By the time Freddy Adu was born, on June 2, 1989, David Bowie had completed 17 albums and nine world tours. Still, the 14-year-old American (by way of Ghana) soccer prodigy and 57-year-old British rock star shared the limelight last Monday night at an Audi and Condé Nast event saluting innovators.
The party, which also honored author Azar Nafisi and actor William H. Macy, was held at a lavishly decked-out Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. Shoptalk managed to track down Adu—the D.C. United star who is touted as the next Pelé—and ask him what it was like to kick the ball around with soccer's greatest-ever player at the shoot for BBDO's recent Sierra Mist ad. "Oh, it was so amazing, man," Adu said, beaming his already-trademark smile. "You could tell he's still got it." Did Pelé —who won his first of three World Cups for Brazil in 1958 at age 17—have any wisdom to impart? "He told me, 'God gave you this talent. Make the most of it,' " said Adu. Shoptalk then mentioned something about being a MetroStars fan, and the youngster grabbed us by the arm and jokingly asked security to throw us out.
Later, Bowie blew the roof off the place with a nine-song set. "Audi and Condé Nast: Crazy names. Crazy motherfuckers," he mused to cheers from the crowd, which included Brad Pitt, The Sopranos' Michael Imperioli and Queer Eye guys Kyan Douglas and Ted Allen. As the lights came up, Freddy and his mom seemed to have made a run for it. It may have been past his bedtime.