David Bowie, the legendary singer-songwriter and actor, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 69.
The news came through the artist’s Facebook page and was later confirmed by the artist’s son, Duncan Jones, on Twitter.
“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.”
Bowie’s son, Duncan, tweeted a photo of his father holding him early Monday morning and wrote, “Very sorry and sad to say it’s true.”
Undoubtedly one of the most influential musicians of recent memory, Bowie, born David Jones, received his breakthrough in 1972 with the release of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which was quickly followed three years later by the single “Fame,” which successfully topped the charts in the U.S.
He would go on to release 25 albums, the last of which – Blackstar — was released on his birthday on January 8.
With a body of work spanning glam rock, art rock, soul, hard rock, dance pop, punk and electronica, Bowie was a cultural force to be reckoned with, and outside of music he also starred in a number of films, thanks to his differently colored eyes and distinctively thin frame.
“David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime,” Kanye West wrote on Twitter. “I pray for his friends and family.”
While Bowie kept a low profile in his final years, his influence on modern pop culture at large is undeniable, and he will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.