Pioneering singer-songwriter and producer David Bowie has died following an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 69 years old.
The news came in the early hours of Monday morning via a statement posted to his website and social media, and was confirmed by his rep to The Hollywood Reporter. The statement reads as follows:
"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."
His son, Duncan Jones, also confirmed the news on Twitter.
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
Bowie, born David Robert Jones in Brixton in 1947, celebrated his birthday and the release of his 26th studio album ★ (Blackstar) just three days ago on January 8, and managed to shoot new music videos to accompany the album, despite his waning health. Though he had recently remained inactive on the live performance front, including a slate of canceled tour dates, Bowie had been rumored to make a live comeback with a headlining slot at this summer's Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona.
He is survived by two children: Duncan Jones and Alexandria "Lexi" Zahra Jones.
Bowie's death is a devastating loss, but the influence and legacy of his extraordinary 49-year career remain immeasurable.
It’s hard to think of David Bowie as someone who could die. It’s hard to think of anyone dying, of course, and especially our heroes. But while so many musicians we revere seem larger than life for the ways they taunt, defy, or otherwise exist relative to mortality, Bowie just always seemed to be separate from it. Beyond it.
And that was his gift: To push us beyond operating from places of fear, or confinement. To bypass reality in favor of existing unapologetically.
Somewhere out there, in some universe, he’s still doing just that.
There will be more words in the days ahead, but for now take a moment to mourn, remember, and celebrate his life and what his work meant to you. Thank you for everything, Starman. Burn bright.