David Bowie's cousin describes how parents believed son would be a superstar one day in moving letter

'My beloved David fulfilled and exceeded all his father’s dreams'

David Bowie has been remembered variously in tributes as a visionary singer, a pioneering artist and as a trailblazing king of reinvention who revelled in unveiling striking new personas.

The newspaper and magazine obituaries that memorialised his life presented him as a musically precocious child but said little about the role his parents played in nurturing his musical aspirations. 

A letter from Bowie's cousin in response to The Economist's obituary reveals the conviction his parents 'John' and 'Peggy' had in their son's ability to succeed and how they proudly encouraged him. 

In her letter, Kristina Amadeus recalls how a young Bowie was given a plastic saxophone, a tin guitar and a record player and described how the pair would “dance like possessed elves” to Elvis Presley records as children. 

She thanks for the newspaper for the “insight and sensitivity” it showed in its own obituary, but takes issue with one part.

“It is not true that he ‘grew up as David Jones, a sharp-toothed kid from dull suburban Bromley whose parents held no aspirations for him’,” she writes. “David’s parents, especially his father, ‘John’ Jones, encouraged him from the time he was a toddler. His mother, Peggy, spoke often of our deceased grandfather, who was a bandmaster in the army and played many wind instruments.

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“Although Uncle John never lived to see David’s huge success, he was convinced it would become a reality. My beloved David fulfilled and exceeded all his father’s dreams."

You can read the letter in full here

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