Singer David Bowie has died at the age of 69 from cancer.
Tributes have been paid from around the world to the “extraordinary artist” whose last album was released days ago.
His son, film director Duncan Jones, confirmed the news and a statement was issued on his social media accounts.
“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer,” it said, asking for privacy for the family.
His son, 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.”
Bowie’s hits include 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 was married to Somalian Supermodel Imman had been living in New York in recent years and had only released his latest album Blackstar on his birthday on Friday.
Bowie was born David Jones in Brixton, south London, on 8 January in 1947. He changed his name in 1966 after The Monkees’ Davy Jones achieved stardom.
His career spanned six decades.
He was in several bands before he signed with Mercury Records, which released his album Space Oddity in 1969, with the title track becoming his first UK number one
His breakthrough came with 1972’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.
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.
“I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us.”
The Rolling Stones paid tribute to “an extraordinary artist” and a “true original”.
Friend and collaborator Iggy Pop wrote on Twitter: “David’s friendship was the light of my life. I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is.”
Madonna said she was “devastated” and that Bowie had “changed her life”. Shewrote on Twitter: “Talented . Unique. Genius. Game Changer. The Man who Fell to Earth. Your Spirit Lives on Forever!”
Rapper Kanye West said: “David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime.”
Comedian and actor Ricky Gervais, who convinced Bowie to star as himself and ridicule Gervais in an episode of 2006 sitcom Extras, simply wrote: “I just lost a hero. RIP David Bowie.”
Scottish musician Midge Ure, who helped organised the Live Aid concert in 1985 – at which Bowie performed – told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “He wasn’t just a brilliant songwriter and an amazing creator, he excelled at everything.
“He gave us the point to run towards, we are all still trying to run towards that, everyone.”
David Bowie was the Picasso of pop. He was an innovative, visionary, restless artist: the ultimate ever-changing postmodernist.
Along with the Beatles, Stones and Elvis Presley, Bowie defined what pop music could and should be. He brought art to the pop party, infusing his music and performances with the avant-garde ideas of Merce Cunningham, John Cage and Andy Warhol.
He turned pop in a new direction in 1972 with the introduction of his alter ego Ziggy Stardust. Glam rock was the starting point, but Ziggy was much more than an eyeliner-wearing maverick: he was a truly theatrical character that at once harked backed to pre-War European theatre while anticipating 1980s androgyny and today’s discussions around a transgender spectrum.
He was a great singer, songwriter, performer, actor, producer and collaborator. But beyond all that, at the very heart of the matter, David Bowie was quite simply – quite extraordinarily – cool.
Chris Hadfield, the former commander of the International Space Station whorecorded a video of a version of Space Oddity during his final mission, said his “brilliance inspired us all”.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I grew up listening to and watching the pop genius David Bowie. He was a master of re-invention, who kept getting it right. A huge loss.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that Bowie was a “great musician, great entertainer”, saying he felt “very, very sad” about his death.
“Life On Mars comes flowing back into my mind,” he said. “Wonderful song, wonderful guy.”
The Vatican’s chief spokesman on cultural matters, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi,tweeted lyrics to Space Oddity in tribute to Bowie while Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said he was “very very saddened to hear of his death”.
Culled from BBC