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This is BBC World News Today with me Karin Giannone.
Our top story: tributes for one of the most influential artists
David Bowie - icon and innovator - dies of cancer, at the of 69.
In a career which spanned 6 decades, he kept re-shaping his music
An aid convoy enters the besieged Syrian town of Madaya where forty
thousand people were facing starvation.
Also coming up, a legal first in Spain, as Princess Cristina
The death of David Bowie has come as a shock to all but those
For 18 months he was struggling with cancer.
His death brings to an end the life of one of the most inspirational
music performers of the last 50 years.
He didn't tend to describe himself as a musician -
As he proved through video, film, fashion and of course, his songs.
In the first of our reports tonight our Arts Editor Will Gompertz looks
Here is a special man. Screwed up eyes, and screwed down her style.
David Bowie, 1972, and his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust.
I am only using rock 'n' roll as a medium. I don't think it had been
voiced before. I wanted to be the instigator of new ideas. Turn people
on to new things, new perspectives, to be a catalyst.
Born David Jones and brought up in the suburban London, he restyled
himself and in 1969% at his strange world of alienation and ambiguity.
The older generation will be amused. And rock fans dismissive. But
teenagers in bedrooms were transfixed. At last, somebody who
understood them. He would try things. People laughed
about his cross dressing, but he wanted to know what it was like. I
had so much admiration for him. And he had that very clever thing of
creating a persona on stage, it was fantastic, because when he had had
enough of that person he could bring another one on board.
He made plain his artistic modus operandi in 1971, with Changes.
It is like looking at an actor's films and taking clippings and
saying, here he is. That is different from most rock
stars. I am not a rock star. I am not in
rock and roll. A performance artist, he became
transfixed with the idea of creating character actor character. Ziggy
Stardust, becoming the Thin White Duke. A number one in America
followed, and transatlantic success for a bizarre British export.
You get the strangest reactions. Some people said I would be scared
sitting talking to you, that you would bite my neck, a very peculiar
thing. It is what you want I suppose. And
what do I see my? A working actor.
That's right, and it is very good. Nothing will prepare you for the
impact of his first, to performance in the man who fell to Earth...
He was an actor who started out as a mime artist. In 1976 he took the
starring role in an arthouse film. He moved to Berlin and made a
trilogy of critically acclaimed albums with Brian Eno.
# Ashes to ashes... He was often at the forefront of
change, from raising gender issues, to the video age. A new decade, and
a new romantic look. Let's Dance, a massive international success, but
he was not happy. Artistically, it was my lowest
point. Over the past decade he retreated
from public life but continued to make records and pursued creative
collaborations. He released his final album, Blackstar, last week,
on his 69th birthday. Innovative, surprising, and, in anticipating his
own death, visionary. He was a truly great artist, to the very end.
David Bowie was born in Brixton, south London and today fans have
been leaving flowers and lighting candles next to a mural
Whether it's New York, where Bowie lived or Berlin,
where he wrote some of his most famous tracks, people have been
talking about how he influenced their lives.
Our Arts Correspondent David Sillito has been listening to reaction
# To the girl with the mousey hair... I just loved his music. I
loved him. He was more than an artist. He
superseded that. He was a real person, creative. Brixton, his
birthplace, Berlin, his creative escape. And this, the place made
famous by a legendary album cover. This is the spot, isn't it? You can
still see the gaslamp. And for most of us, this is as close as you ever
really got to David Bowie. But for his fans, these images, the words,
to be played at maximum volume, he was like an alien that arrived in
strange clothes, was an even stranger sexuality. And what he did
was sort of give people a mission to live life differently.
He probably saved my life. Just through his lyrics and songs and
attitude. I was a troubled teenager. I actually appear on this record. He
has been part of my life since meeting him in 1967. So it feels as
if a major been -- meeting him in 1967. So it feels as
knocked away. Among the tributes, Paul McCartney, and the man who
helped create some of his Paul McCartney, and the man who
mind you now, he said, I Paul McCartney, and the man who
note seven days ago, it said, thank you for the good times, Brian. I
realise now, he was saying goodbye. Our North America correspondent
is live in New York David Bowie How people took the news?
It was as the Golden globes were winding down and the after parties
getting under way. Then they heard about the death of David Bowie,
Ricky Gervais was amongst the first to say that he lost a hero. One of
the DJs responded by simply playing back-to-back David Bowie music.
Celebrities were sharing their forts all night. And fans responded
spontaneously, in some cases by heading to Hollywood love --
boulevard, which has become a makeshift memorial, taking flowers,
lighting candles, leaving, in one case, a little pink alien toy. Lots
of glitter is scattered around the ground, there are even a couple of
miniature whiskey bottles and some lighters. Celebrities have been
saying things like... Well, the music industry responding. One of
the great producers of today said that he was a great innovator, truly
creative. Kanye West, David Bowie was one of my inspirations, he gave
us magic for a lifetime, and Cher, briefly, saying she was devastated,
she had a little symbol of a broken heart and said, the legend is gone.
We can see on the screen those tributes being laid. Peter, thank
you very much. Bowie spent a number of years
in the '70s living in Berlin - he also created a number
of albums while he was there. Today, the German foreign ministry
credited Bowie with helping to bring Our correspondent Damien
McGuinness is there now. The reason that was said is because
the anthem of Berlin, effectively, as the song, Heroes, he wrote it in
a studio right beside the Berlin Wall, it is the story of a couple
who are beside the wall, he played in that song ten years later in
1987, when Berlin was still divided, to a concert of 70,000 West Germans,
right by the wall. On the other side, hundreds of east Germans
gathered together, shouting, tear down this wall. Within two years, as
we know, the wall had come down, and Germany was reunified. So the song
became the anthem of the city. Behind me you can see hundreds of
locals gathering in front of the flat where he once lived. He shared
the flat with Iggy pop, just imagine that flat share. For him, Berlin was
creatively very important. It was a transition period from Glam rock,
make-up, wigs, to something more serious, and for critics, more
musically credible. As you quite rightly said, it was here in Berlin
that he wrote and produced his three, probably, most respected
albums. The Berlin Trilogy. That is why he is so close to the hearts of
many here. One woman I spoke to said she was devastated and said that
David Bowie is Berlin. And I suppose, like all the places
this news has been received, the shock. Nobody knew was coming.
That is right. I spoke to loads of people this morning just outside the
flat who said they had no idea, they were really tearful. People who had
grown up with his songs. Younger people who felt inspired. Because
this is not just a retro- style just thing. You have so many young,
creative musicians who come to Berlin today still thinking about
David Bowie, he has this magical attraction towards Berlin, and
there's this myth around the city as a creative, decadent place, he was
very much a part of that and is still a part of what rings young
creatives to Berlin, especially musicians.
Thank you very much. One of the most famous
tributes to David Bowie - when he was still alive -
came nearly three years ago from the International Space
Station, from Commander Chris Hadfield, with his own version
of Bowie's "A Space Oddity." I got the reaction of Commander
Hadfield to the death of Bowie. I was so sad this morning to wake up
to that being the first piece of news I read when I looked at what
has happened overnight. To have celebrated his creativity, his whole
life, a sickly, the whole span of my adult life I was listening to his
music, so it is an irretrievable loss. I'm just delighted that I got
to be a little part of everything he has done.
You said that many people were moved by the words, goodbye, Starman. How
did he inspire you? He recently had a travelling exhibit
that all the way around the world. I am from Toronto. He was in Toronto.
I had always had an inkling of his creativity and originality, but it
was only when I walked through that exhibit, right from when he was a
young teenager, right through his whole life, the fearlessness of his
creativity, the relentless desire to create and to invent and to
reanalyse things were in evidence right up until this last couple of
weeks with the release of his last album. And just coincidently, over
the holidays, I watched Lazarus, a song from the album, he knew he was
dying, yet it is poignant, artistic, creative, original, and
awe-inspiring. So I had great respect for him. And all the things
that he did. The more you turn over the more usage is how deep a person
he was. Then came this incredible fusion of
Space Oddity and your real experience on the space station. Why
did you make the video? Usually I would not have but with
social media there was a clamour all around the world from people who
heard that there was a musician recording in the space station, to
make a version of that song. It is true it audacious, really, he is
such an original force, to cover that... But I thought, well, I am
here, this is unusual, it is new, I will just do a vocal cover. But
before we walked on the moon he wrote Space Oddity, 1968. When I
sang it and listen to my voice, it surprised me. Like somehow he had
wrecked most what it was going to be like. -- he had a recognised. It was
almost transcendent, I could feel what he had been thinking when I
sang it in that race. That really brought home the event, I thought I
would do my best to make a video of it. The response from around the
world was amazing. medical supplies and blankets has
arrived in the besieged Syrian town An international aid convoy carrying
desperately-needed food, medical supplies and blankets has
arrived in the besieged Syrian town Food distribution will continue
throughout the night. 40,000 people there have endured
a blockade by pro-government forces Aid is also being delivered
to the villages of Foah and Kefraya - where 20,000 people have been
trapped since March. Here's our chief international
correspondent, Lyse Doucet. Aid finally arrived in Madaya, with
thousands at the barrier of the entrance to this rebel held town.
And this is why. Look at what we are eating, this woman cries will stop
the cry for help was filmed by activists. We cannot verify it. At
the UN says there are credible reports of people starving to death.
Food, blankets, medicine, being unloaded in warehouses tonight. The
same ocean is now under way in northern Syria. In two villages and
the government control. That was the deal. In this conflict food is being
used by all sides as a weapon of war, civilians paid a heavy price.
Images said to be of Madaya's emaciated children raised alarm in
many capitals last week. This is now the face of Syrian suffering. The
aid will help ease the crisis but it is not enough.
We know there are 40,000 people around the city urgently needing
food assistance. We are taking in supplies that should last a month
but what we really need is access to guarantee this situation does not
happen again. The glories will keep moving if
there are no more delays but missions like this are urgently
needed across Serie A -- the lorries. For the half million live
in desperate conditions currently getting no aid at all.
News that is just in, Leo Messi as one world Player of the Year. -- has
won. He finished ahead of Ronaldo and the Brazilian star Neymar, who
also plays for Barcelona. The interior minister
of the North Rhine-Westphalia state in Germany, Ralf Jaeger,
said that recent arrivals in Germany were among the suspects
in the New Year's Eve attacks by the cathedral and railway
station in central Cologne. Police in Cologne say they believe
further attacks which happened on Sunday, this time on six
Pakistani men and a Syrian, may have been co-ordinated
in advance on social media. I am joined by the chairwoman of an
organisation countering far right extremism, I asked her what some of
the repercussions of the attacks have nine for refugees.
We had to deal with a problem that we have with those immigrants and
the projection of the Society of the Germans, German society, or to
refugees and immigrants in general. So we have to deal with the problem
but we are not allowed to generalise what happened to every refugee that
is in Germany. What are your thoughts on how you
deal with this situation? I think that Germany has to learn
how to handle conflict. This is a society where everybody likes to
avoid conflict. Since the refugees came in and we have of the conflict
on the table. We have to deal with it. Germans are not really good at
dealing with conflict. We have to learn not to generalise, but to
notice that we have... And it is possible to have problems with
immigrants, not everybody is a good person.
Princess Cristina - the sister of the King of Spain -
has appeared in court on charges of tax fraud.
The case centres on the business activities of her husband -
who's accused of embezzling public funds.
She is the first member of the Spanish royal family ever
Our Europe correspondent Chris Morris reports from Mallorca.
Arriving for her day in court, Princess Cristina, six in line to
the Spanish throne, now charged with being an accomplice to tax fraud.
Alongside her, her husband, a former Olympic handball player. His
business activities lie at the heart of the case. Inside the courtroom,
Princess Cristina is one of 18 defendants. Prosecutors say millions
of euros in public funds were diverted from a charitable
organisation into a firm owned jointly by the royal couple, they
both firmly denied wrongdoing, but could end up in jail. The symbolism
of putting a royal in the dock is hard to overstate. This trial may be
a sign that the years of impunity for the powerful are coming to an
end. And it is not just about what is happening here. Across Spain
hundreds of politicians at various levels of government are under
investigation for corruption. Many Spaniards feel that the system is
rotten to the core. A small group of protesters outside court, but things
will begin to change. Just this needs to be the same for
everybody. Rinses or no princess. The money they stole, they have to
give it back, because it is ours. It is all a long way from this, the
royal wedding in 1997, at the height of Princess Cristina's popularity.
Last year her brother, King Felipe, stripped her of her Duchess title
when it was confirmed she would stand trial. For the next few
months, the eyes of Spain will focus on what happens in this courtroom.
Stay with BBC World News -- in a few moments we'll
have a special BBC Programme looking at the life of David Bowie.
For now we end this bulletin with some of his incredible work.
HEROES MUSIC: HEROES. By David Bowie.
Hello, the next few days will feel colder than of late. There will be a