From ‘Labyrinth’ To ‘Lazarus’: A Timeline Of David Bowie’s Life As A Pop Culture Icon


Following the passing of pop culture icon, David Bowie, the Internet began popping up with features recognizing his most memorable and influential moments . As more videos and articles surfaced it became clear—even if you thought you knew everything there was to know about Bowie, there’s likely still more to his story.

In celebration of Much’s 24-hour special broadcast, Much Celebrates David Bowie, airing all day this Sunday on Much, we’re looking back at a timeline of his most iconic moments.

1963 – The choice to make music

Photo: Getty Images

Bowie had an early start to his career, forming his first band at the age of 15, and signing with management by 16. It wasn’t until 1969 that the singer began attracting the attention of music critics with the single, Space Oddity which landed him a top five spot on the UK Singles Chart.

1972 – Ziggy Stardust is born

Photo: Getty Images

Ziggy Stardust was the alter ego Bowie reinvented himself with in the early ’70s. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was Bowie’s fifth studio album, and the character he created had a major impact on the influence of fashion and sexual exploration. While controversial at the time, Ziggy Stardust remains to be known as an inspiring shift in pop culture, paving the way for many to follow.

1972 – Sexuality doesn’t define you


The alter ego of Ziggy Stardust raised questions about Bowie’s sexuality. During a magazine interview in 1972, Bowie publicly confirmed his attraction to men, and later told Playboy he was in fact bisexual. In years to follow he would express regret in sharing this information as a result of undesirable attention surrounding the subject.

1973 – The Midnight Special  

The Midnight Special was a broadcast special that featured guest appearances by major stars, and it was known for being one of the first broadcast television shows to request artiststo sing live during taping. In 1973, Bowie was featured on the show for his final performance as Ziggy Stardust.

1977 – Iggy Pop releases The Idiot


Iggy Pop and David Bowie were known to be good friends, and in 1977 Iggy Pop released his debut solo album, The Idiot. Co-written by his good friend, David Bowie, this was said to be the beginning of Bowie’s ‘Berlin’ era.

1981 – Under Pressure in the studio with Queen

The David Bowie/Queen collaboration of Under Pressure almost never happened, simply because it was never planned in the first place. Bowie met with Queen in the studio to sing backing vocals on a different track, but instead assisted with the transformation of the incomplete track Feel Like into the hit, Under Pressure. The number one UK hit was created during a routine jam session between five musicians – Bowie and the four members of Queen.

1983 – Calls MTV out for not playing ‘more black artists’

During the period when music began making the shift from radio to television, MTV’s music library visibly lacked a catalogue for emerging black artists. When Bowie sat down for an interview with MTV VJ Mark Goodman, he didn’t waste any time forcing an answer as to why the station failed to represent black artists on the channel.

1986 – Labyrinth: The Magic Dance

Even if you weren’t born in the ’80s, you probably still remember singing along to David Bowie and the ‘Magic Dance’ at some point during your childhood. He was no Ziggy Stardust, but Jareth the Goblin King remains one of Bowie’s most iconic characters.

1990 – Bowie falls in love at a dinner party


David Bowie first married in 1970 to actress, model, musician, Angie Bowie. The pair divorced in 1980 and 10 years later, Bowie met his next great love, Iman. The couple met at a dinner party, and despite Iman’s distaste in the idea of dating a rock star, they fell in love and married two years later. Iman was with Bowie at the time of his passing.

1996 – Debuts Alexander McQueen


Calling Bowie a fashion icon would be an understatement. He was—IS— a fashion god. His many personas allowed for him to explore a variety of looks and he never shied away from trying something that would shock everyone. In 1996, Bowie invited a relatively unknown designer to create a look that would be added to his collection of Bowie memorabilia, it was his Union Jack frock coat by Alexander McQueen.

1999 – Predicts the success of the internet

Who knew the Internet would someday take over the world? David Bowie did. A year after launching BowieNet, the singer sat down for an interview with BBC’s Jeremy Paxman and declared his belief that the internet would become something far more powerful than anyone could imagine.

2006 – Guest stars on Ricky Gervais’ Extras

Bowie never made a celebrity appearance in Springfield (though, The Simpsons paid tribute many times), but he did make appearances on a number of other shows. Aside from being an eccentric artist, Bowie also knew how to get a laugh out of his audience. In 2006, he guest starred on Ricky Gervais’ comedy, Extras, which Gervais himself refers to as a career highlight.

2007 – A Zoolander Walk Off

Extras wasn’t Bowie’s only dance with comedy (was there anything he couldn’t do?); in 2007 he made an appearance in the popular comedy, Zoolander. Playing himself, Bowie served as the judge of a comical ‘Walk Off Challenge’ where Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson’s characters competed for top runway status.

2016 – Lazarus

David Bowie never failed to make a statement in everything he did. Before his passing, the singer released Blackstar, a final addition to a tremendous discography. With that came a music video for the single Lazarus, opening with the lyric: “Look up here. I’m in Heaven”.

You will be missed, Bowie.

Much Celebrates David Bowie this Sunday, January 17th with a special 24 hour marathon. Much will broadcast two new specials; David Bowie: Five Years (a BBC documentary) and Bowie On Much (a collection of David Bowie videos and interviews). The specials will run throughout the day in honour of a legendary icon.