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In the US, he received five platinum and seven gold certifications.
"Space Oddity" became his first top-five entry on the UK Singles Chart after its release in July 1969. He was a figure in popular music for over five decades, regarded by critics and musicians as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s.His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, his music and stagecraft significantly influencing popular music.During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at 140 million worldwide, made him one of the world's best-selling music artists.In the UK, he was awarded nine platinum album certifications, eleven gold and eight silver, releasing eleven number-one albums.The following year, he further confounded musical expectations with the electronic-inflected album Low (1977), the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno that would come to be known as the "Berlin Trilogy".
"Heroes" (1977) and Lodger (1979) followed; each album reached the UK top five and received lasting critical praise.
After uneven commercial success in the late 1970s, Bowie had UK number ones with the 1980 single "Ashes to Ashes", its parent album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), and "Under Pressure", a 1981 collaboration with Queen.
After a period of experimentation, he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era with his flamboyant and androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust.
The character was spearheaded by the success of his single "Starman" and album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which won him widespread popularity.
In 1975, Bowie's style shifted radically towards a sound he characterised as "plastic soul", initially alienating many of his UK devotees but garnering him his first major US crossover success with the number-one single "Fame" and the album Young Americans.
In 1976, Bowie began a sporadic acting career, starring in the cult film The Man Who Fell to Earth.