Rock icon David Bowie has died of cancer at the age of 69.
A statement posted to the pioneering music legend’s social media accounts read: “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 death came just three days after the release of a music video which featured chilling footage of the singer confined to a hospital bed with his eyes covered by a bandage.
Following news of his tragic death, an outpouring of grief came from family, fans, public figures and celebrities.
Bowie’s son Duncan Jones, who directed Bafta-winning film Moon, wrote on Twitter: “Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all.”
Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all. pic.twitter.com/Kh2fq3tf9m
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) January 11, 2016
Sir Paul McCartney described him as a “great star” who “played a very strong part in British musical history”.
The Rolling Stones paid tribute to “an extraordinary artist” and a “true original”.
Iggy Pop tweeted: “David’s friendship was the light of my life. I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is.”
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
Madonna wrote on Twitter: “Talented. Unique. Genius. Game Changer. The Man who Fell to Earth. Your Spirit Lives on Forever!”
— Madonna (@Madonna) January 11, 2016
Rapper Kanye West said: “David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime.”
David Beckham showed his solidarity for the British legend, posting, ‘A creative genius and influence over us all.. Rest In Peace STARMAN’.
Bowie – real name David Jones – enjoyed a career that spanned 51 years.
He sold a staggering 140 million albums since his first release in 1967 and enjoyed hits which defined pop music and included Let’s Dance, Changes, Space Oddity, Starman, Modern Love, Heroes, Under Pressure, Rebel Rebel and Life on Mars.
He was also well known for creating his flamboyant alter ego Ziggy Stardust.
The singer, who lived in New York with his supermodel wife of 24 years, Iman and their daughter Lexi, 15, only released his latest album Blackstar on his birthday last Friday.
The album, which includes just seven songs, has been well received by critics and was intended as a “parting gift” to the world, according to long-time friend and producer Tony Visconti.
Visconti wrote on Facebook: “His death was no different from his life – a work of art.
“He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift.