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David Bowie Named Greatest Entertainer Of The 20th Century

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David Bowie Named Greatest Entertainer Of The 20th Century

The late, great David Bowie has been named the Greatest Entertainer of the 20th Century in a vote by members of the British public.

The singer, who passed away on 10 January 2016 following a battle with cancer, was best known for a string of huge hits including 'Space Oddity', 'Life On Mars', 'Heroes', 'Changes', 'Five Years' and 'All The Young Dudes', to name just a few.

He also turned his impending death into the inspiration for his swan song: his 25th and final album, Black Star, which he mysteriously released on his 71st birthday, just two days after he passed away.

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The poll was conducted as part of BBC Two's historical series Icons, which urged people to 'assess the achievements of the 20th Century's most important and influential figures across seven different fields of human endeavour'.

Bowie will be going up against other category winners in a live final on 5 February, which sees a public vote determine the ultimate winner - who will be crowned Greatest Person of the 20th Century. No biggie, eh?

Alan Turing was the winner of the Scientists category, Ernest Shackleton the Explorers category and Nelson Mandela the Leaders winner.

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Nelson Mandela was also named the Greatest Leader of the 20th Century. Credit: PA
Nelson Mandela was also named the Greatest Leader of the 20th Century. Credit: PA

The BBC said: "Often adopting a series of personas, and never afraid to reinvent his sound, David Bowie was a constant musical innovator - keeping him ahead of the pack. The characters he created, from Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke, allowed him to inhabit new sonic landscapes.

"And Bowie astutely picked the best collaborators to help him achieve his goals. Unlike many other musicians, he remained current for his entire career."

Actress Kathleen Turner - who submitted Bowie as a nominee in the entertainer category along with Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe and Billie Holiday - said: "David Bowie raised the creative bar for all entertainers and that is why he truly deserves to be crowned the ultimate icon of the 20th century by the British public."

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Bowie performing in 1995. Credit: PA
Bowie performing in 1995. Credit: PA

Of course, Bowie's popularity ran far beyond his music.

At the time of Bowie's death, fellow singer Madonna paid tribute to him on Facebook to say how much she valued his attitudes towards being yourself - rather than conforming to others' ideas about who you should be.

"David Bowie changed the course of my life forever," she wrote.

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"I saw how he created a persona and used different art forms within the arena of rock and roll to create entertainment."

The 'Like A Virgin' singer added: "I found him so inspiring and innovative. Unique and provocative. A real genius. His music was always inspiring but seeing him live set me off on a journey that for me I hope will never end."

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A true icon.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Entertainment, News, David Bowie, Music

Jess Hardiman
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