Today, we lost David Bowie, perhaps the most French man to ever be born outside of France. While there’s always a lot of bluster when any musician dies, repeated eulogies that they were “one of a kind” and that there was “no one like him,” it has never literally been true before. When Dylan goes, when Springsteen goes, when we’ve waved goodbye to Elton John and Sting and Ray Davies and Paul Simon and all the rest, we’ll say there was never anyone else like them, that they were truly singular artists, but we’ll know in our heart of hearts that it simply isn’t true.
David Bowie, however, truly was one of a kind, undefinable, impossible to pin down, and absolutely, without question, the person most likely to have been an alien living among us. There was and will never be anyone like him because who he was changed from album to album and, sometimes, from song to song.
Here’s the Thin White Duke inexplicably singing the gut-smashingly brilliant “Heroes” in French: