Singer/model Ava Cherry spent four years as a back-up singer for David Bowie between 1974 and 1978, part of a trio along with Robin Clark and Luther Vandross. She was also a lover of Bowie's during this period, and remained friends with the artist for years. Billboard spoke with Cherry about her favorite memories of the late singer and the origins of their relationship, and the sessions that would become Bowie's ninth album Young Americans. -- Nick Williams
All I could think when I heard the news of David's passing was "the world has lost it's starman!" And suddenly I understood that he was giving us his eulogy, going out his way.
I first met David when I was just a youngster with fire and optimism in my heart. Living in New York and working as a model, my manager gave me the present of Ziggy Stardust. He said "Listen to this British artist David Bowie, I think he's going to be huge, he's different from all the rest!" So I listened, and I immediately fell in love; I was memorized. He was in America for the first time, playing Radio City. Stevie Wonder, who was a friend and wonderful inspiration to me, was performing at Carnegie Hall. I was also working at a disco called Genesis at the time, and Stevie needed a place to give his after party, so he asked me if I knew a place. I recommended my club and my manager found a way to invite David.