David Bowie, born David Robert Jones, changed his name so as not to be confused with the Monkees Davy Jones, using the last name of American Pioneer James Bowie and the knife he made famous. The first release under his new name was in 1966, "Can't Help Thinking About Me," which didn't make it as a hit. So what was Bowie's first No. 1 hit?
Young Americans was the ninth studio album released by Bowie in 1975. From this album, the second single, "Fame," would become his first No. 1. hit in the United States. As one of the most successful songs of that year, it would rank No. 7 in Billboard's Year-End Hot 100.
Written with guitarist Carlos Alomar and John Lennon of the Beatles, Bowie would describe "Fame" as nasty and angry. When the song was recorded, it represented his stardom, a theme explored in his previous album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, and impending litigation with his manager, Tony Defries. Bowie would later share that Lennon was the energy and inspiration for the song, as well as his limited lyrical contribution, earned him the co-writer credit.
David Bowie's first number one hit
"Fame" would take over the top spot on Billboard Hot 100, replacing Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy." The following week, "Fame" dropped to No. 2 and returned the following week for its final week in the top spot. Bowie had no idea this would be the song that would become a hit.
"I wouldn't know how to pick a single if it hit me in the face."- David Bowie
Bowie had a tremendous career before his death, with numerous songs considered his best hits. This includes the collaboration with Queen in "Under Pressure," Bowie's top-played song on Spotify. "Heroes" is another song considered one of his best that didn't initially receive its due. Other massive hits include "Space Oddity," "Let's Dance," "Starman," and more.