David Bowie FAQ:Personal Life:
Stage Name
David Bowie was born as David Robert Jones, and still maintains that name for legal purposes. He changed his stage name to David Bowie in 1966 to avoid confusion with another famous Davy Jones (then enjoying success on the London stage and later as a member of the band The Monkees).

Reports say that he chose the name Bowie because he liked the name Mick Jagger and wanted a similar "cutting" name. He picked the Texan Jim Bowie (famous for the eponymous Bowie knife) because he wanted to have the name of an American, as he has always been fascinated by America.

Bowie pronounces his own name "bow-ee" (as in "bow" and arrow), not "boo-ee" (as the original American knife is pronounced), nor is it "bow-ee" as in a dog's "bow-wow-wow". However, Americans sometimes refer to him as "boo-ee" (which is the correct pronounciation of the original Scottish name, Bowie), and Londoners usually pronounce it "bow" as in "bow-wow-wow", and Bowie never corrects them.
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