Farewell David Bowie — Rock Superstar Dies At 69

David Bowie

January 11, 2016 — One of rock music’s greatest superstars has died. Ziggy Stardust, aka David Bowie, lost his battle with cancer just two days after his 69th birthday.

He had also released his latest album, Blackstar. It was his 25th studio album.

There had been rumors of the rock star’s ill-health, and word that he had become something of a recluse. But the extremely private family did not confirm the rumors and fans were shocked to hear of his passing — and surprised to learn that Bowie had been suffering from cancer for 18 months.

The announcement was first made on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. It 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.” It would later be verified by his son, Duncan Jones, who wrote, “Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. …I’ll be offline for awhile. Love to all.”

Tony Visconti, who produced Blackstar, wrote “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.”

Bowie first came to attention with the 1969 release of Space Oddity, a single which charted in the United Kingdom. But it was as his incarnation as Ziggy Stardust — a glam-rock sensation with bright red hair — and the release of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, that Bowie became a true star. 

He would become known for his ability to recreate himself. His next hit album, Diamond Dogs, would be followed by Young Americans, a major success, which was considered to be an entirely new sound. He countered that with a new persona — the Thin White Duke.

Bowie would continue issuing successful records. His pairing with Queen, Under Pressure, would become a #1 hit. as did his duet with Mick Jagger, Dancin’ in the Street.

He would also take on an acting career which was far more successful than the attempts by many of his contemporary rock stars. Labyrinth, The Man Who fell to Earth, The Prestige, and Absolute Beginners are among the films in which he appeared.  

He would reach his greatest level of success as a rock star with the album Let’s Dance. His Serious Moonlight tour and his successful videos kept Bowie in the public eye as one of rock’s greatest stars.

Among other awards, Bowie was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award on 8 February 2006 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 17 January 1996

Rolling Stone Magazine has listed him as the 39th most influential rock star of all time.

He continued writing and performing into 2003 when he required an angioplasty for a severely blocked artery. After the surgery, his live performances became more limited and there were reports of general ill-health. However, news of Bowie’s cancer were largely kept private.

He was married twice. His first marriage, to Angie Bowie, lasted from 1970 to 1980; Duncan Jones is their son. His second was to Somali-American model Iman in 1992; the were married at the time of his death. Their daughter Alexandra Jones, was born in 2000.
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