Bruce Gowers who came to fame directing music videos, including the ground breaking Bohemian Rhapsody video for Queen, died at age 82 on Jan 15.
While he came to fame as a music video director, many may remember Gowers from the American Idol television credits as the theme song rolled. Between 2002 and 2011, he directed 234 episodes of of the show on FOX over the course of eight seasons. The work earned him five Grammy nominations and one win for outstanding directing on a variety, music or comedy series in 2009.
Gowers was previously nominated for the same Emmy award in 1998 for his work on the TV special Fleetwood Mac: The Dance. the year prior. In 1985, he also shared a nomination with the editors of “The Fifth International Guinness Book of World Records” for outstanding videotape editing for a limited series or a special.
Born in New Kilbride, Scotland, Gowers began his career in the UK, where he attended the BBC Training College in London.
After his breakthrough in 1975 with the Queen video, Gowers went on to collaborate with artists like The Rolling Stones, 10cc, Rod Stewart, the Bee Gees, Alice Cooper, Journey, Supertramp, Michael Jackson, Rush, Santana, Prince, REO Speedwagon, Toto, John Mellencamp and more.
After moving to Los Angeles in the late 70, Gowers went on to direct The Primetime Emmy Awards, The Billboard Awards and The MTV Awards.
MTV presented Gowers with an award for his work on “Bohemian Rhapsody” and also won a Director’s Guild Award in 2004 for Genius: A Night for Ray Charles. He also received a Grammy in 1986 for directing the long form music video to Huey Lewis and the News’ “The Heart of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
Former American Idol executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe paid homage to Gowers on Instagram. “Bruce Gowers, the best ‘live’ Director I ever worked with passed away last night,” Nigel wrote. “I’m losing too many friends and colleagues. R.I.P. Bruce. x”