Photo of David Bowie by Jimmy King

Today a lot of us either woke up or went to bed—depending on when we found out—with news that one of the most iconic figures in music had passed away, losing a battle to cancer. But, for some of us, we lost more than that. We lost a role model. A friend. A guiding light.

David Bowie was a lot of things; he was a rock n roll chameleon, a gender bender, a musician, a fashion muse, and he was also hope. He was hope for those of us who didn’t quite fit in with the status quo. Who felt, or rather knew, that we were different but maybe weren’t sure how to accept or embrace that.

He showed us the light and the stars. He showed us that you should embrace your weirdness in whatever form that was. That you could be strange and different and still be successful. He showed us that gender and sexuality was fluid, that style was in the eye of the beholder, and that music could take influences from a variety of places and still be concise, meaningful and fucking beautiful.

For me, he was that stepping-stone to punk rock, the music that changed my life. The first step in realizing I was a weirdo and should embrace that. That it was OK to not fit in.

So today, don’t mourn Starman’s passing, but celebrate all that he has left us. Blast his music. Read his quotes. Watch his music videos and films. Commemorate his beautiful life and all the art that he created.

“Make the best of every moment. We’re not evolving. We’re not going anywhere.” – David Bowie

Jonathan Graynor is the Founder/President of Black Dots Music Group (Manager for EVVY & Coastgaard), Marketing Director for ConcertPass and one of the Founders of ALL MY FRIENDS.