Herb Ritts, 1989—Trunk Archive
Herb Ritts, 1989—Trunk Archive
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Behind TIME's New David Bowie Cover

Jan 14, 2016

David Bowie, the iconic musician who died Jan. 10 at age 69, covers TIME for the second time in the magazine's history: he first graced the red border back in July of 1983 following the success of his album Let's Dance.

The photograph was taken in 1989 by Herb Ritts, the late American photographer and music video director. The image is one of a series of photos Ritts shot that ran in a 1990 issue of Interview magazine, but the stillness of Bowie's pose and the dark color scheme set it apart from the other, brighter images of Bowie smiling, jumping and dancing that were published.

It's also not the first time Bowie was photographed in that dazzling striped bodysuit, which Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto created for Bowie's 1973 tour. Japanese photographer Masayoshi Sukita, who photographed the musician across decades worth of personas and artistic evolutions, snapped Bowie in the same outfit for a 1973 photo titled Watch That Man III, in which Ziggy Stardust's fiery orange hair and platform boots are on full display.

Of his first meeting with Bowie the year before, Sukita told TIME last year:

First meeting him, I didn’t know who he was or his music, but Bowie was learning dance with Lindsay Kemp. His body movement was just amazing, so that was my first impression of Bowie and movement. Music-wise, back then there was Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was pretty popular, so Bowie was into space and fantasy music, it was all combined, and became iconic.

(Read next: Nile Rodgers: Making Let's Dance With David Bowie Changed My Life)

Sukita, who shot Bowie's 1977 Heroes album cover, says Bowie would call him whenever he came to Japan to take some pictures. "We’ve been exchanging the Eastern and Western cultures all these years, which is how we built our relationship," he said. "I never thought of David as specifically a friend or subject, he’s always 'David Bowie.'"

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