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11 Artists Inspired By the Legacy of David Bowie

The music industry is deep in mourning over the loss of a true icon: the inimitable David Bowie. While messages of shock, support, and sadness have been pouring out across social media from celebrities far and wide, there are a handful of music artists who, over the course of their diverse careers, have been considerably influenced by the works of the Star Man.

One artist who has been most noticeably inspired is, of course, Lady Gaga, whose early Fame sound, look, and spirit were heavily influenced by Bowie during his colorful glam-rock era. From wearing lightning bolt eye makeup to experimenting with spacey disco-rock, it’s no secret that Gaga’s early work and visuals would have been Bowie-approved.

Another musician who has no doubt been influenced by the man once known as Ziggy Stardust would be American Idol alum Adam Lambert, whose gender- and genre-bending musicianship is somewhat reminiscent of Bowie’s, albeit more pop and a bit less psychedelic. Bowie, in all his progressive, boundary-breaking showmanship and androgynous artistry, paved the way for artists like Lambert, Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, and even 80s new-wave icon Boy George.

Even younger, more emergent pop artists like Charli XCX and Lorde have been influenced by the late, great singer’s legacy, despite being generations removed from his heyday. And yet, Bowie’s poignant artistic and cultural impact over musicians in their teens and twenties should come as no surprise, speaking both to the timelessness of his creativity, voice, and appeal, as well as the forward-thinking future-mindedness of his art.

Though the Star Man has returned to the stars, his legacy will no doubt live on in the spirit and music of countless contemporary artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson, and will for certain continue to inspire generations of musicians to come. In celebration of an icon whose intrinsic otherness made many feel less alone and more connected than ever, scroll through our gallery to visit 11 music artists who were inspired by David Bowie.


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