I never had the opportunity to see David Bowie perform live, but after his passing I reflected on the first time I heard his music.

I was in 6th grade in my hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. We were attending -- and some of us participating in -- a talent show at our school, William James Middle School. I was going to sing John Denver's Country Roads.

While sitting in the audience, all of a sudden the auditorium was filled with a strange music lick that made me want to start dancing immediately. It was David Bowie's Fame.

Being pretty sheltered growing up, I had been exposed to my step mother's musical preferences, which were Johnny Mathis, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and Barbara Streisand and many, many Rogers and Hammerstein musicals.

All of a sudden the auditorium was filled with a strange music lick that made me want to start dancing immediately. It was David Bowie's Fame.

But this strange and wonderful music was a first for me. It opened up my thinking in ways that enabled me to express my individuality and personality -- despite my family or anyone else's approval.

Since then, I remember different Bowie songs and where I was geographically and mentally in my life when I heard them.

Bowie himself always intimidated me quite a bit. This amazingly talented and unusual looking man with the chameleon appearance and sound. The thing I always loved about Bowie is that he didn't relegate himself to just one genre of music or life. I enjoyed his jazz endeavors as much as I did his rock or more pop albums.

Just like many of the scary-talented greats who are no longer with us, David Bowie is missed now and will be for many years to come.