Music

Music (and style) icons that made history

09.03.2018

When these music icons were still icons in the making, their visionary approach was what made them conquer the charts all over the world, staying at the top of their game for decades: but what is it that made these music icons concrete symbol of music and style? If we had the answer to that, we’d be one too. We don’t have the answer, but we can take you down memory lane to look into some of the best moments and talents in music history.

 

What made Elvis, Bowie, John Lennon and other music icons become music icons?

 

Photo of Elvis Presley

Elvis

Elvis and Bowie share more than the day of birth, January the 8th: Bowie had been deeply inspired by the King, one of the most influential music icons of the 20th century. Rockabilly, country and rhythm and blues are the distinctive sounds Elvis started being a pioneer of back in the 1950s: all new material for Memphis, where he spent his teenage life, but to the world too, that was yet to discover one of the greatest inventions of all times. Rock and Roll. Upbeat, controversial in any possible way for his African American music contamination: controversial in any possible way for the sexual vibe going on in his style of performance. He was a sex symbol too, from ‘Love Me Tender’ to ‘Stuck on You’ and many others Elvis songs that made number one singles, The King of Rock has left a legacy able to influence music and society too.

David Bowie

With more than 140 million albums sold worldwide, with David Bowie we understand how music abolishes all rules dictated by the market, the current, the moment: David Bowie is a music icon as he could actually change the rules of music with his image, his effortless class and his iconic androgynous flamboyance.

A fruit of the glam rock era, the White Duke, a British icon who – fun fact alert – doesn’t drink tea after on a Thames boat trip he was served a cuppa that had been stewing or seven years. A Duke who refused the honorific title of CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) and knighthood and rejected both of them. Five decades of music, 26 albums and several movies, still we can’t really put a name to what David Bowie really is: everything, the greatest and most influential music icons of the 1970s. His eyeshadows and slim silhouettes are the precursor of the ever so trending topic of genderless and unisex, another of his traits fans were left to interpretation.

John Lennon

Founder of one of the most successful music partnership in music history, Liverpool born and bred music enthusiast (he was into Skiffle as a teenager), not only John Lennon represent one of the most recognisable music icons worldwide, but a peace activist too, a troublemaker kid (as he defined and was defined back in his school days in the 1940s). The Quarrymen in 1956 at age 15 turning into The Beatles in 1960 with McCartney and Sutcliffe is a phenomenon on its own, later joined by Best, replaced by Starr.

For our next song, I’d like to ask for your help. For the people in the cheaper seats, clap your hands … and the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your jewellery

At Royal Variety Show

What’s the image you have in mind when John Lennon is mentioned? John Lennon and his glasses are inseparable, as he was actually legally blind without them

John Lennon with red flower

Freddie Mercury

Why is Bohemian Rhapsody been named the best song of all times? It’s rock, sentimental, pop, it uses god knows how many different sounds and most importantly, it speaks to everyone in the world. It express all the talent of who has written its moving lyrics, Freddie Mercury. The Zanzibar born British music icon of one of the greatest – and still going – bands of all times, Queen. He choose the band name, designed the band logo and was able to channel his voice into tenors, basses, soprano highs and maybe even pitches he and only he will ever be able to make in nature. Theatrical, flamboyant a charmer of a performer: all you need to know to understand why Freddie Mercury is and will always be the artist that through eras and time will always be able to send shivers down your back. Watch this clip from the London Olympic Games opening ceremony to get that feeling right now.

Bob Dylan

Defying pop music conventions, exploring different styles of American music history amongst folk, blues, gospel, rock and rockabilly, Bob Dylan is one of the greatest living music icons of all times. Not only that, he is a Nobel laureate too, after accepting the 2016 Nobel literature Prize. Known as Robert Allen Zimmerman, a boy from Minnesota, an initial folk singer for the band Dinkytown. Now legend, actually it hasn’t happened now. It happened with Blowin’ in the Wind and some of the most influential albums of the 60s, Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde.