1. Bowie’s left pupil is permanently dilated after being punched in the eye by his friend George Underwood (they were fighting over a girl).
Despite the fight, George and Bowie remain life-long friends.
George also did the album cover artwork for Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust.
3. His real name is David Robert Jones; he changed his name to David Bowie to avoid confusion with Davy Jones (pictured below) from The Monkees.
4. His first television appearance was in 1964, at the age of 17, he was interviewed on a BBC program as the founder of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-haired Men.
5. He began playing the saxophone when he was 12 years old.
6. The fictional astronaut “Major Tom” has appeared in three of Bowie’s songs: “Space Oddity” (1969), “Ashes To Ashes” (1980) and “Hallo Spaceboy” (1996).
7. His hit song “Fame”, was co-written by John Lennon, who also sang backing vocals.
“Fame” was David’s first number No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, as well as his first to break the top 10.
8. His 1973 album Pin Ups, features him on the cover alongside iconic ‘60s model Twiggy.
9. In 1975, Nile Rodgers auditioned to play guitar in Bowie’s band. He didn’t get the part.
Rodgers did go on to produce the biggest-selling album of Bowie’s career, 1983’s Let’s Dance.
10. Toni Basil, best known for her hit song “Mickey,” worked as Bowie’s choreographer for his Diamond Dogs Tour in 1974, and Glass Spider Tour in 1987.
11. Bowie has had various alter egos, the most famous of which is Ziggy Stardust. Other alter egos he’s had over the years include: Major Tom, Aladdin Sane, the Thin White Duke, Tao Jones, Halloween Jack, and John Merrick.
12. A young Luther Vandross was hired by Bowie to sing backup and create the vocal arrangements on his 1975 album Young Americans
13. The now Christmas classic, “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy,” was originally supposed to be just a duet of the “Little Drummer Boy.” Bowie reportedly hated the song “Little Drummer Boy” and only agreed to do the duet with Bing if he sang another song.
14. In 1980, he starred in the Broadway production of The Elephant Man.
15. He did the voice (gurgling) for the baby in the song “Magic Dance,” in the movie Labyrinth:
16. In 1988, Bowie played Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ.
17. Even though it was a huge hit single, Bowie never performed the song “Under Pressure” before a live audience until the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. He and Annie Lennox sang it as a duet (backed by the surviving members of Queen):
18. In 1996, Bowie released the single “Telling Lies” exclusively on his website, it was the first-ever downloadable single by a major artist.
19. Bowie has turned down two big British honors: Commander (CBE) in 2000, and knighthood in 2003.
20. During his 2004 North American tour, Bowie was followed around by a 5′3″ pink bunny.
The bunny showed up in the front row all his shows, which Bowie wasn’t too concerned about, saying “I thought, ‘Hey, it’s rock’ n’ roll. It’s just a 5ft 3in bunny’.”
According to him, things got very strange as he was taking off from New York, “Then we got on the plane out of New York and the bunny was on board. The guy was still in the costume.”
While the person in the costume has never been identified, it has been speculated that it was Isabelle Guns, a member of his fan club and not a stalker.