David Bowie, legendary musician and rule breaker, is confirmed dead at 69 due to an 18-month secret battle with cancer. Bowie’s death comes as a surprise to both his fans and the music world, as his latest album was released just three days ago.
Bowie was born in London on January 8, 1947, and began taking saxophone lessons in the 1960s. He started playing in bands as a teenager, and his musical career sprouted from there.
An official representative for the Bowie family posted a succinct confirmation of his death on both Facebook and Twitter that read, “January 10 2016 – David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”
Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones, also confirmed the late musician’s death by tweeting, “Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all.”
Bowie is known worldwide not only for his musical talents but for reinventing the music industry and challenging the status quo.
According to the New York Times, Bowie was to be honored at Carnegie Hall this March at a concert featuring Cyndi Lauper and The Roots.
Bowie is perhaps best known for being an outsider, and the lyrics from his popular song “Changes” now seem almost prophetic.
“Turn and face the strange / Ch-ch-changes / Oh look out now you rock and rollers / Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older.”
The Daily Mail reports that Bowie knew he was dying for over a year and worked on his final album, Blackstar, while fighting cancer from his hospital bed. Producer Tony Visconti claims the singer released his final album as a “parting gift” to the world.
Bowie’s final music video, “Lazarus,” is also strangely prophetic and eerie. The music video is shot from a hospital bed, with Bowie’s eyes covered by a bandage. It was released last Thursday and served as a bit of foreshadowing for the icon’s declining health and impending death.
As news of the pop icon’s death broke, celebrities and musicians around the world reacted with messages of shock and sympathy. Admiration and praise for Bowie’s contribution to the music world cross many musical lines, and the singer has earned praise from rockers, punks, hip-hop artists, and everything in between. Those tweeting about David Bowie this morning include Iggy Pop, Madonna, Ricky Gervais, Kanye West, Travis Barker, Bob Saget, and Fred Durst, among dozens of others.
— Madonna (@Madonna) January 11, 2016
MESSAGE FROM IGGY: “David’s friendship was the light of my life. I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is. – Iggy Pop”
— Iggy Pop (@IggyPop) January 11, 2016
The world mourns the loss of a true legend, rule breaker, and music icon, and condolences go out to Bowie’s family and fans worldwide. His contribution to the music world will live on for generations to come.
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) January 11, 2016
[Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images]