5 Things You Never Knew About David Bowie

Beyond the music and the fashion.

January 11, 2016, 12:26 PM

— -- David Bowie has died at the age of 69 after battling cancer for the past 18 months, his representative confirmed to ABC News.

Bowie leaves behind an incomparable legacy in music, fashion and film. The singer, songwriter and actor, born David Robert Jones in London, was truly a Renaissance man. From movies like "Labyrinth" to his trendsetting styles and personas, Bowie will surely be missed by all.

As more tributes are posted about Bowie, so are little known facts that reveal even more about this multifaceted human being.

Here are five things that you may not have known about the music and fashion icon:

1 - He Declined Knighthood

According to the BBC, Bowie declined the honor of knighthood and separately the offer of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) from Queen Elizabeth II on two separate occasions.

The NY Times reported in 2012 that at the time he was offered C.B.E. in 2000, he said, “I seriously don’t know what it’s for.”

2 - Long Before Music, He Was a Scout

The UK Scout Association took to social media early this morning to grieve about the loss.

"Sad to hear about David Bowie, 1947 - 2016. His first public musical performance took place when he was a Scout," according to the association's official Twitter handle. A picture of a very young Bowie in full Scout garb was posted.

3 - He Was Classically Trained in the Art of Mime

Bowie apprenticed in Lindsay Kemp's avant-garde theater and mime troupe in the late 1960s before his music career hit it big, according to Rolling Stone. He even started his own group, Feathers, shortly after. Bowie would go on to mime at a few concerts while a close friend Marc Bolan played guitar for the band T. Rex.

4 - He Fought for Equal Rights Back When He Was 17 Years Old

But not in the way you think. Bowie, then Jones, went on the BBC and discussed his new group, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men.

Yes, Bowie was self-aware and confident of himself even in 1964.

5 - He Was a Family Man

Bowie married model Iman in 1992 and they welcomed a daughter Alexandria in 2000.

The two had a charmed life, Iman told Harper's Bazaar in 2010.

"David doesn't fight. He is English, so he just stays quiet. I'm the screamer. Then he always makes me laugh. It's like cabaret. I keep him entertained too. I still fancy him after all these years," she said.

The singer also had an older half-brother named Terry Burns, who died in 1985. Burns was Bowie's inspiration for several songs such as "All The Madmen" and "Jump They Say," among others.

In 1993's "Jump They Say," Bowie tackles the issues of schizophrenia, which his brother suffered from until he took his own life. According to The Guardian, Burns introduced Bowie to jazz icons like Miles Davis in the early 1960s.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events