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Professor Hillegonda Rietveld comments on the loss of David Bowie

London South Bank University's academic specialist in electronic dance music cultures mourns the loss of a music legend and modern icon
11 January 2016

Prof. Hillegonda Rietveld, Professor in the School of Arts and Creative Industries, has offered a tribute following the death of David Bowie on 11 January 2016, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

Prof. Rietveld commented:

"The work of David Bowie has touched so many, in various ways. South London born and bred, he resonated strongly with his era, being at his most successful when he was doing what he felt was right. He embraced exciting performers of his time and repeatedly pushed for unexpected musical directions, while his stage persona bravely broke traditional gender codes.

"He was a great artist, a professional to the end of his days; even making his passing an art form with his wistful final album, Blackstar, released just a few days before his death. In the video for the song 'Lazarus' we see Bowie on a hospital bed, seemingly high on pain killers, and writing frantically as his mortal time runs out. In the video for the title track 'Blackstar' we see the skull of Major Tom ritually returned. In every sense of the word, he was, and still is, a Starman: ashes to ashes, stardust to stardust."

Prof. Hillegonda Rietveld joined London South Bank University in 1997. She is currently a Professor in the School of Arts and Creative Industries. Her publication work is in the field of electronic dance music cultures.