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David Bowie's 'outsider' worldview struck a global chord

David Bowie's 'outsider' worldview struck a global chord

He arrived sometime between the Beatles and Led Zeppelin wearing a space-age metallic cape, singing about spiders from Mars, moon dust trailing out of his flaming orange hair.

Even in rock's risk-taking heyday, David Bowie stood out.

From Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke to the Elephant Man to the Goblin King, the singer and actor, who died Jan. 10 at age 69, embodied an impossible combination of dark and light, the alien and familiar, the spooky and the intimate.

Bowie was a freak before disco made the term cool; before thinking differently was shortened into a slogan to sell computers rather than a liability. And he flirted with...