David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie, was an English singer, songwriter and actor who is often considered to be one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He was a leading figure in popular music and was acclaimed by critics and fellow musicians for his innovative work, particularly for his work during the 1970s. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, with his music and stagecraft significantly influencing popular music. During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at 140 million albums worldwide, made him one of the world's best-selling music artists. In the UK, he was awarded ten platinum album certifications, eleven gold and eight silver, releasing eleven number-one albums. In the US, he received five platinum and nine gold certifications. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
Born in Brixton, South London, Bowie developed an interest in music as a child, eventually studying art, music, and design before embarking on a professional career as a musician in 1963. "Space Oddity" became his first top-five entry on the UK Singles Chart after its release in July 1969.