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David Bowie once set up an ISP called BowieNet

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Bowie
Image: Adam Bielawski (Wikimedia Commons)

Rock pioneer David Bowie, who died after a long struggle with cancer on Sunday, once set up his own internet service provider, BowieNet.

The service brought Bowie's flair for breaking boundaries to the web by being the first musician-created internet service provider.

Started in 1998, BowieNet provided users with a faster connection than many competitors were offering at the time.

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It was initially available in North America before expanding to the rest of the world and gave users access to the internet, a customisable home page, and access to unreleased tracks.

Upon the service's launch, a CD-Rom was sent to subscribers which featured a customised internet browser and two unreleased live Bowie tracks.

Users were also given email and 5MB of space to create and customise their own pages.

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In 2000, Bowie himself even performed for subscribers at the Roseland Ballroom in New York.

BowieNet won the artist a Guinness World Record for being the first artist to create an intenet service provider.

Having suffered from far fewer updates and less exclusives following Bowie's 2004 retirement, the service shut down in 2006, although it took until 2012 for the artist's official Facebook page to confirm its demise.

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