HOLLYWOOD—The music world is mourning the loss of rock and pop legend David Bowie who passed away at the age of 69, on Saturday, January 10 after an 18-month battle with cancer. Bowie was battling liver cancer, which the musician did not publicly announce. His death occurred just two days after his 69th birthday, where he released his latest album “Blackstar” which has already shot to the #1 spot on the iTunes charts.
The musician has an illustrious career that includes a total of 26 albums, his first album “David Bowie” was released in 1969. He was born in Brixton, London, England with the name David Robert Jones. He rose to fame in the 1970s with his over-the-top and androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust. He earned his first number one hit in the United States with “Fame.”
His musical talent changed as his career grew. He sold over 140 million albums worldwide, and won a sleuth of awards including two Grammys, three Brit Awards and was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. He married his first wife Angela Barnett in 1970. The two had a son, filmmaker Duncan Jones through their union. He later married supermodel Iman in 1992; they have one daughter together, Alexandria Zahra Jones.
In 1974, Bowie moved to the US and released the album “Diamond Dogs” which peaked at #5 on the charts; the album spawned the singles “Rebel Rebel” and “Diamond Dogs.” His 1975 album “Young Americans” yielded the artist his first US number one single in “Fame” which was co-written by John Lennon. Other #1 hits in Bowie’s career include “Ashes to Ashes” and “Let’s Dance” to name a few. He took almost a 10 year break from 2003 to 2013 before releasing the album “The Next Day.”
Bowie didn’t just dabble in music, he also appeared in several films throughout his career including “Into the Night,” “Absolute Beginners,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ,” and recently appeared in the 2006 Christopher Nolan mystery-thriller “The Prestige.”
He acknowledged that some of his musical influences in his career included Little Richard and Elvis Presley. Bowie acknowledged himself as being bi-sexual during a 1976 interview with Playboy magazine. Many celebrities reacted upon learning of David Bowie’s death by voicing their thoughts on social media forums.
Madonna wrote on her Facebook page: “I’m devastated. David Bowie changed the course of my life. I never felt like I fit in growing up in Michigan. Like an oddball or a freak. I went to see him in concert at Cobo Arena in Detroit. It was the first concert I’d ever been to. I snuck out of the house with my girlfriend wearing a cape. We got caught after and I was grounded for the summer. I didn’t care. I already had many of his records and was so inspired by the way he played with gender confusion. Was both masculine and feminine. Funny and serious. Clever and wise … Thank you David Bowie. I owe you a lot … The world will miss you. Love M.”
Elton John wrote on Instagram, “I am still in shock. Never saw it coming. My deepest condolences to Iman and the family. An amazing life. An amazing career.” The Rolling Stones tweeted, “The Rolling Stones are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death of our dear friend David Bowie. As well as being a wonderful and kind man, he was an extraordinary artist, and a true original.”
Academy Award winner Cher tweeted: “DEVASTATED…A LEGEND IS GONE.” On Bowie’s Facebook page, the following message was left for fans: “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 last video he shot before his passing “Lazarus” has odd references to his impending death. Bowie is survived by his son Duncan, wife Iman and their daughter Alexandria.