‘Psychedelic Renegade’: Iconic Photographer Who Captured Legendary Rock Stars Of The 70s Dies

Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Magnolia Pictures

Jorge Velasco Contributor
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Photographer Mick Rock, who rose to fame for his emblematic portraits of legendary rock stars such as David Bowie and Snoop Dogg, died late Thursday night.

Known as “the man who shot the 70s,” Rock attended Cambridge University, where he met founding member of Pink Floyd Syd Barrett. Rock became Bowie’s official photographer in the early 1970s to boost the singer’s alien-like alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

The photographer captured some of the most iconic moments in music history, including topless Iggy Pop as the cover of the album “Raw Power,” the cover of “Queen II,” and a photograph of Bowie featured on the cover of Rolling Stone’s Nov. 9 issue in 1972, according to Rolling Stone. (RELATED: Mint Launches David Bowie Coin Into Space, Now Offering It As A Prize For Fans)

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share our beloved psychedelic renegade Mick Rock has made the Jungian journey to the other side,” the statement read via Twitter. “Those who had the pleasure of existing in his orbit, know that Mick was always so much more than ‘The Man Who Shot the 70s.’ He was a photographic poet — a true force of nature who spent his days doing exactly what he loved, always in his own delightfully outrageous way.”

In the 1990s, Rock had heart bypass surgery as well as a kidney transplant after decades of rocking ‘n’ rolling. “I lived the life,” he told the AP in 2002. “As well as taking the pictures, I lived the life.” As the music era evolved, he gave up cigarettes and drugs and worked with up-and-coming artists, such as Pharrell Williams, Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus, according to AP.

“We lost a legend, a true artist Mick Rock,” said TV personality Sharon Osbourne.

Queen guitarist Brian May said the “Queen II” cover photo “gave us an enduring image, inspired part of the ‘look’ of our Bohemian Rhapsody video a couple of years later, and has been widely imitated by others over the years since then,” according to AP.

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Jorge Velasco

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