On Jan. 11, 2016, Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger made a statement on Twitter following the death of his longtime friend David Bowie. According to the Associated Press, Bowie died of cancer on Jan. 10, 2016. He was 69. Jagger commented on Twitter: “David was always an inspiration to me and a true original. He was wonderfully shameless in his work. We had so many good times together. He was my friend, I will never forget him.” In addition to influencing countless people and being icons in pop culture, Bowie and Jagger had many things in common, including owning homes in New York City, London and Mustique.
Bowie (whose real name was David Jones) and Jagger became friends in the early 1970s, when Bowie first rose to fame. Early in Bowie’s career, he was often compared to Jagger because of their androgynous sexuality, frequent image transformations, and on-stage charisma. For decades, there have been stories and speculation that Jagger and Bowie were also lovers in the 1970s. It’s a rumor that was reignited in 1990, when Bowie’s first wife, Angela Bowie, went on Joan Rivers’ talk show and claimed that she once caught Bowie and Jagger naked and asleep in bed together. She said that she wasn’t surprised to see the two of them naked together, and her reaction was to make a cup of tea. Jagger long ago denied that story as “total rubbish,” while David Bowie never really confirmed or denied the story, which was also repeated in Angela Bowie’s memoirs and in other interviews she’s given over the years.
According to photographer Ken Regan in his 2011 book “All Access: The Rock’n’Roll Photography of Ken Regan,” when Jagger contemplated quitting the music business and wanted to revive his acting career in movies in the early 1980s, Jagger told Regan that he wanted to do a remake of “Some Like It Hot,” the 1959 comedy classic that starred Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe. Jagger envisioned himself, David Bowie and Madonna as having the starring roles in the “Some Like It Hot” remake.
That “Some Like It Hot” movie remake never happened, but Jagger and Bowie’s most notable collaboration was their 1985 duet cover version of Martha and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street,” which reached No. 1 in the U.K. and was a Top 10 hit in several other countries. Jagger and Bowie’s music video for the song debuted during the historic Live Aid televised concert. Bowie and Jagger performed this duet live in public for the first time at the Prince’s Trust Concert in London in 1986.
Bowie, whose last tour ended in 2004, had been seriously ill for the past several years but kept his health condition relatively private, according to the Associated Press. His last studio album, Blackstar, was released on Jan. 8, 2016, his 69th birthday. Bowie is survived by his second wife, Iman, whom he married in 1992; his son, Duncan (born in 1971, from his first marriage); and his daughter, Alexandria, also known as Lexi (born in 2000, from his marriage to Iman).