David Bowie, the legendary singer-songwriter and actor, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 69.
The artist’s Facebook page announced the news, with the singer’s rep confirming his death to Rolling Stone. “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer,” the statement read. “While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”
One of the most original and singular voices in rock & roll for nearly five decades, Bowie championed mystery, rebellion and curiosity in his music. Ever unpredictable, the mercurial artist and fashion icon wore many guises throughout his life. Beginning life as a dissident folk-rock spaceman, he would become a glam-rock alien (Ziggy Stardust), a well-dressed, blue-eyed funk maestro (the Thin White Duke), a drug-loving art rocker (the Berlin albums), a new-wave hit-maker, a hard rocker, a techno enthusiast and a jazz impressionist.
Along the way, he charted the hits “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” “Fame,” “Heroes,” “Let’s Dance” and “Where Are We Now?” among many others. Accordingly, his impact on the music world has been immeasurable. Artists who have covered Bowie’s songs include Joan Jett, Duran Duran, Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson, Arcade Fire, Oasis, Ozzy Osbourne, Morrissey, Beck, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bauhaus, Nine Inch Nails.
Two days before his death, the singer put out his final LP, ★ (pronounced Blackstar). The record reflected the ever-evolving, chameleonic artist’s interest in jazz and hip-hop. “We were listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar,” producer Tony Visconti said of the recording sessions. “We wound up with nothing like that, but we loved the fact Kendrick was so open-minded and he didn’t do a straight-up hip-hop record. He threw everything on there, and that’s exactly what we wanted to do. The goal, in many, many ways, was to avoid rock & roll.”
Born on January 8th, 1947, Bowie emerged in the late Sixties as one of the freshest and most singular voices of his generation. Each album he released offered a new glimpse at his genius, whether on the glam-rock of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, the art-rock of Low or the adventurism of his surprise 2012 comeback album The Next Day.
Bowie also enjoyed a long career as an actor, with memorable rolls in The Man Who Fell to Earth, Labyrinth, The Hunger, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and The Prestige, among others. His latest theatrical venture was Lazarus, an off-Broadway musical that continued the story of his character in The Man Who Fell to Earth with songs from throughout his career and originals.
This is a developing story and will be updated frequently.