David Bowie (pronounced /ˈboʊ.iː/; born David Robert Hayward-Jones on 8 January 1947; died 10 January 2016) was a bisexual English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. Active in five decades of popular music and frequently reinventing his music and mage, Bowie was widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. He has been cited as an influence by many musicians and was known for his voice and the intellectual depth of his work.
Bowie outed himself in an interview with Melody Maker in January 1972, a move coinciding with the first shots in his campaign for stardom as Ziggy Stardust. In a 1976 interview with Playboy, Bowie said: "It's true — I am a bisexual. But I can't deny that I've used that fact very well. I suppose it's the best thing that ever happened to me." He distanced himself from that in a 1983 interview with Rolling Stone, saying his earlier declaration of bisexuality was "the biggest mistake I ever made".
In 1993, he made the claim that he had always been a "closet heterosexual", and that his interest in homosexual and bisexual culture was more a product of the times and situation than his own feelings. Bowie stated, "It wasn't something I was comfortable with at all."
Bowie expressed a different view in a 2002 interview with Blender; where he was posed with this question: "You once said that saying you were bisexual was 'the biggest mistake I ever made'. Do you still believe that?" His response:
"Interesting. [Long pause] I don’t think it was a mistake in Europe, but it was a lot tougher in America. I had no problem with people knowing I was bisexual. But I had no inclination to hold any banners or be a representative of any group of people. I knew what I wanted to be, which was a songwriter and a performer, and I felt that [bisexuality] became my headline over here for so long. America is a very puritanical place, and I think it stood in the way of so much I wanted to do."