Musical icon Bowie was recognised for his ability to transcend a variety of mediums (Picture: PA)
The Starman musician topped the Sky Arts list of 50 influential artists ahead of 12 Years A Slave Oscar-winning filmmaker Sir Steve McQueen and It’s A Sin writer Russell T Davies, who revived Doctor Who in 2005.
Street artist Banksy also made an appearance in the list, as did filmmaker Sir Ridley Scott and fashion designers Alexander McQueen and Dame Vivienne Westwood.
Comedians Ricky Gervais and Victoria Wood appeared alongside artist Tracey Emin and Skin, lead singer of rock band Skunk Anansie, who was Glastonbury’s first black headliner in 1999.
The list recognises renowned artists across the categories of visual arts, literary arts, performing arts, music, film and TV.
The singer, pictured here at Glastonbury in 2000, died in 2016 (Picture: Staff Western Gazette/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Artist Joe Black adds the finishing touches to a portrait of David Bowie made from over 8,500 guitar plectrums to celebrate the news (Picture: PA)
The judging panel, led by broadcaster and DJ Lauren Laverne, were challenged by TV channel Sky Arts to create the list and crowned Bowie for his ability to transcend a variety of mediums.
Laverne said: ‘I was honoured to be chosen to take part in this judging day for Sky Arts, as working with such a respected group of judges, I knew their conversations would be fascinating, and they were.
‘The judges took so much time and care with their scoring to ensure the Top 50, Top 20 and Top 10 lists were truly the best of the best in terms of influence, and the final list are artists that are so deserving of their places.
‘David Bowie coming in at number one was the cherry on top of a brilliant judging process, and it was great to be a part of it.’
Artist, director and Oscar-winner Sir Steve McQueen came second (Picture: Getty)
Russell T Davies, known for his TV work including It’s A Sin and Doctor Who, was in the top three (Picture: Getty)
Bowie, one of the most influential and revered musicians of the 20th century, died with liver cancer on January 10, 2016, two days after his 69th birthday.
A unique portrait of the singer-songwriter was made to honour his new distinction from more than 8,500 individually placed guitar plectrums – each featuring a cut-out shape to symbolise all the artistic disciplines Bowie influenced.
Artist Joe Black, who created the two-metre-tall piece, said: ‘This portrait was created to celebrate David Bowie being named the most influential artist of the last 50 years.
‘His visual representation had a huge impact across all of the arts worldwide.
Britain’s most influential artists of the last 50 years
1. David Bowie
2. Sir Steve McQueen CBE
3. Russell T Davies OBE
4. Dame Vivienne Westwood
5. Caryl Churchill
6. Michael Clark
7. Angela Carter
9. Muriel Spark
10. Michaela Coel
‘The idea was to use thousands of specially designed plectrums, with each design representing one of the five artistic areas of Bowie’s creative life and influences – music, film, fashion, literature and art.
‘Bowie was a maverick and a global icon who initiated a new Bowie era in popular culture.’
Bowie’s portrait represented his the five areas of his artistic life (Picture: PA)
Michaela Coel was on the list too, in part for her work I May Destroy You (pictured) (Picture: Natalie Seery/HBO/TNS)
Philip Edgar-Jones, director of Sky Arts, said: ‘As our number one artist, we wanted to honour David Bowie in a way that would feel fitting to the scale of his influence.
‘The artwork that has been created by Joe Black honours the ways that Bowie’s influence transcends genres, through guitar picks with cut-out designs of music, art, stage and screen.’