Kennedy's tribute to his hero Bowie

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The Independent Online

He has long been a keen David Bowie fan, counting a gold disc signed by the rock star among his most treasured possessions. But now Charles Kennedy, the Liberal Democrat leader, is to make his Bowie obsession public and play one of his favourite tracks on the BBC.

The Liberal Democrat leader, 43, will appear next week on Desert Island Discs, and will explain what makes Bowie his musical hero. Among the eight records he will select is "Young Americans", the title song from his 1975 album.

There are other tracks on the album that might have been more apt for a politician, including "Win", "Can you Hear Me?" or "Fame", but he opted for "Young Americans" because of the time he spent in the United States as a Fulbright scholar. "He says he could have chosen any of the David Bowie songs," an aide said yesterday. "But he wanted something that related to his life."

As a 23-year-old, Mr Kennedy was forced to drop out of his US university course early after he unexpectedly won his Highland seat, becoming the youngest MP in the House of Commons.

Mr Kennedy and his wife, Sarah, will spend this weekend leafing through his record collection to try to identify his other desert island choices One will be a classical recording. The MP has also not yet settled on a luxury or a book.

Last year Mr Kennedy fulfilled his dream to meet David Bowie who presented him with the disc backstage after a concert in London. The MP is also planning to include a recording of his father playing the violin. Iain Kennedy is a champion fiddle player who played at his wedding last year in the crypt of the Commons.

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