After an 18-month battle with liver cancer, music legend David Bowie passed away at the age of 69 on Sunday in Manhattan, New York, just days after releasing his latest album Blackstar, reported the New York Daily News. Bowie’s death came as a shock to his fans after the following announcement was released on his Twitter and Facebook account.
“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.”
Although David Bowie’s battle with liver cancer was withheld from the public, his friend and musical director Ivo Van Hove knew about his illness. He went on to say that “[i]t was written that he looked so well, so healthy,” but he knew that his heath was deteriorating. At the premiere of his theatre show, Hove stated that Bowie collapsed from exhaustion behind a podium backstage.
“It was then that I realized that it may be the last time I would see him,” he said.
“I have known for about a year. We began collaborating on our show, Lazarus, and at some point he took me to one side to say that he wouldn’t always be able to be there due to his illness. He told me he had cancer, liver cancer.”
Hove added, “The cast didn’t know all that time, and I suspect that the musicians with whom he recorded Blackstar didn’t know either. He made every effort to complete those two projects on time, not to let his illness win.”
“He was ill, but he wanted to live – for his wife and daughter, and for music. That became obvious to me time and time again during our collaboration. He wanted this show to go ahead, and he wanted this last album, Blackstar, to be released. He continued to make music until the very last moment. I have an unbelievable amount of admiration for how he really scraped together his strengths in order to still achieve this.”
According to the Mirror, Hove first learned of David Bowie’s death over the radio but says that he had an inkling something was wrong when he sent him an email, wishing him a happy birthday and never received a response.
He said, “When I heard the news, I was nevertheless in shock. I knew him as a very good man, a good person. His death is a huge loss.”
For reasons undisclosed, Bowie kept his illness a secret, but he did, however, release his latest album, Blackstar, on January 8 with seven tracks that threw hints to his fans about the “terminal nature of his condition.” In one of his songs, “Lazarus,” he starts it off with the following.
“Look up here, I’m in heaven, I’ve got scars that can’t be seen. It ends with the poignant. Oh, I’ll be free, Just like that bluebird.”
And when Bowie shot the video for “Lazarus,” he was seen lying in a hospital bed with bandages. But, of course, his fans weren’t aware that they were hints because, according to Bowie’s friend, he wanted the world to believe that he was healthy.
Iman shared iconic images of David Bowie the week before his death in a beautiful tribute https://t.co/aL2Mwb4WjG
— The Independent (@Independent) January 12, 2016
After David Bowie’s death, his wife of 24 years, Iman Abdulmajid, 60, has yet to post any direct messages about her late husband on social media.
However, the day before his death, she posted, “Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory,” giving the impression that she knew what would come of her husband.
On the day of Bowie’s death, she posted, “The Struggle is real, but so is God.”
David Bowie’s is survived by his second wife and two children, Duncan and Alexandria, but it is unclear when his funeral will take place. However, it was reported that a memorial concert will be held March 31 in the Big Apple’s Carnegie Hall.
[Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images]