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Ava Cherry, R&B Songstress and David Bowie Muse, Releases Memoir: 'All That Glitters'

During the mid-1970s when the musical chameleon christened David Robert Jones, but better known to
the earthlings who consumed his works during his hall-of-fame career as David Bowie was near the pinnacle of his creative powers, he moved to the US as he gravitated towards funk and soul.

During much of that period, which saw the then relatively unknown outside of the U.K. artist, become a worldwide sensation, Ava Cherry was by his side. A former fashion model turned musician, she was Bowie’s lover, backup singer, collaborator and friend.

Their five-year relationship inspired one of his greatest hits and most beloved songs “Golden Years,” and Cherry’s influence on Bowie during that period was essential in the development of his breakthrough album from that period, “Young Americans.”

Now the nu-soul diva is finally revealing what it was like to work with the global rock icon in the 1970s in her new book (available now at major retailers, “All That Glitters: The Ava Cherry Story.”

Cherry told iHeartRadio’s biography podcast series “Off the Record” in 2021: “I was already hooked. There was nothing I could do about how I felt. I wasn't going to let him go,” of meeting Bowie and making love with him only to be introduced to his wife in the morning and told they had an open marriage.

She was not the only one addicted apparently. Cherry's formative years on the Chicago black music scene shaped her soul music sensibilities and she shared that influence with the rock great whose copy of James Brown’s “Live at the Apollo” had been one of his most treasured possessions as a child.

Cherry took him to the black music mecca and soon he had recruited house band’s guitarist, Carlos
Alomar and headed to Philadelphia's Sigma Sound, the center of the "Philly Soul" explosion, and vowed to cut a record that emulated the funky sounds of bands like the Spinners, and the O'Jays.

That album “Young Americans” became Bowie’s first to reach the top 10 of the Billboard charts in the US, and its lead single “Fame” — which Cherry can be heard on — his first No. 1 hit in the country.

Eventually, Cherry and Bowie’s partnership collapsed under the weight of his drug use and money woes according to her interview with “Off the Record,” but she never stopped caring for him.

“I stayed in love with him for so long because I knew I didn't do anything wrong for us to break up,” she said. “It was just the circumstance."

Cherry remained friendly with Bowie in the following years, even attending the engagement party for his second wife Iman and remained active in the music world as well, first as a backup singer for R &B legend Luther Vandross and eventually as a solo artist.

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