It was five years ago Sunday (January 10th, 2016) that the world lost David Bowie, just two days after his 69th birthday — with today (January 8th) marking what would have been his 74th. Bowie’s death followed a private 18-month battle with cancer, and according to reports from insiders in the Bowie camp, the music legend died from liver cancer, after suffering from a handful heart attacks in recent years. Bowie was survived by his wife of 23 years, supermodel Iman, his son, movie director Duncan Jones, and his daughter with Iman, Alexandria. A David Bowie tribute concert is set to stream tonight (Friday, January 8th) at at 9 p.m. ET. The concert is headed up by his Spiders From Mars keyboardist Mike Garsonand will feature contributions from Def Leppard‘s Joe Elliott, Peter Frampton, Duran Duran, Trent Reznor, William Corgan, Perry Farrell, Bush‘s Gavin Rossdale, the Cult‘s Ian Astbury, Lzzy Hale, Macy Gray, Rolling Stones sideman Bernard Fowler, Living Color‘s Corey Glover, Boy George, Taylor Momsen, Ricky Gervais, YUNGBLUD, Andra Day, Adam Lambert, Gary Oldman — and the Ground Control supergroup featuring Dave Navarro, Corey Taylor, Foo Fighters‘ Taylor Hawkins and Jane’s Addiction‘s Chris Chaney
In addition to Garson and Bowie’s long-time collaborator and producer Tony Visconti, musicians taking part who had recorded and performed with Bowie include guitarists Earl Slick, Carlos Alomar, Gail Ann Dorsey, Sterling Campbell, Gerry Leonard, Catherine Russell, Zack Alford, Kevin Armstrong, Alan Childs, Omar Hakim, Carmine Rojas, and Charlie Sexton, among others.
Mike Garson, who performed over 1,000 shows with Bowie — as well as his first and last U.S. appearances, said in a statement:
What we’re planning is an amazing show with the most talented musicians from every period of David’s career, as well as phenomenal artists from many different genres. We’ll hear different interpretations of David’s songs; some with totally new arrangements that have never been heard before.
In celebration of what would have been David Bowie’s 74th birthday today, two previously unreleased cover versions are set for single release. The birthday offering includes a version of John Lennon’s 1970 solo classic, “Mother,” which Bowie tracked in 1997 and 1998 for a Lennon tribute collection that fell through, and Bob Dylan‘s 1997 Time Out Of Mind classic, “Tryin’ To Get To Heaven,” which Bowie recorded in February 1998 during the mixing sessions for the LiveAndWell.com album.
The seven-inch single is limited to 8,147 numbered copies, 1,000 of which will be on cream colored vinyl available only from the official David Bowie store and Warner Music’s Dig! store (the remainder will be black). Both tracks will be available to stream and download.
Although tributes were literally non-stop in the days and weeks following Bowie’s death, perhaps the most touching tribute was in July 2016 when Bowie’s 1974 classic “Rebel Rebel” took on Herculean proportions when it was played in unison by over 1,000 musicians. A professionally filmed clip of the volunteer-based rock band dubbed Rockin’ 1000 performed the song in Cesena, Italy’s Orogel Stadium.
CHECK IT OUT: David Bowie in 1973 performing “Space Oddity” live on The Midnight Special:
CHECK IT OUT: David Bowie in 1975 performing “Golden Years” live on Soul Train:
CHECK IT OUT: David Bowie in 1979 performing “Boys Are Swinging” live on The Kenny Everett Video Show:
CHECK IT OUT: David Bowie at Live Aid on July 13th, 1985 performing “Modern Love” at London’s Wembley Stadium:
CHECK IT OUT: David Bowie on June 25th, 2000 performing “‘Heroes'” live at Glastonbury:
CHECK IT OUT: Rockin’ 1000’s performance of “Rebel Rebel”: