Born David Robert Jones in London, England, David Bowie (1947-2016) reinvented himself throughout his long and successful musical career.
"I don't make changes to confuse anyone," explained the gifted innovator. "I'm just searching. That's what causes me to change. I'm just searching for myself."
His search was successful.
In 1999, Reuters named Bowie Britain's richest rock star with a fortune of $917 million, at the time more wealth than even Paul McCartney. France awarded Bowie the Commander of Arts and Letters, the country's highest cultural award.
"I love being excited by what I do," Bowie said.
Ever-looking to tomorrow, he was also the first artist to launch his own Internet Service Provider (ISP), BowieNet. "I go on to my BowieNet website and do clean-ups every morning," he explained. "Not because I'm addicted, but because I want it to be the most cutting-edge artist site... a community, an interactive thing. That's why I pushed and promoted the idea of feedback."
For feedback, he hosted a cyber-song writing contest on the site. On this day in 1998, he provided the World Wide Web with the recorded music and chorus lyrics for the song What's Really Happening. Finish my song, he requested. Over 80,000 people responded.
After six weeks of voting, the public gave Bowie 125 finalists. He selected 20 year-old Alex Grant's three-verse submission. The ulitmate irony? Alex had never heard a Bowie song before.
Robert Smith of The Cure described Bowie as "one of the few people who manages to do something so unusual you know it's his."
David Bowie, one in a zillion for sure.
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