Rock musician David Bowie shown in 1987.
By all accounts, David Bowie was a strange and enigmatic character.
He first hit it big at the end of the 1960s, but later branched out from music to movies, starring films like “Labyrinth” and “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”
That’s all common knowledge, though; here are some facts and myths that not everyone will remember:
1. Bowie was born on Jan. 8, so he shared a birthday with Elvis Presley — who was 12 years his senior — as well as Kim Jong-Un and Stephen Hawking.
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2. Bowie’s real name was David Robert Jones — but he changed it so as not to be confused with The Monkees singer, Davy Jones.
3. In 1964 — when the rocker-to-be was 17 — he was interviewed on BBC for his role as founder of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men.
4. After struggling to find success in the 1960s, Bowie’s first break-through hit was 1969’s “Space Oddity.” The BBC used it in its coverage of the moon landing that same year.
5. With the help of some drugs, Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” was the inspiration for that first hit.
“I went stoned out of my mind to see the movie and it really freaked me out, especially the trip passage,” Bowie said, according to The Daily Beast.
6. “All the Young Dudes” — a song originally recorded by Mott the Hoople — was actually penned by Bowie.
Released in 1972, the song charted in the U.K.
David Bowie did not actually have eyes of different colors, but because of a pupil dilation problem with his left eye, some thought he did.
7. The “Man Who Sold the World” singer mailed a pig fetus to a Rolling Stone writer, according to The Telegraph.
In the 1990s, David Wild was writing about the eccentric songman and, afterward, he called from Asia to tell Wild, “I just got you the perfect gift.”
It was a pig fetus in a glass jar.
However, the goodwill gift didn’t arrive as planned because — fortunately for Wild — border police intervened.
8. Bowie’s brother Terry comitted suicide in 1985, which was the inspiration for the song “Jump They Say.”
9. The singer and actor had a major health scare in 2004 when he had a heart attack onstage, during a show in Germany. He made a full recovery.
10. The “Let’s Dance” singer did not really invent the game, Connect Four.
Thanks to a British radio man, it became a frequently circulated urban legend — but the came was actually invented by a Hasbro employee, according to NPR.
11. Bowie did not actually different colored eyes. In fact, his eyes just looked different because he suffered from anisocoria, according to The Independent.
Aniscoria is a condition where a person’s pupils are different sizes, and in Bowie’s case his left eye was permanently dilated, so it often appeared darker.
12. The Queen offered Bowie a knighthood, twice — and he refused both times.
“I seriously don’t know what it’s for,” he said, according to The Independent.