I'm a little bit stunned that David Bowie, may he rest in peace, has actually passed.
I didn't know him, but I knew him. His music videos were a very real presence in my life at a time when pop culture seemed to overtake it.
Like Madonna, Bowie branded his music song by song. Visually, compellingly, with a story and a message that was frequently socially progressive.
With his character Ziggy Stardust, Bowie showed that maleness and femaleness are very much made up in the mind. They can be shuffled and reconstructed just as easily.
"Let's Dance" taught me that the world owns the music. Not the performer.
"China Girl" taught me to respect cultures unknown to me.
"Modern Love" taught me...absolutely nothing. It was just a great song. And that's OK, too.
(Modern love) walks beside me
(Modern love) walks on by
(Modern love) gets me to the church on time
(Church on time) terrifies me
(Church on time) makes me party
(Church on time) puts my trust in God and man
(God and man) no confessions
(God and man) no religion
(God and man) don't believe in modern love
His marriage to Iman in 1992 blazed a trail for interracial relationships, even during a time most people would remember as progressive. Honestly - it really, really wasn't.
As a fan I just want to say thank you for the wonder and the wisdom, David Bowie. Thank you for the joy you brought to my life, for the creativity and the imagination.
It's nothing short of fantastic.
Copyright 2015 Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. Dr. Blumenthal is founder and president of BrandSuccess, a corporate content provider, and co-founder of the brand thought leadership portal All Things Brand. The opinions expressed are her own and not those of any government agency or entity or the federal government as a whole. Contact her if you would like to request support.