Of his many incarnations during a glittering career, this could be the one David Bowie will prefer to be remembered by. A poll of fellow rock and pop stars and leading music industry figures has named him top music star of the past 30 years, controversially edging ahead of The Beatles who were placed second. Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye and Jimi Hendrix also trailed in Bowie's wake.
The 51 year old former art student from South London has been Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke, among others, since launching his career in the Sixties. During this time he was at the forefront of glam rock, Seventies soul and Eighties funk, as well as being a leading light of the New Romantic era. His exotic outfits set new standards. A film star in "The Man Who Fell To Earth" and a filmmaker as well as a painter, he was also leader of his own band, Tin Machine. His skill as a collaborator is said to have helped launch the careers of Mott The Hoople, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop.
Already fabulously wealthy, he raised more than 34 million LST last year by giving Wall Street investors the chance to buy into his back catalogue of chart hits. But it was the sheer span of his creativity that made him the most important act of the last three decades, in the eyes of pop stars, musicians, critics and leading music industry figures.
The poll was compiled by London magazine Time Out to mark its 30th birthday. Stars such as Boy George, Robbie Williams and Mick Hucknall voted. Time Out critic Garry Mulholland said: "David Bowie irrevocably altered our culture." The magazine also compiled a list of the favourite programmes of the stars. Fawlty Towers topped the table for television shows, followed by The Simpsons and I'm Alan Partridge. The Godfather movies, parts I and II were the biggest hits in the film world with Chinatown and Raging Bull coming in just behind.
MUSICIANS' TOP TEN
1. David Bowie2. The Beatles3. Bob Marley4. James Brown5. Marvin Gaye6. Jimi Hendrix7. Stevie Wonder8. Kraftwerk9. Iggy Pop10. Bob Dylan