitter: "Good-bye, David Bowie. You are now among #Heroes. Thank you for helping to bring down the #wall."

Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson said Bowie was "one of a kind".

He said: "Very sad to hear that David Bowie, one of the greatest artists and innovators of all time, has died aged 69.

"When I heard the news it sent a shiver through me. I thought he'd live forever. Still, in some ways he will.

"I was very fortunate to cross paths with David over the years, and he was one of a kind."

Queen drummer Roger Taylor said: "The cleverest and most interestingly brilliant man of our time. What a vacuum he leaves, and how he will be missed."

Speaking during a visit in north London, Mr Cameron picked the "brilliant" Hunky Dory as his favourite album.

The British Prime Minister said: "Today we are mourning the loss of an immense British talent. Genius is an over-used word but I think musically, creatively, artistically David Bowie was a genius.

"For someone of my age he provided a lot of the soundtrack of our lives, from the first time I heard Space Oddity to watching our athletes appear in those wonderful Olympics to the strains of Heroes.

"He was a master of reinvention and one of the things that is so incredible is almost all his reinventions were incredible successes and worked brilliantly.

"So, we mourn the loss of a great talent. We think about his family and friends, who have lost a loved one too early, but I think also we celebrate an immense British talent who has enriched all of our lives."

In a statement on Twitter, The Rolling Stones said: "The Rolling Stones are 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."

Chris Hadfield, the former commander of the International Space Station who recorded a video of a version of Bowie's Space Oddity during his final mission in 2013, said the singer had been an inspiration.

Alongside a picture of Bowie he tweeted: "Ashes to ashes, dust to stardust. Your brilliance inspired us all. Goodbye Starman."

American fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger paid tribute to a "true style icon" on Instagram: "David Bowie is and always will be a rock 'n' roll legend, a true style icon and a dear friend. My heart is with his loved ones today. -TH".

Swedish musician Avicii posted a photo of Bowie with the words: "I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring."

It was accompanied by a tribute of his own: "A timeless icon has left us. David Bowie you will be deeply missed."

Radio presenter Dave Fanning shared an Instagram photo that details three interviews the music icon gave the RTE star in London, New York and Dublin.

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