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The Iconic David Bowie Performance You Need To Watch If You're Not Sure Why He Was Such A Legend

It’s an incredibly sad day for music fans: David Bowie has died from cancer at age 69 on Sunday. The news comes as a huge shock to many, and it seems like everyone's Twitter and Facebook feeds are full of well-deserved tributes to Bowie. Sites like Pitchfork are sharing Bowie’s most iconic performances, and countless other news outlets are discussing highlights from his eclectic, decades-spanning career in which he appeared to seamlessly blur the lines between rock, pop, soul and electronica (not to mention his other significant seamless blurring: of notions of gender and sexuality and performance). But that’s not to say that everyone is a Bowie fan: according to the Independent, Twitter is also full of people who don’t actually know who David Bowie is (gah!). But clueless Twitter users and hardcore Bowie fans alike will hopefully both benefit from watching one of Bowie’s most notable television performances, “Starman” on Top Of The Pops in 1972.

This clip is early '70s, Ziggy Stardust perfection, and was, according to Rolling Stone, not only the first time most of England had been properly introduced to Bowie as someone other than just the guy behind the one-off hit “Space Oddity” three years prior, but it was also the first time that they’d been introduced to, well, anything even sort of close to what Bowie represented.

Bowie fans may not all be in agreement about his most significant performances (there are so many different Bowie incarnations that it’s almost impossible to choose), but there’s no doubt that to many, David Bowie is Starman:

And in case that wasn’t enough of a dagger to everyone's Bowie-loving hearts, Buzzfeed has posted an incredible clip of “Starman” featuring David Bowie’s isolated vocals. I’m not crying, you’re crying!

The music legend used to say that he wasn't satisfied with being merely human — that he wanted to be superhuman, and it's pretty damn clear from fan reactions and musician's tributes that he definitely was.

Image: AFP/Getty Images