It’s been 16 years since the late, great David Bowie and his wife, Iman, introduced their daughter, Alexandria Zhara “Lexi” Jones, to the world via a flashy photo shoot for Hello! magazine. Suffice to say, little Lexi has since grown up quite a bit. Although the teen remains as private as her father was, we’ve still been able to piece together a bit of info about one of the world’s most famous offspring. Here’s what we know.
Born August 15th, 2000, Lexi hit a milestone in 2016 when she celebrated her 16th birthday. In one of the most mom-like posts ever, Iman celebrated Lexi’s birthday with a sweet shout-out and a rare photograph of Lexi on Instagram. “Happy sweet 16th birthday to my baby girl Lexi! Stay sweet,” Iman wrote. “‘Classy with a hint of sassy.'” Lexi probably replied with, “awww!” But also “Ugh, mom!”
Lexi is the only child from Bowie and Iman’s marriage, although they each have a child with their former respective partners. Bowie welcomed son Duncan—now a famous Hollywood director—with ex-wife Angie in 1971; Iman had daughter Zulekha with basketball star Spencer Haywood in 1978.
Speaking to Parade magazine in 2009, Iman touched upon the differences between having a child in her 20s versus in her 50s, calling Lexi’s birth a “miracle.” “People talk about the miracle of birth,” Iman said. “No. There’s the miracle of conception. I did IVF, but nothing happened. So I began to think of adoption, and then I got pregnant. It was definitely a miracle.”
“The difference between rearing a child in your 20s and one in your 50s is one of patience,” she continued. “I was at the height of my career when I had my first child, and I took her with me around the world. Then I had to root her in school. It was difficult to leave her behind. Now this one thinks she has it tough because both her old parents are at home with her all the time.” Iman recalled, “When Lexi was about 4, she first saw a picture of David as Ziggy Stardust [one of Bowie’s flamboyant stage personas]. ‘Why is his hair orange?’ she wanted to know. The makeup didn’t faze her.”
If you’re wondering why you never hear about Lexi, that’s because her parents went out of their way to keep her life private, much like they did for their own. Ironically, Lexi’s life got off to a very public start. She was photographed by Hello! magazine in 2000 when she was just 17 days old. Still, the famous couple stuck by their word, insisting the magazine spread would be Lexi’s “first and last interview.”
The paparazzi rarely catch a glimpse of her. She was seen for the first time after Bowie’s death in August 2016, about eight months after the tragic day occurred. She was previously photographed on a trip to Venice with her late father in 2013.
In that same interview with Hello!, Iman revealed that having Lexi was not only the “happiest of times” in her life, but that it brought her and her husband of then-eight years even closer together. “We’ve always been very close, but if it’s possible we’ve been drawn even closer,” she said. “There’s a joy or a contentment that’s almost palpable to both of us. Overnight, our lives have been enriched beyond belief.”
In the wake of Bowie’s death, many articles were written about how having a second child taught Bowie to embrace what the Express called his “most conventional role” of doting father. “He missed out on much of [Duncan’s] young life, and wanted to spend as much time as possible with Lexi,” said Bowie’s biographer, David Buckley (via the Express). The article said Bowie was often seen taking Lexi to school and helping her with her homework. Indeed, when a fan wrote “Imagine David Bowie turning up to your school” on Twitter, Iman chimed in to say that he actually turns up as “David Jones, dad.”
According to the Daily Mail, Bowie had said that having a second daughter had “put his workaholic tendencies ‘into perspective’ and given him the will to stay healthy.” Iman confirmed this slower-paced lifestyle, which included “going to the park and sitting in cafes,” in a 2002 interview with the Sunday Times. “We’re just ordinary people,” she said. “Our life is domestic.”
According to the Mirror, Bowie’s close friend, the director Ivo Van Hove, revealed that Lexi was one of Bowie’s biggest motivators during his secret 18-month battle with cancer. “I felt he was not in a death struggle but a struggle for life—he wanted to live on,” Van Hove said. “He has a daughter of 15 and he really wanted to go on, but it was physically not possible.”
“He was ill, but he wanted to live—for his wife and daughter, and for music. That became obvious to me time and time again during our collaboration,” Van Hove said. Sadly, Bowie lost his battle to cancer on Jan. 10, 2016, in New York City. To this day, Lexi has yet to speak publicly on her father’s tragic passing.