Pop icons at home in rare photos: Freddie, Bowie, Elton, Rod and their outlandish houses
12 August 2019, 10:51 | Updated: 12 August 2019, 16:13
From sprawling Cotswolds mansions filled with horses and dogs to silver painted flats in Kent and mid-century L.A. houses, we take a look at the weird and wonderful homes that these legendary music stars bought with their early pay checks.
David Bowie and his wife Angie moved to the sprawling home of Haddon Hall in Kent from 1969 until 1971 and musical historians widely attribute his time in the house with the "invention" of Ziggy Stardust.
The couple rented to ground floor flat for just £7 a week and an assortment of other musicians lived in the rest of the building - the Spiders from Mars were in the flat upstairs.
The now-demolished building became known for its cavernous rooms and long corridors.
David and Angie painted the ceiling of the sitting room silver and would hold huge parties in the house's wild garden.
While Elton John has homes all over the world, the house that has been a constant in his life is his Old Windsor estate, purchased in 1974.
Read more: Elton John's forgotten ex-fiancée speaks out about cancelled wedding: "I thought he loved me"
Originally built in the 1500s, the house has been rebuilt three times, most recently in 1947 in a 'post war mock tudor' style.
Read more: Meghan Markle 'asks Elton John to teach her baby the piano' after Royal Wedding performance
In 1988, after Elton John became clean and sober, he decided to sell the contents of his Windsor home in a four-day auction at Sotheby's in London.
The house was described by Elton as "a parody of his younger self" and contained "a lot of kitsch...it was more of an Aladdin's cave than a home," he said.
Lots that went under the hammer included juke boxes, pinball machines, numerous costumes from the singer's world tours and a replica of Tutankhamun's state throne.
Another star to make his home in Old Windsor, the grounds of Rod Stewart's home were almost as impressive as his sprawling house.
Pictured in 1971 by legendary photographer Terry O'Neill, Rod shows off his menagerie of dogs and horses at his 18th century house, Cranbourne Court.
The photos were taken almost a decade before Rod penned the hit song 'The Wild Horse', confirming the star's long affinity with horses.
The Scottish singer owned the estate from 1971 to 1976 and lived there with various girlfriends including model Dee Harrington, actress Britt Eckland and when he dated a young Joanna Lumley.
The property had previously been home to a myriad of well-known residents including Admiral Sir Charles Rowley, General Sir Thomas Willshire, the Victorian actress Edna May.
The pair met in 1969 when Mary was just 19-years-old and Freddie was 24.
Freddie and Mary would go on to be together for two years, and even moved in together and became engaged before Freddie revealed his sexuality to her.
They remained close for the rest of his life and Mary was entrusted with much of the star's estate - including Garden Lodge - upon his death from AIDS-related pneumonia at the Kensington home in 1991.
The walls surrounding Garden Lodge became a shrine to the star after his death, leading Time Out to declare in 1994: “Since Freddie’s death, the wall outside the house has become London’s biggest rock ‘n’ roll shrine”.
Located on Logan Place near Earl's Court, fans often travel from across the world to try and catch a glimpse of the large Edwardian house where Freddie lived happily for almost two decades.
With a high wall protecting the large garden and property from prying eyes, fans still pay their respects by leaving tributes and flowers around the perimeter of the property.
Previously to owning the impressive Owlwood Estate in Beverly Hills - currently on the market for $115 million - Sonny and Cher bought in a mid-century home in Encino, California from 1966 to 1970, a year after their song 'I Got You Babe' became a worldwide hit.
Riding on the back of their newfound success, the happy couple installed security gates adorned with the large initials "C" and "S" - a quirky detail the current owner, Kenneth Lee, kept as a focal point in the backyard of the Los Angeles home.
Cher's neighbours became as equally used to seeing the singer parading around her garden in pink hot pants, as they were to finding fans queueing outside the couple's house for autographs in the hot summer sun.
Sonny reportedly wrote hits such as "The Beat Goes On" and "It's the Little Things" in the front room of the home and scenes from the pair's 1967 movie Good Times were filmed in the Encino property.