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David Bowie was cool. Not just your regular, run of the mill brand of rockstar cool, either – when it came to being cool Bowie was next level, the sort of cool that comes with being 100% at home in your skin and knowing that there isn’t a single, solitary thing anyone could say or do to ever take that away from you. It wasn’t a surprise, then, that for his 50th birthday Bowie marked the occasion with a 50th birthday concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden, opting for something far more glamourous than your regular, run of the mill balloons and streamers.
Marketed as David Bowie and Friends: A Very Special Birthday Concert, Bowie’s birthday bash wasn’t just a celebration of his 50 trips around the sun, it was a Pay-Per-View celebration of his entire career that saw everyone from The Pixies and The Cure to The Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, and the Foo Fighters come out to share a song and a memory from Bowie’s prolific career, as well as marking the upcoming release of the legend’s 20th album Earthling.
The crowning moment and possibly Bowie’s favorite moment from the night came when The Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed made an appearance, joining Bowie for a performance of “Queen Bitch” and a trio of Reed’s own classics, “I’m Waiting for the Man,” “Dirty Boulevard” and “White Light/White Heat.”
Bowie would have turned 72 years old today, and while his partying definitely slowed down in later years there’s no denying that reaching such a major milestone in his life would have warranted yet another celebration fit for a king (or in his case, a duke). It’s okay, though – today, we’ll blast “Queen Bitch” again and celebrate 72 years of the man who fell to earth and envy the colossal birthday party he’s probably having in the afterlife.
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