Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes Reflects on David Bowie's Impact Ahead of Grammy Tribute

Stephanie Pistel
Duran Duran

The members of Duran Duran will be watching the 58th Grammy Awards' tribute to David Bowie on Monday night (Feb. 15) with some interest.

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Sure, they're Lady Gaga fans -- who isn't? More importantly, they have a long history with Nile Rodgers and will be on the road with him and Chic this spring and summer. But mostly, it's extremely personal. Bowie, who died Jan. 10, was a crucial influence, and later a friend, as well as a mentor, both consciously and unconsciously.

As for so many, Bowie’s death was a shock that continues to resonate. Not surprisingly, then, Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes was happy to share his feelings about the legendary musician’s passing and impact, both on Duran Duran and the rest of the creative world.

"Like everybody else, I was profoundly sad, and still am. There was no question that as a musician, David Bowie was the singular person who inspired me more than anyone else to become a musician,” Rhodes says. “The first record I ever bought was The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust when I was 10 years old. I saw David Bowie perform many times and was lucky enough to become his friend over the years.

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The keyboardist says Duran Duran toured parts of America and Canada with Bowie on his Glass Spider tour. During that tour, members of Duran Duran spent time talking with Bowie about music and other things.

"He's the greatest musician of his generation," Rhodes says. "I don't think there's anyone that will touch what he has left for all of us, musically and culturally. I think he educated a generation not just in music but also fashion, art, photography. He really made the blueprint for what Duran Duran have always strived to do, stretching the boundaries and working with artists in different fields. He's a constant inspiration.

Rhodes says Bowie’s passing was “the most elegant exit that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. So even to his last breath he was managing to confound people. A very brave and incredible thing to do. Extraordinary and also deeply sad."