Bowie: greatest entertainer of the 20th century in BBC poll

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Following the death of David Bowie, we look at the most downloaded tracks of his impressive career.

David Bowie has been named a greater entertainer than Charlie Chaplin in a vote by members of the British public.

The late singer-songwriter was chosen as the greatest entertainer in a poll conducted by BBC Two for their historical series Icons, also competing against Marilyn Monroe and Billie Holiday in the category.

The ‘Life On Mars’ singer, who died in January 2016, will now compete against the likes of Nelson Mandela and Ernest Shackleton in an additional poll to be named the greatest icon of the 20th century overall.

Actress Kathleen Turner submitted Bowie, Chaplin, Monroe and Holiday as the nominees in the entertainer category, making an impassioned case for each of them to win the accolade.

Turner said: “David Bowie raised the creative bar for all entertainers and that is why he truly deserves to be crowned the ultimate icon of the 20th century by the British public.”

Bowie is often considered one of the most influential and revered musicians of all time.

It’s perhaps no surprise that Life On Mars is Bowie’s most downloaded song in the UK. Originally featuring on 1971 album Hunky Dory, it wasn’t until Bowie found success with his Ziggy Stardust album that Life On Mars got some recognition. It finally became a single in 1973 and reached Number 3. (Source Official Charts)

Life On Mars found new fans when it was featured in a BBC drama of the same name. The show’s follow-up, Ashes To Ashes, was also named after a Bowie hit (Number 9 on this countdown).

TRACK PEAK POSITION YEAR
1 LIFE ON MARS 3 1973
2 UNDER PRESSURE (WITH QUEEN) 1 1981
3 HEROES 24 1977
4 LET’S DANCE 1 1983
5 SPACE ODDITY 1 1969/1975
6 STARMAN 10 1972
7 CHANGES N/A 1972
8 ASHES TO ASHES 1 1980
9 WHERE ARE WE NOW 6 2013
10 REBEL REBEL 5 1974
11 PEACE ON EARTH/LITTLE DRUMMER BOY 3 1982
12 MODERN LOVE 2 1983
13 CHINA GIRL 2 1983
14 THE JEAN GENIE 2 1972
15 SOUND AND VISION 3 1977
16 ZIGGY STARDUST N/A 1972
17 ALL THE YOUNG DUDES N/A 1995
18 DANCING IN THE STREET (WITH MICK JAGGER) 1 1985
19 MAGIC DANCE E.P. N/A 1986
20 ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS 2 1986
21 THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD 39* 1971
22 GOLDEN YEARS 8 1975
23 YOUNG AMERICANS 18 1975
24 OH YOU PRETTY THINGS N/A 1971
25 QUEEN BITCH N/A 1971
26 SUFFRAGETTE CITY N/A 1972
27 FASHION 5 1980
28 SORROW 3 1973
29 THE LAUGHING GNOME 6 1973
30 CAT PEOPLE (PUTTING OUT FIRE) 26 1982
31 FAME ’90 E.P. 28 1990
32 AS THE WORLD FALLS DOWN N/A 1986
33 LIVE EP (WITH ARCADE FIRE) N/A 2005
34 JOHN I’M ONLY DANCING 12 1972
35 MOONAGE DAYDREAM N/A 1972
36 WILD IS THE WIND 24 1981
37 ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SUICIDE 22 1974
38 FIVE YEARS N/A 1972
39 KOOKS N/A 1971
40 DRIVE IN SATURDAY 3 1973

 

The music world was in mourning on January 11, 2016 following the announcement of the death of rock legend David Bowie.

From his humble beginnings as David Jones in Brixton, south London, to worldwide megastardom, David Bowie was never far from the charts.

In recognition of his hugely successful career, spanning six decades, we count down David Bowie’s Digital Top 40, the most downloaded songs from his impressive chart history.

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1 Comment

  1. Bowie was a real timeserver musician.
    He never stood still, he changed his style so many times and went through many rock genres.

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