Late Singer David Bowie turned down chance to be knighted by the Queen


David Bowie challenged social conventions outside of his music when he turned down a CBE and Knighthood.

The Ziggy Stardust singer was offered a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 2000, which the Queen awards to those who have made “a distinguished, innovative contribution to any area” of British life.

While most would be flattered with the gesture, he refused it, explaining at the time: “I seriously don’t know what it’s for.”

Then in 2003 he rejected a knighthood in recognition of “having a major contribution” to British life which was “inspirational and significant… over a long period of time.”

While musical pals Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John and Sir Mick Jagger are among the few elite rock stars who have accepted the award, Bowie again declined, saying: “I would never have any intention of accepting anything like that. It’s not what I spent my life working for.”

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