David Bowie died on Sunday, aged 69, following an 18-month battle with cancer.
He was born David Robert Jones in Brixton on January 8, 1947, to Margaret "Peggy", a waitress, and charity worker Haywood "John" Jones.
He graduated from Bromley Technical High School at 16 and became involved in several bands, changing his name to David Bowie in 1966.
He released his debut self-titled album in 1967, but did not rise to fame until 1969 with hit single Space Oddity.
His album 1970 album The Man Who Sold The World catapulted him further into the spotlight, but it was not until the release of his 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, that he truly rose to superstardom.
Bowie introduced his Ziggy Stardust persona in the early 1970s, but he would later kill off Stardust at the height of his fame.
At the same time, he was producing albums for Lou Reed and Iggy Pop and writing one of his greatest songs - All The Young Dudes - which he promptly gave away to Mott The Hoople, who had a massive hit with it.
The hits kept coming as he toured and recorded albums including Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs and his tribute to the swinging London scene that inspired him - Pin Ups .
He earned his first US number one when his collaboration with John Lennon on Fame topped the charts in 1975.
Bowie played on his alien alter-ego with a successful move into acting - playing the lead character in the science fiction film The Man Who Fell To Earth, before moving to Berlin.
The influence of the then divided city inspired a trio of albums - Low, Heroes and Lodger - which produced hits including Sound And Vision and Boys Keep Swinging and are widely regarded as among his finest work.
Bowie married American-born Angela Barnett in March 1970 and had one son together in May 1971, Duncan Zowie Haywood Bowie, before divorcing in 1980.
The 1980s saw him combine his pop career with appearances in films including Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence and Absolute Beginners.
1988 brought a new venture - and what many fans thought was a new low - when he returned as one quarter of rock band Tin Machine. Their initial success soon faded and by 1993 Bowie was back on his own with the solo album Black Tie White Noise.
He had married supermodel Iman a year earlier and settled in New York but continued to tour and record until 2003 when he released Reality. It was his 23rd - and many assumed last - studio album and was followed by some low-key live appearances, an acting role in the 2006 film The Prestige.
Bowie made a comeback in 2013, releasing chart-topping The Next Day, his first release in 10 years. The album won praise and earned him a place on the Mercury Prize shortlist, although he missed out to James Blake.
His final album, Blackstar, was released on Friday, just two days before his death.