David Bowie, Madonna and the opposition to such rebel hearts in Singapore


David Bowie is no stranger to Singapore. He has performed here twice. Once in 1983, and again n 2004.

The singer also did a video to document his 1983 ‘Serious Moonlight’ concert tour of Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand, and in that video, titled ‘Ricochet’, Bowie talks to a taxi driver about things like Singapore’s chewing gum ban and the death penalty for drug offences.

Bowie also wrote about his Serious Moonlight World Tour in 1983 and said, “a city where you can be arrested for chewing gum, a demand to put on red shoes is deemed unhealthy”.

In clip of his video, Ricochet,  he is seen discussing Singapore’s death penalty with the taxi driver.

David Bowie: I notice that with the drug-thing over here it very serious…

Taxi driver: Yes, it is very serious…

David Bowie: Very serious huh?

Taxi driver: Even you can have the drug with (the weight of) 20 cents coin, you can be sentenced to death

David Bowie: Really?!

Taxi driver: Yes!

David Bowie: Have they, have they done…How do they kill them here? Do they erh…

Taxi driver: They hang them.

David Bowie: They hang them?

The video cuts immediately into our National Anthem, Majulah Singapura, after this conversation.
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Madonna, recently paid tribute to David Bowie acknowledging him as “one of the greatest singer-songwriters of the 20th century”, and said:

“I want to pay tribute to a man who inspired my career,” Madonna said. “If you haven’t heard about David Bowie then look him up, mXXXfXXX. He was one of the geniuses in the music industry. One of the greatest singer-songwriters of the 20th century and he changed my life when I went to see him in concert in Detroit.

“He showed me that it was alright to be different. And he’s the first rebel heart that I laid eyes on.”
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Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour is coming to Singapore on 28 February 2016 and this time it’s not the Government that is trying to clamp-down the performance (as was the case with David Bowie’s concert in 1983), but some religious conservatives.

Reverend Lina Khong, a senior pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church, has advocated for the Prime Minister to be petitioned to stop the concert.
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