I (like most people) was shocked to wake up to the news that the iconic David Bowie had passed away. But other than being understandably shocked, what took me by surprise the most was the immense feeling of grief and sadness I felt when I heard the news. I love David Bowie's music and have listened to it all my life, but I can't say I was a 'fan' in the usual sense of the word. So why do I feel such a huge sense of loss at his death?
For me, I think it's because he is someone who has always been there, someone whose voice and face has been instantly recognisable to me for as long as I can remember. There has never been a time when I didn't know who David Bowie was, so I didn't realise what a huge impression he'd made on me or what a gaping hole he would leave when he was gone. David Bowie (like we all feel about our own parents until they're no longer here) was going to live forever!
I admired his changing style, and how he reinvented himself so many times in his long and varied career. But most of all I loved the fact he was a 'misfit' like me. Someone who didn't fit in with the crowd, who gloried in his own weird and wonderful oddness. He made it okay to be different.
David Bowie's music will last forever and was the playlist of my life (as it was for so many other people) without me even knowing it. I have a feeling it will influence future generations just as much as it did ours. And that is a powerful legacy for anyone to leave behind.
A true artist in every way, even to the last. David Bowie released his final farewell to the world on his 69th birthday, only to be taken away just a couple of days later. A coincidence? Maybe, but I can't help but think he timed it to perfection, the same way he did everything. Listening to 'Blackstar' now - especially the haunting 'Lazarus' - the lyrics hold a poignancy they would never have done before. A beautiful swan song to a life well lived.
There's a starman waiting in the sky tonight. I hope he can see the tributes pouring in for him, but wherever he goes next, you can bet your life it won't be boring!
RIP David Bowie.