It is with great sadness that the world learned this morning that David Bowie, one of the biggest influencers of the music industry, died at the age of 69 after an 18-month long battle with cancer. It helps to hear he was surrounded by family and friends at the time of crossing over.
In the early 80s, I remember using eyeliner on my lower lids as I blow-dried my hair into the customary ‘Flock of Seagulls’ hairstyle. I was probably going to the mall or some other equally prosaic excursion during my teen years in the ‘80’s, and 99 times out of 100 in those days, I would have been listening to David Bowie music.
Bowie was an icon. While my father grew up with Bowie – although more specifically, his earlier namesake, Ziggy Stardust – Bowie influenced millions in his career.
The ‘80s were a whirlwind for me as a young Native man, and Bowie song in particular always resonated for me. In “Little China Girl,” he sang about the influence of white culture on his love, the Little China Girl.
It's in the white of my eyes
My little China girl
You shouldn't mess with me
I'll ruin everything you are
I'll give you television
I'll give you eyes of blue
I'll give you the man who wants to rule the world
Bowie was probably the only serious artist who could have successfully pulled off working alongside Muppets in his movie Labyrinth, and then with such artists as Bing Crosby and Iggy Pop.
Thank you, David Bowie for such fantastic music as ‘Rebel Rebel,’ ‘Young Americans’, ‘Blue Jean,’ ‘Changes,’ ‘Heroes’ (sung with Queen’s Freddy Mercury is my all-time favorite), and of course ‘Let’s Dance’ in which the whole world sang: ‘put on your red shoes and dance the blues.’
Good Bye, David Bowie, Nia:wen for everything.
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