LONDON - It took years of hard work for David Jones to become David Bowie. The aspiring artist was a teen popster, a hippy-ish folkie and a purveyor of novelty records ("The Laughing Gnome," best forgotten), before emerging from his chrysalis to become one of the most unpredictable and influential figures in music.
Here are 10 defining moments from the career of rock's greatest chameleon:
1. "Space Oddity"
Bowie first displayed his knack for seizing the zeitgeist with this out-of-this-world track released in 1969, the year of the first moon landing. Beautiful and melancholy, it told the story of astronaut Major Tom, adrift in space, lamenting "Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do."
Real-life astronauts embraced the song, with Cmdr. Chris Hadfield memorably performing it aboard the International Space Station in 2013.