You Can Now Walk Down ‘Rue David Bowie’ in Paris

The city’s 13th arrondissement honored the British musical legend on what would have been his 77th birthday

Sign that says Rue David Bowie 1947-2016
The new street sign in Paris' 13th arrondissement Stephane de Sakutin / AFP via Getty Images

Fans of the British musician David Bowie can now walk down a street named in his honor in Paris. City officials unveiled “Rue David Bowie” on January 8, which would have been the late rock icon’s 77th birthday. The street is located near the Austerlitz train station and Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital in the city’s 13th arrondissement, an administrative district situated in the southeast part of the city. 

The idea dates back to 2020, when Jérôme Coumet, mayor of the 13th arrondissement, first proposed naming a road after the influential singer-songwriter. 

Last week, the district’s leaders made that vision a reality. To celebrate the street’s naming, they hosted a concert inspired by Bowie’s first performance in Paris in 1965 and opened an exhibition at the town hall, reports the Associated Press.

Fans gather in front of sign that says Rue David Bowie
Fans gathered in Paris to celebrate the naming of a street after David Bowie. Stephane de Sakutin / AFP via Getty Images

Many Bowie fans turned out for the festivities, and some even got emotional.

“I had tears in my eyes just now … for me, who has been a fan for over 30 years, it’s really moving,” Karine, a woman who attended the ceremony, told CNN’s Jack Guy and Maya Szaniecki.

Her only regret? That there’s nowhere to live on the newly named road. 

“I want a house on David Bowie Street,” she added.

Bowie was born David Jones in London in 1947. He took an interest in music and dancing at a young age, began playing the saxophone as a teenager and formed his first band, the Konrads, in 1962. His prolific, decades-long musical career took off from there.

Famous for hits like “Space Oddity,” ​“Starman,” “Let’s Dance” and “Modern Love,” Bowie often “wrote songs, above all, about being an outsider: an alien, a misfit, a sexual adventurer, a faraway astronaut,” wrote the New York Times’ Jon Pareles in the artist’s 2016 obituary.

Bowie was known as something of a “chameleon,” adopting a series of personas throughout his career. He also experimented with a variety of musical styles, drawing inspiration from electronica, glam, folk and many other genres. As Billboard’s Joe Lynch wrote in 2016, “Among rock stars, Bowie influenced more musical genres than anyone else, living or dead.”

Bowie’s legacy lives on today. In addition to the street in Paris, the musician will have a new museum and performing arts center dedicated to him in London. The David Bowie Center for the Study of Performing Arts, which is scheduled to open in 2025, will house more than 80,000 Bowie artifacts. Additionally, the 2022 documentary Moonage Daydream examines Bowie’s career and lasting influence.

Last week, the American rock band Wilco also paid tribute to Bowie on his birthday by sharing a new cover of “Space Oddity.”

“As a gratefully, if not begrudgingly, Earth-bound band, it’s always an honor and a challenge to tackle any of David Bowie’s space-soaring arrangements,” said the band in a statement, per Pitchfork’s Hattie Lindert. “Striving to reach the heights of his freedom and talent is a wise goal for any band.”

Get the latest stories in your inbox every weekday.