It’s been a year since Starman left us, and planet Earth is still blue. David Bowie, the sovereign ruler of the 20th-century music, died a year ago, just two days after his 69th birthday.
He left millions of his die-hard fans in shock and grief, as it is hard to believe that such a cultural icon had to face the same fate as every other human being on the planet. However, Bowie left a magnificent parting gift in the form of the universally acclaimed Blackstar, his final full-length album, which reminds of the fact that he will live forever through his music.
While The Next Day, Bowie’s album prior to Blackstar, functioned as a nostalgic reminiscence of Bowie’s signature sound of the late 70’s and his Berlin era, Blackstar blew everyone away with its somber yet uplifting atmosphere of impending death. Blackstar is a perfect final statement: it was released on Bowie’s 69th birthday, just before the man who fell to Earth ascended back to the stars.
The album’s lyrical content reveals Bowie’s anticipation of death, his acceptance of it, and his realization of his impact on the world.
Two days ago, on January 8, which would have been Bowie’s 70th birthday, he posthumously surprised fans all over the world with another unexpected gift. Another album, an EP entitled No Plan was released as a follow-up to Blackstar.
The songs for this release were recorded in his final days, and they work as an extension of Blackstar, with Bowie demonstrating his final contemplations in a tone that is simultaneously mellow and fierce.
Bowie did not want a funeral, and his final wish was fulfilled. He was cremated in New Jersey on January 12th of 2016, and his ashes were scattered in Bali.
His human form was reduced to ashes, just like he predicted in his seminal song, but his immortal spirit inhabits both the Earth to which he fell and the vast infinity of space in which he floats as Major Tom, no longer needing the help of the Ground control.