The world was stunned and saddened when news broke late Sunday night that iconic rock star David Bowie had passed away at the age of 69 after an 18 month secret battle with cancer. Coming just two days after his birthday, and the release of what would be his final album, Blackstar, the news of his passing seemed especially shocking. It has since been confirmed that the timing of the release was very intentional on Bowie’s part, with the album being his final parting gift to his fans.

Most people would be satisfied with the life of a bonafide rock star, or being hailed as one of the most well-respected musicians of their time, but Bowie needed to more. He got to dance with Muppets, and portray iconoclastic figures such as Andy Warhol and Nikola Tesla in motion pictures. He brought art and fashion to pop music, and influenced all three in turn. He showed people that there was a strange beauty in feeling like an alien outsider that no one understood.

To only call David Bowie a “rock star” is to paint only a portion of his image, and does a disservice to the enormity of his legendary status as a man who found ways to reinvent himself time and again as the living embodiment of the word “cool.” He was a man who was so many things to so many people that it’s hard to think of a facet of entertainment or popular culture that he wasn’t involved in at some point. Even beyond his direct involvement, his inspiration of not just artists and creators, but teachers, scientists, astronauts, and dreamers of all kinds is immeasurable.

It is in admiration of that inspiration that we showcase just a small sample of the countless creative works made in his honor.

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