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David Bowie Dies, His Faith: 'Space Oddity' Singer Boldly Broke Music Industry Mold, Radical Religious Journey

( [email protected] ) Jan 11, 2016 02:29 PM EST
David Bowie can never be accused of being unwilling to explore as many options as possible. The rock star's journey through the music industry was just as varied as his exploration of religions.
David Bowie performs on his worldwide tour ''A Reality Tour'' at T-mobile Arena in Prague, June 23, 2004. Reuters

David Bowie can never be accused of being unwilling to explore as many options as possible. The rock star's journey through the music industry was just as varied as his exploration of religions.

Bowie's music encompassed a wide variety of genres, including glam rock, art rock, soul, hard rock, dance rock, punk and electronica. He had no problem breaking the "rule" of the music industry that an artist is supposed to pick a genre and stick with it. Instead, Bowie seemed to build a bridge with his music that crossed genres and defied the industry mold.

Bowie's music producer, Tony Visconti, said in his Facebook post that Bowie, "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."

Blackstar was Bowie's 25th and final album. The album just came out last week. He was 69 when he passed away from an 18 month battle with cancer, two days after his birthday. He was surrounded by family and said to have passed away peacefully.

Interestingly, a song called "Lazarus" on that album includes some lyrics that some connect with some sort of foreknowledge that his death was close at hand.

Three days before his death, the "Lazarus" music video was released, in which he sang the words, "Look up here, I'm in heaven. I've got scars that can't be seen. I've got drama, can't be stolen. Everybody knows me now. Look up here, man, I'm in danger. I've got nothing left to lose."

Bowie's death caught the attention of many celebrities and other public figures, such as British Prime Minister David Cameron and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who said, "I'm very, very saddened to hear of his death. I remember sitting listening to his songs endlessly ... and always really relishing what he was, what he did, the impact he had."

Sir Paul McCartney said that he will always treasure "the great laughs" that he and Bowie had together and that, "his music played a very strong part in British musical history and I'm proud to think of the huge influence he has had on people all around the world."

Commander Chris Hadfield, most widely known for performing "Space Oddity" in space, tweeted, "Ashes to ashes, dust to stardust. Your brilliance inspired us all. Goodbye Starman."

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, pays tribute, using Twitter, to Bowie by posting lyrics from the singer's 1969 hit Space Oddity, "Ground Control to Major Tom Commencing countdown, engines on Check ignition and may God's love be with you."  


Bowie's circuitous faith journey included exploring religions such as Tibetan Buddhism, Nietzsche, Satanism, and even Christianity. It's not entirely clear what he eventually settled on, though he has said that he was leaning toward atheism.

Tags : David Bowie, atheist, Entertainment