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David Bowie and Iman's Love Story
Icon and rock legend David Bowie died Sunday night at the age of 69 after an 18-month battle with cancer. Along with his incredible canon of music, the artist is survived by his wife, Somalian-born supermodel and activist Iman Abdulmajid, their 15-year-old daughter, and his son, Duncan Jones.
Bowie and Iman were one of rock and roll's most enduring and stylish couples. They married in April of 1992 in a lavish, private ceremony in Tuscany. Throughout their nearly 25 years of marriage, the stars kept their home life guarded, only occasionally sharing bits about their enduring love. Here, we've rounded up our favorite quotes from the pair — not to mention some amazing photos — from over the years.
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When Bowie first met Iman, he said he was naming children on their first date — but things weren't so obvious for the supermodel. "For him [it was overwhelming]," Iman told The Guardian in 2013. "I was not ready for a relationship. Definitely, I didn't want to get into a relationship with somebody like him."
"But as I always said: I fell in love with David Jones. I did not fall in love with David Bowie. Bowie is just a persona. He's a singer, an entertainer. David Jones is a man I met."
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Falling in Love
When Iman sat down for a conversation with Harper's Bazaar, she was asked whom she idolizes most in this world. "My father," she told the reporter. "He taught me how to be a parent and gave me a positive connection with men because he is a gentleman. And that is what attracted me to David. He is a gentle soul."
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Tying the Knot
Iman's longtime friend Naomi Campbell sat down with the model for a piece in Interview. An adorable exchange about what Mrs. Bowie remembers most from her wedding day — 21 years prior — is below.
NAOMI: I know you had a most amazingly romantic wedding to David Bowie in Tuscany. What were the most memorable moments were from that day?
IMAN: It rained!
NAOMI: Well, that’s good luck!
IMAN: But you don’t want it to rain on your wedding, especially when it’s outside!
NAOMI: In Italy, they say it’s the best luck ever!
IMAN: They said ‘Oh you shouldn’t complain, you’re going to be married for 50 years, it’s going to be happy.’ And they were right.
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Which isn't to say over their two-plus decades it was all smooth sailing. "David doesn't fight," Iman told Harpers Bazaar. But that only makes one of them. "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 — totally! — after all these years."
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Telling It Like It Is
The ever-quotable singer famously quipped of his marriage, "You would think that a rock star being married to a supermodel would be one of the greatest things in the world. It is." We don't doubt it.
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A Helping Hand
When Iman stopped by the Nate Berkus Show in 2010 she was asked about their union and gushed: "My marriage is exactly as fabulous as you all would think. He's fun, he's a really very curious man, and so I really learn a lot from him." When Berkus responded that Bowie is the perfect gentleman, Iman agreed, "Exactly. He still ties my shoes for me every day..."
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Later in her interview with Naomi Campbell, Iman was asked what kind of father David Bowie is to their daughter, who was just shy of her teens at the time. "David is measured, sensible yet at the same time fun and relaxed with Lexi. I’m the disciplinarian!"
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Drawing a Line
"Understanding the difference between the personal and the public," Iman told Wendy Williams of the secret to their union's success just after celebrating her 20th wedding anniversary with the music icon. "We never have photographs taken in our apartment, we don't do fashion shoots together...the home is private."
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Later in her interview with The Guardian, the supermodel shared one of her favorite early memories of her husband. “His actions spoke louder [than words]," she said. "We were dating for two weeks and I was coming from Paris and I got to L.A. at the airport and the doors open to the plane and I come out and I see all these people taking a picture of somebody. And he was standing there, flowers in hand, no security… He didn’t care if anyone saw."
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Still in Love
"I'm frighteningly happy," Bowie told the New York Daily News in 2002. "I don't see ever wanting to change things in my personal life. Iman and I are very happy, and we have the most fabulous baby."
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Meant to Be
"When I met Iman it was just so instantaneous," Bowie remembered in a 1996 interview with The Telegraph. "It was really one of those overnight things. In fact, it was so overnight we knew we should wait a couple of years before we got married, to make sure we weren’t kidding ourselves. And fortunately we weren’t. It’s just been such a joy."
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Bowie has been steadfast over the years that it was just moments into meeting Iman that he fell in love. "My attraction to her was immediate and all-encompassing," he told Hello! magazine in 2000. "I couldn't sleep for the excitement of our first date. That she would be my wife, in my head, was a done deal. I'd never gone after anything in my life with such passion in all my life. I just knew she was the one."
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The final quote that the beauty shared about her husband came over the weekend and via social media. She posted two messages on Instagram. One read: "The struggle is real, but so is God." The other, "Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory." She also recently shared a series of professional shots of her husband, in honor of his 69th birthday, which came last Friday.