This morning the music world woke up to the sad news that David Bowie passed away last night after an 18-month battle with cancer.
“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,” his representatives announced via his Facebook.
Bowie’s 50-year music career involved multiple personas and the release of a raft of groundbreaking albums, one of which, ‘Blackstar’, was released just last week on his birthday (January 8), which was described by many critics as a ‘fitting musical epitaph’.
In hindsight it was clear his latest album was Bowie saying goodbye with songs like ‘Lazarus’ and ‘Dollar Days’ speaking of illness, death and heaven.
The album’s producer, Tony Visconti, said today, “He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way.
“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. For now, it is appropriate to cry.
Bowie sold upwards of a 140 million records during his lifetime under a range of personas including Ziggy Stardust and then Thin White Duke, where he explored funk and soul. His crowning glory though, amongst many, was his consistent ability to reinvent himself time and time again both musically and artistically.
“I don’t know where I am going from here. But I promise it won’t be boring” – David Bowie, 1947-2016.
— Rough Trade (@RoughTrade) January 11, 2016