Snuck into a private taping of David Bowie when I was a teen on Soul Train. His song ‘Fame’ was out on Young Americans album which I loved. He was so immediately intriguing – and I was gutted when I got kicked out of the taping (my name was not on the list) missing an opportunity to see him in person. Like millions who were fans I am saddened and shocked to hear of his passing – he was so private; something else I admire about him and didn’t know he’d been battling cancer in this age of over media saturation. Original, boldly different and eclectic, Bowie never confined himself to any musical or style box throughout his legendary career up through his just released ‘Black Star’ he kept us guessing and enamored in and out of the mainstream always a chameleon – I admire him so much and anyone who just does their own thing staying true to themselves especially in this business.
Quietly, or not so..he was also a white artist who spoke out against the lack of videos being played at the time by MTV (in the days when it was Music Television) by black artists unless between certain hours when people were less likely to be tuning in. I learned this fact today. Check his interview with Mark Goodman challenging the tepid excuses: here , in that way I owe a debt of gratitude a black artist who found her way into medium to heavy rotation at one time.
Another great one – a legend who leaves an indelible legacy of music, style, performances, innovation and individuality and beyond. Live life – it’s precious..we’re all just passing through.
My condolences and prayers to his wife of 24 years Iman, his children, family and friends who knew him best.
One of my early favorites:
Good-Bye Mr. Lawrence. ( Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto from the film in which David Bowie starred).
Jody Watley backstage with Stevie Wonder, Salt n Pepa, Spinderella and Herby LuvBug and Brown Mark from Prince and The Revolution – 1988 Stevie Wonder MTV Special.
I had the honor to duet with one my my music heroes Stevie Wonder in 1988 for his MTV Music Special “Characters.” As a 7th grader with a group called Black Fuzz (because we all wore big afro’s) we performed “Superstitious.” Fast forward to me singing with him – my smiles, nerves and shyness nearly got the best of me. Then add to it the fact Stevie sang one of my songs and knocked it out of the park, botched lyrics and all. It’s a fond memory. It was also an honor to have shared the stage with Stevie Ray Vaughn and Salt n Pepa who were also musical guests. Read the archived article from JET Magazine: HERE
Pictured: Jody Watley, Herby ‘Luvbug’ Azor, Salt, Stevie Wonder, Spinderella, Pepa and Brown Mark of Prince and The Revolution Photo (c): Ron Lawrence Photography
It was an unbelievable honor to sing and perform with one of my childhood and all time musical heroes and inspirations Stevie Wonder for his 1988 MTV Special “A Character Gathering.” I performed with Stevie on “Superstitious” and he and I did a duet on my of my hits at the time “Some Kind of Lover.” The special also featured pioneering rappers Salt n Pepa, and legendary blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn. Happy Birthday Stevie Wonder!! My laugh at the end of this performance continues to reflect the joy I felt in that moment.