Personal life and death

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Posted on Fri, 02/12/2016 - 1:59pm
by Ron Wallace

Member since: Sat, 01/24/2015

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Family

Bowie married Mary Angela Barnett on 19 March 1970 at Bromley Register Office in Bromley, London. Their son Duncan, born on 30 May 1971, was at first known as Zowie. Bowie and Angela divorced on 8 February 1980 in Switzerland.

On 24 April 1992, Bowie married the Somali-American model Iman in a private ceremony in Lausanne. The wedding was later solemnised on 6 June in Florence. They had one daughter, Alexandria "Lexi" Zahra Jones, born in August 2000. The couple resided primarily in New York City and London, as well as owning an apartment in Sydney's Elizabeth Bay.

Sexuality

Bowie declared himself gay in an interview with Michael Watts for a 1972 issue of Melody Maker, coinciding with his campaign for stardom as Ziggy Stardust. According to Buckley, "If Ziggy confused both his creator and his audience, a big part of that confusion centred on the topic of sexuality". In a September 1976 interview with Playboy, Bowie said, "It's true—I am a bisexual. But I can't deny that I've used that fact very well. I suppose it's the best thing that ever happened to me". According to Angie, Bowie had a relationship with Mick Jagger.

In a 1983 interview with Rolling Stone, Bowie said his public declaration of bisexuality was "the biggest mistake I ever made" and "I was always a closet heterosexual". On other occasions, he said his interest in homosexual and bisexual culture had been more a product of the times and the situation in which he found himself than of his own feelings.

Blender asked Bowie in 2002 whether he still believed his public declaration was his biggest mistake. After a long pause, he said, "it was a lot tougher [here] in America [than in Europe]. I had no problem with people knowing I was bisexual. But I had no inclination to hold any banners nor be a representative of any group of people". Bowie said he wanted to be a songwriter and performer rather than a headline for his bisexuality, and in "puritanical" America, "I think it stood in the way of so much I wanted to do".

Buckley wrote that Bowie "mined sexual intrigue for its ability to shock", and was probably "never gay, nor even consistently actively bisexual", instead experimenting "out of a sense of curiosity and a genuine allegiance with the 'transgressional'". Biographer Christopher Sandford said, according to Mary Finnigan—with whom Bowie had an affair in 1969—the singer and his first wife Angie "created their bisexual fantasy". Sandford wrote that Bowie "made a positive fetish of repeating the quip that he and his wife had met while 'fucking the same bloke' ... Gay sex was always an anecdotal and laughing matter. That Bowie's actual tastes swung the other way is clear from even a partial tally of his affairs with women".

Religion and spirituality

Over the years, Bowie made numerous references to religions and to his evolving spirituality. Beginning in 1967, he showed an interest in Buddhism; after a few months' study at Tibet House in London, he was told by a Lama, "You don't want to be Buddhist. ... You should follow music". By 1975 Bowie admitted, "I felt totally, absolutely alone. And I probably was alone because I pretty much had abandoned God".

After Bowie married Iman in a private ceremony in 1992, he said they knew that their "real marriage, sanctified by God, had to happen in a church in Florence". Earlier that year, he knelt on stage at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and recited the Lord's Prayer before a TV audience of up to one billion people. In 1993, Bowie said he had an "undying" belief in the "unquestionable" existence of God. Interviewed in 2005, Bowie said whether God exists "is not a question that can be answered. ... I'm not quite an atheist and it worries me. There's that little bit that holds on: 'Well, I'm almost an atheist. Give me a couple of months. ... I've nearly got it right'". In his will, Bowie stipulated that he be cremated and his ashes scattered in Bali "in accordance with the Buddhist rituals".

"Questioning my spiritual life has always been germane" to Bowie's songwriting. "Station to Station" is "very much concerned with the Stations of the Cross"; the song specifically references Kabbalah. Bowie called the album "extremely dark ... the nearest album to a magick treatise that I've written". Earthling showed "the abiding need in me to vacillate between atheism or a kind of gnosticism ... What I need is to find a balance, spiritually, with the way I live and my demise." Released shortly before his death, "Lazarus"—from his final album, Blackstar—began with the words, "Look up here, I’m in Heaven".

Politics

In 1976, speaking as the Thin White Duke, Bowie's persona at the time, and "at least partially tongue-in-cheek", he made statements that expressed support for fascism and perceived admiration for Adolf Hitler in interviews with PlayboyNME and a Swedish publication. Bowie was quoted as saying: "Britain is ready for a fascist leader... I think Britain could benefit from a fascist leader. After all, fascism is really nationalism... I believe very strongly in fascism, people have always responded with greater efficiency under a regimental leadership." He was also quoted as saying: "Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars" and "You've got to have an extreme right front come up and sweep everything off its feet and tidy everything up." Bowie later retracted these comments in an interview with Melody Maker in October 1977, blaming them on mental instability caused by his drug problems at the time, saying: "I was out of my mind, totally, completely crazed."

In the 1980s and 1990s, Bowie's public statements shifted sharply towards anti-racism and anti-fascism. In an interview with MTV in 1983, Bowie criticised the channel for not providing enough coverage of black musicians, and the music videos for "China Girl" and "Let's Dance" were described by Bowie as a "very simple, very direct" statement against racism. The album Tin Machine took a more direct stance against fascism and Neo-Nazism, and was criticised for being too preachy.

Death

On 10 January 2016, two days after his 69th birthday and the release of the album Blackstar, Bowie died from liver cancer in his New York City apartment. He had been diagnosed 18 months earlier but had not made the news of his illness public. The Belgian theatre director Ivo van Hove, who had worked with the singer on his Off-Broadway musical Lazarus, explained that Bowie was unable to attend rehearsals due to the progression of the disease. He noted that Bowie had kept working during the illness.

Bowie's producer Tony Visconti wrote:

He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life — a work of art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn't, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.

Following Bowie's death, fans gathered at impromptu street shrines. At the mural of Bowie in his birthplace of Brixton, south London, which shows him in his Aladdin Sane character, fans laid flowers and sang his songs. Other memorial sites included Berlin, Los Angeles, and outside his apartment in New York. Bowie had insisted that he did not want a funeral; according to his death certificate, he was cremated in New Jersey on 12 January.

 

Attribution

David Bowie - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia : taken from - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bowie
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