David Bowie enjoyed a number of flamboyant Rock-n-Roll personas during his musical career but none as well-known as Ziggy Stardust: the science fictional, androgynous, eyebrowless diva. Here's Ziggy-Bowie shooting the lights out of Hammersmith Odeon theater in 1973 just before his big announcement
See, Bowie had already produced two albums and gone touring using the Stardust alter ego, so before the final song of the evening, Ziggy delivers an ambiguous message to the crowd, "Not only is this the last show of the tour, but it's the last show that we'll ever do." Of course, everyone in the theater itself—and the British press as well—thought Bowie was talking about retiring. Luckily, he was only referring to Ziggy's retirement (while simultaneously having a go at the press). The concert was later released as a documentary film, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
Curious to know how Bowie's and Ziggy's dalliance began? There's an interview for that: