MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – The legendary British musician David Bowie has died on Sunday, January 10 (Monday, January 11 in Manila), bringing the curtain down on one of the most acclaimed artists of modern British music. He was 69.
Bowie died after an 18-month battle with cancer, according to a statement posted on his official Facebook and Twitter accounts.
“While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief,” the statement said.
His son, director and screenwriter Duncan Jones, later tweeted: “Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all.”
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 is best known for his groundbreaking work in music, working on a diverse range of styles ranging from glam rock, New Romantic, Krautrock and dance music to alternative rock, jungle, soul and hard rock, underpinned by an astonishing array of stage personas from the sexually ambiguous Ziggy Stardust to the so-called Thin White Duke.
From Space Oddity to Blackstar
He started his legendary career in 1967, and his first hit song Space Oddity was released in 1969 – a song about an astronaut called Major Tom who is abandoned in space.
The 1970s – the decade that saw him dominate the British music scene and conquer the United States – brought forward a string of successful albums, starting with the critically-acclaimed Hunky Dory.
In 1972, Bowie – and his alter ego Ziggy Stardust – was catapulted to stardom with the release of his album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The album spawned hits such as Starman and Suffragette City.
This was followed by the rock album Aladdin Sane, the apocalyptic Diamond Dogs and a fling with so-called plastic soul, Station to Station.
He then switched gears once more, moving to Berlin to work with the electronic experimentalist Brian Eno product a trio of albums – Low, Heroes, and Lodger.
The 1980s saw him win over a new generation with Let’s Dance, which yielded the hit singles China Girl and Modern Love, and a 1985 teamup with Mick Jagger for a cover of Dancin’ in the Street that helped to push the BandAid and LiveAid charity projects.
His chameleon-like ability to reinvent his image, drawing on everything from mime to kabuki theatre, was accompanied by a string of albums until heart problems curtailed his productivity in the 2000s.
But he surprised the world by launching a surprise single Where are We Now? on his 66th birthday in 2013 after a decade of silence, recalling his days in Berlin in the 1970s and hailed by critics as a major comeback.
The singer has just released his 28th album, Blackstar, on Friday, January 8 – which was also his 69th birthday.
Throughout his career he appeared in films in acting and cameo roles, from his striking appearance in the cult 1986 film Labyrinth to playing inventor Nikola Tesla in The Prestige in 2006.
An innovator to the end, Bowie moved away from pop into a new jazz sound in his final album. A dark work marked by tense instrumentation, a sense of dread and lyrics about mortality, the work is cast in a new light by the revelation of how ill he was when he created it.
He was born David Robert Jones in Brixton, inner south London, on January 8 ,1947. At the beginning of his career in 1966, he named himself David Bowie to avoid confusion with Davy Jones, lead singer with Beatles rivals The Monkees, and studied Buddhism and mime.
He leaves behind his wife, supermodel Iman, and two children: Duncan Jones, his son with his first wife Angie Bowie, and Alexandria Zahra Jones, his daughter with Iman. – With reports from Agence France-Presse and KD Suarez/Rappler.com