By now, the tributes to the late, great, David Bowie have been shared across seemingly every platform - illustrating not only how much impact he had on the lives of millions, but also how his four decades of relevance bridged the gaps between generations.

Of his many achievements, Bowie may be best remembered for his Ziggy Stardust character which completely transformed the public's perception of what it meant to not only be a rock star, but thoughts about gender conformity, queer influences, and the absence of machismo in an over-sexualized genre.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was the fifth studio album from Bowie and was released in 1972 when the world was still coping with the impact of the Vietnam War.

The flower children that had enjoyed "free love" during the '60s were growing up and having children of their own which left a void in popular culture for an icon that represented acceptance and outward thinking.

Whether Ziggy Stardust was the byproduct of Bowie's realization of this fact, or some type of real cosmic intervention, the world hasn't been the same ever since.

"We were creating the 21st century in 1971," Bowie told Fresh Air's Terry Gross in 2002.

When asked about the creation of the titular glam-rocker who favored sensibilities more akin to Kabuki theater than the jeans and T-shirts the world had become accustomed to when it came to rock stars, Bowie said, "I guess the simple one-liner is that myself and my mates and, I guess, a certain contingent of the musicians in London at the beginning of the '70s were fed up with denim and the hippies, and I think we kind of wanted to go somewhere else. And some of us, I think, us more pompous arty ones, probably read too much George Steiner and kind of got the idea that we were entering this kind of post-culture age, and that we better do something post-modernist quickly before somebody else did."

The character of Ziggy Stardust has been credited to three men who all played a role in impacting David Bowie during his legendary career.

Norman Carl Odam - better known by his stage name "Legendary Stardust Cowboy" - was a Lubbock, Texas musician who favored narratives about outer space and created notable songs like "Paralyzed" which were sonic achievements, albeit viewed in high-esteem for the risky and strange execution as opposed to the actual musicality.

Due in large part to the way his music sounded, Odam is regarded as a pioneer of the the "psychobilly" sound. His song, "I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spaceship," was covered by Bowie on his 2002 album, Heathen. Many suggest the "Stardust" is a direct homage to him.

The Ziggy Stardust visual aesthetic can be credited to Japanese designer, Kansai Yamamoto, a Tokyo-based designer whose outsider perspective and designs fit in perfectly with what David Bowie was trying to achieve with his character.

"I actually had no idea who David Bowie was until I saw him wearing my clothes onstage at Radio City Music Hall in New York City," Yamamoto told VICE. "Yasuko Hayashi, my stylist, was doing work for David Bowie and gave him some of my clothes. This was the first time I had ever met an artist who was wearing my designs. Before then, I didn’t know how immensely talented he was. At the time, David Bowie was all about transcending gender. I didn’t know anything about concepts like that, so I remember thinking 'whoa' when I saw him wearing clothes I had designed for women. The clothes were influenced by hikinuki, the method of changing costumes quickly in kabuki."

Although Odam and Yamamoto were both undoubtedly vital influences in the creation of the Ziggy Stardust character, Bowie has gone on record and points to one specific individual that really married the music with the sartorial theatrics: Vince Taylor.

Vince Taylor was born Brian Maurice Holden, and adopted the stage name "Vince Taylor" when he fronted a band called The Playboys in the '50s and '60s - earning acclaim mostly from European audiences after spending his formative years in the States being influenced by the likes of Elvis Presley. Most notably, they recorded a single called "Brand New Cadillac" which was later covered later by The Clash.

After a string of releases, Taylor and The Playboys disbanded and the aforementioned frontman descended into a world of substance abuse and conspiracy theories before dying at 52 years old while earning a living as a Swiss factory worker.

"I met him a few times in the mid-Sixties, and I went to a few parties with him," Bowie recalled to The Independent in 1996. "He was out of his gourd. Totally flipped. The guy was not playing with a full deck at all. He used to carry maps of Europe around with him, and I remember him opening a map outside Charing Cross tube station, putting it on the pavement and kneeling down with a magnifying glass. He pointed out all the sites where UFOs were going to land."

David Bowie recalled a single show in France that solidified that Vince Taylor had lost his grip on reality.

"He came out on stage in white robes and said he was Jesus Christ," Bowie said. "It was the end of Vince - his career and everything else."

According to The Guardian, "Taylor, in the depths of drug-induced paranoia and oddness, fed into Bowie's creative process."

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