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February 1972: David Bowie Debuts His First Alter-Ego, Ziggy Stardust

by Charlotte Riggs When we think of music icons who have shaped the modern music scene, David Bowie will likely be one name that immediately comes to mind. There is little disagreement that his work had a massive influence on the music industry as we know it. Much of his success began during the glam-rock of the early 1970's and continued well into the last decade. Having sold over 100 million records worldwide during his life, Rolling Stone magazine once declared him to be the "greatest rock star ever." On February 10, 1972, concert fans were shocked to be greeted not by Bowie but rather by his earliest and most flamboyant alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust! His bold appearance, coupled with his mission to “save the earth from an impending and deadly apocalypse,” has gone down as one of the most memorable performers to this day.

Ziggy's debut appearance took place in Tolworth, England, during a small performance at a local bar, the Toby Jug Pub. Four months later, Bowie released the studio album, "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars". This 11-song production propelled him to rock stardom, cemented him as one of the greatest personas in the music world, and would serve to inspire musicians for generations to come. Though the Toby Jug Pub is no longer standing, memories from that game-changing night still live on for many. While Ziggy Stardust was only one of Bowie’s numerous personas throughout his career, he was definitely one of the most beloved.

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