On Sunday 10th January, 2016, David Bowie passed away, following an 18 month battle with cancer. The official statement, published on Bowie’s Facebook page reads: “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.” The iconic singer-songwriter and actor’s released his latest album ‘Blackstar’ just last week (January 8) on his 69th birthday.

For nearly five decades Bowie became one of the most prominent names, voices and faces in rock&roll. Ever unpredictable, he championed mystery, rebellion and curiosity in his music and personas. The artist and fashion icon reinvented himself time and time again. From the beginning of his life as a folk-rock spaceman, to becoming the orange haired, androgynous glam rock alien (Ziggy Stardust), to the well-dressed, blue eyed funk man (the Thin White Duke), a drug loving European art rocker (the Berlin albums), and a new-wave hit maker, a heavy rocker, jazz impressionist and contemporary artist. David Bowie’s unique talent gained him a legion of devoted fans, and predictably, on Monday, the world mourned for his loss.

The Gigslutz team pay their tributes and talk about what David Bowie meant to them.

David Jones passed away on 10 January 2016, but David Bowie isn’t dead. He lives on in our music collections, on our screens and in the work of the countless number of people his music has influenced. Words like ‘unique’, ‘singular’ and ‘multi-talented’ do not explain adequately the beauty of his work, and neither are they necessary. Bowie was a genius and has left behind an artistic legacy (not merely a musical one) that will become more and more revered through the passage of time. Iconic for his art, famous for the endeavour and commitment to challenging himself and the audience, always willing to take risks and defy expectations (hello, Tin Machine). In time, the impact and influence of his work will be compared to Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Behn, Beethoven, Woolf or any other great creative mind you care to name. The greatest pop artist of the modern age, a renegade outsider who somehow remained that way despite massive commercial success and mainstream acceptance.

“Written in pain, written in awe / By a puzzled man who questioned / What we were here for.”
Paul Sng, Editor-at-Large

When my Mam was 16 she shaved off her eyebrows and covered them in sequins instead. She wore a crisp white shirt, and fashioned old brooches and velvet into ties. My Grandparents were concerned. When I was born she would twirl me around the living room, dancing, singing, my sister giggling too. She would recall the story to us of the time she kissed the most beautiful person she had ever seen, backstage at a Rolling Stones concert, and he said “See you later Baby”. We danced to his music. I stared at his face on record sleeves, let my sister drag red lipstick over my face in the shape of a lightening bolt, I watched his films until I would whisper the words back at the screen. I sang at my own mousy hair and told John I was only dancing. I was mesmerised by the person who had captured my mothers heart and held onto it for so long. He took mine too.

“If David Bowie can be anything he wants to be, so can you Katie”
Katie Muxworthy, Features Editor

Since I heard the extremely sad news, I’ve pretty much been listening to The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, Bowie’s 1972 album, on repeat. This is not because it’s the only album of his I like – on the contrary, each one of his creations carries a different magic and majestic power -, but it’s the one for me (along with Hunky Dory) that holds the most personal resonance. Growing up with a father who played this album on a regular basis, I have vivid memories of singing along to ‘Starman’, dancing around the living room to ‘Hang On To Yourself’ and being simply spellbound by my favourite Bowie song, ‘Five Years’.

Whatever incarnation of David Jones most resonates with you, he no doubt inspired you in some way; his androgynous beauty and other-worldly charm combined with that down-to-earth nature and natural toothy grin would appeal to even the coldest of hearts. The many characters he created are just as engrossing as any novel, and it’s safe to say his magic will live on forever.
Mari Lane, New Music Editor/Assistant Editor

True love is a rare thing, but when I heard ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ at the age of 22, I felt the pangs of that tender, traumatic, life-affirming emotion. David Bowie’s inimitable lyrics filled my veins with wonder. I played ‘Heroes’ full blast when I received my university results. ‘Suffragette City’ kept my spine straight on the morning of my graduation. ‘Let’s Dance’ never fails to remind me of my best friend, John – who used to be a wallflower – dancing away at The Haunt in Brighton. Bowie’s voice has always been there; to comfort, to inspire, to entertain me.

I was one of the thousands of spectators who attended the ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition in 2013, where I saw first-hand the outrageous costumes and personal artefacts of this innovative, idiosyncratic performer. I used to be “the girl with the mousy hair” but with Bowie’s encouragement in my ears, I took risks and embraced the alien parts of me. He was the human equivalent of a puzzle; allowing everyone to take a piece of him and fit him in to their own lives, thus completing their own image. On Monday 11th January 2016, it felt like that piece was missing.

RIP David Bowie – “Hot tramp, I love you so.”
Kate Crudgington, Contributor

When I think of Bowie I think of him as Jared, king of the goblins from Labyrinth, playing with a crystal ball and stealing babies. If that’s blasphemy, shoot me- I’m 23 and didn’t get to experience him through his Golden Years. As I got to about 14, I had my honeymoon with Bowie. I had ‘Rebel Rebel’ as my ringtone and I realised he was the king of aesthetics and androgyny- something that entranced me as a teenager and does to this day. His different eras and personas makes it hard to pick a favourite track or album for me, but his blatant sex appeal is what makes me love him. Only someone as venereal as him (or maybe Prince) would turn to the age of 69 and die a few days later. He turns me on but I’m only dancing…
Georgia Richardson, Contributor

Its hard to come to terms with David Bowie’s death because he never truly seemed of this world. I’ve got musical heroes, people I admire for what they contributed to our culture and people I love who are just one offs, freaks and forces of nature who are so cool they demand that admiration. What makes Bowie different is that he is all of these things, something more than a hero, something more than human, almost. While I’m gutted I wasnt around in ’72 to witness Ziggy’s imperial phase, I’m grateful we can now look back on his colossal body of work and, like the man himself, pick and choose different bits and pieces to build our own world and let him continue to show us the way. His influence on music and culture as a whole will never be equalled, and in ‘Blackstar’ he has given us a wonderfully poetic ending to an extraordinary life. Thanks David – hot tramp, I love you so x 
Callum Sullivan, Contributor 

Reinvention is of course a good thing. Reinvention whilst remaining the same is an even greater thing, only managed by the super awesome. That is David Bowie, moving seamlessly through genres and accompanying that, an evolving visual appearance. From the curly hair of ‘Space Oddity’ to the shock of red of Ziggy to the eye patch of Aladdin to formal wear of Berlin to the loose lounge suits of Serious Moonlight to the long hair and facial stubble of ‘hours…’ to smart denim of Heathen and so on…. It was a different Bowie each time, yet so undeniably him. As a photographer how could I not be drawn to his own personal visual language? What is Bowie to me? Inspiration and permission to constantly change and develop, never staying the same, yet allowing my work to remain familiar.
Robert Gershinson, Photographer

David Bowie was on the cover of the first copy of the NME I ever bought and more importantly, was the reason I picked it up. The striking image of a metallic mask only showing his distinctive, trademark eyes caught my attention and now, 3 years later I’m here writing about music. It doesn’t matter what time in your life you first came across Bowie, everyone was met by a different person who understood them without trying. He made misfits, fit and outcasts wanted. He changed the face of music, art, fashion and youth culture forever and for that, we must be ever thankful. “Another day, another adventure”.
Rachel Young, Assistant News Editor

Like many others, Bowie meant a great deal to me, and for a myriad of reasons. I think the most important reason for me was simply inspiration; to do as Bowie does. And when I say do as Bowie does I don’t mean artistically. Trying to match up to the Thin White Duke in the realm of art Is a thought that would fill any artist with dread. Have you been on the ‘What Bowie done at your age’ website? It’s depressing. However, I draw inspiration from Bowie in regards to how he carried himself as an artist and visionary; he was fearless. He was a strange looking skinny kid, who in the 70’s wore make-up and jumpsuits and didn’t give a single fuck. When you are in the deepest depths of self- loathing and self-doubt, it’s always best to think “What would Bowie do?”, and the answer is always to be true to yourself. That’s a priceless lesson I will never forget.
Gabriel Ebulue, Contributor 

R.I.P David Bowie, we will always love you.