In Depth

Let's Dance: Remembering David Bowie

This Sunday, friends, fans and collaborators will come together to celebrate what would have been the late singer's 70th birthday

The death of David Bowie last January sent shockwaves across the world. His passing was completely unexpected - he was, as always, at the top of his game, having two days earlier released Blackstar, a surprise new album coinciding with his 69th birthday.

His swansong was littered with hidden messages and themes of mortality and letting go -typical of Bowie to be so ingenious, so in control. His bittersweet parting gift epitomised the singer as a creative tour de force who retained the ability to surprise and inspire right up to the very end.

It is fitting that Bowie's music forms the backbone of a number of special events taking place this Sunday, the day that would have been his 70th birthday. His friend Gary Oldman, who led the emotional tributes at last year's Brit Awards, has organised a concert to be held at the O2 Academy Brixton, Bowie's home suburb.

Celebrating David Bowie unites the Starman's friends, collaborators and former band members in a one-off gig, with proceeds going to Children & the Arts, which organises creative projects to help disadvantaged young people across the UK.

The Victoria and Albert Museum is taking a more hands-on approach with a full day of musical workshops. This includes informal singing sessions of Heroes and Life on Mars, led by choirmaster Sam Coates, and the chance to learn iconic guitar riffs from some of Bowie's best-loved songs.

Entitled Celebrating Bowie at 70, the day will also see talks from writer Nicholas Pegg, author of the critically acclaimed "reference" book The Complete David Bowie, and the New York Times's theatre critic Matt Wolf, who will be discussing the musical Lazarus, which is based on both Bowie's music and his memorable role in the cult sci-fi film The Man Who Fell to Earth. The day will finish with a screening of David Bowie is Happening Now, a documentary about the museum's sell-out 2013 exhibition on the life and enduring influence of the late, great musician.

Tickets for Celebrating David Bowie are sold out. Tickets and information on Celebrating David Bowie at 70 can be found at vam.ac.uk

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