As a 16 year old, David Bowie is someone who has taught young people (including myself) not to follow the crowd and to simply live your life as you want to. Don't have any boundaries or barriers. Don't let other people judge you or let them tell you how you should live your life.
Bowie was also a public relations genius. He played the media as well as he played his music. As a long-time fan, I find it hard to think of an artist who has used the media more consciously than Bowie.
The most dignified death in the history of rock n roll saw Bowie turn his passing into a work of art. His final album dealt with the last taboo - the mystery of death with a poetic and artful brilliance and could arguably be his ultimate statement as he left the ultimate stage.
BBC1 showed a tribute to his life and cut live to a vibrant Brixton crowd paying homage to his life. I simply had to be there and jumped on the next train to South London. Hundreds had turned up, singing songs, waving placards or simply gazing across this unplanned celebration of his life.
I've got my Bowie Tshirt on, and listening to Shaun Keaveny on BBC radio 6 dealing with this thunderbolt this morning, so beautifully, has, I'm not ashamed to admit, made me cry. Because like so many of us, I've lost someone I grew up with.
Forty years ago this week on 3 July 1973 those attending a concert at the Hammersmith Odeon reeled in shock by an announcement of the lead singer of a band which had reached a peak of success at the time.