News / Features

Remembering David Bowie As A Major K-Pop Influencer

By Staff Writer | January 11, 2016 11:17 AM EST


Every few years, the world is graced with an outstanding artist who changes the face of music forever. Yesterday, David Bowie lost his fight against liver cancer, just two days after releasing his latest album "Blackstar."

While it's near impossible to put into words David Bowie's influence on the larger world of pop culture and modern day music, his artistry's affect on K-pop is near tangible.

No other international artist has single handedly impacted K-pop as much as Bowie has, in a way that is perhaps not so obvious to many K-pop fans.

Musically, Bowie was the experimental art rock artist that the world needed in the '60s and '70s, resulting in some of the most iconic hits like "Starman," "Space Oddity, "Heroes," and many others. His ever-changing style, exploring glam rock to pop to electronic to just about any and anything under the sky, is one that we see in K-pop today, with artists consistently reinventing their concepts and musical styles.

More so than anything else, Bowie's androgynous image, influence as a fashion icon, and stage persona of Ziggy Stardust has influenced K-pop.

Androgyny is as popular in K-pop today as ever, with members of boy bands like Seventeen and NU'EST who are just as pretty as the top girl group members of the day. Similarly, it is expected that K-pop stars are flamboyant, have a distinct stage identity. Some idol groups, like B.A.P and EXO, take direct inspiration from Ziggy Stardust's backstory of aliens coming from space with a message for the world.

If Bowie was the embodiment of a musical chameleon, K-pop as a genre has picked up on that legacy.

And, perhaps more than all the combined elements of K-pop that can be related back to Bowie, is G-Dragon. The Big Bang member, who is essentially the crown prince of K-pop, has Bowie written all over him.

With artistic fluidity, androgyny, and the same sort of star power, G-Dragon is K-pop's answer to David Bowie. His "Heartbreaker" solo debut music video even featured G-Dragon with a heart and lightning bolt over his eye, a throwback to Ziggy Stardust's iconic lightning bolt makeup.

Bowie is remembered as an extraordinary artist "a true original," according to the Rolling Stone. His legacy will live on forever.

Goodnight, Starman.

Tagged :  David Bowie, K-Pop, G-Dragon


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