David Bowie dies aged 69 after 18-month secret battle with cancer
- David Bowie has died aged 69 after battling cancer in secret for 18 months
- The star underwent several radical transformations over 50-year career
- Showbiz world united in grief after the death of one of the world's most celebrated musicians
- Tributes flood in from celebrities, politicians and other public figures
Legendary singer David Bowie has died at the age of 69 after battling cancer in secret for 18 months.
The star, who released a new album last week, was known as the creator of glam rock and was one of the most successful artists of the 20th century.
A spokesman for Bowie said this morning: 'David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer.
David Bowie has died after an 18-month battle with cancer
News: Bowie's death was announced by his management on his website and social media this morning
Last picture: Bowie attended the premiere of the musical Lazarus, based on his songs, in New York last month
'While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.'
His latest album Blackstar was released just last Friday, the singer's 69th birthday, although Bowie had rarely performed or been seen in public in recent months.
It has now emerged that he was gravely ill during the recording and release of the album, as well as the making of its two music videos.
Bowie's son Duncan Jones, also known as Zowie Bowie, confirmed the news, writing on Twitter: 'Very sorry and sad to say it's true. I'll be offline for a while. Love to all.'
Other stars paid tribute to the British singer - Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon tweeted: 'So sad to hear of David Bowie dying x'.
Sadness: Bowie's son Duncan Jones confirmed the news and posted a touching photograph of himself with his father
Release: Bowie in the music video for his recent single Lazarus, recorded while he was suffering from cancer
Transformation: Bowie went from a clean-cut young musician in the 1960s, left, to a glam rock icon during the 1970s, right
Iconic: This photograph of Bowie in character for the album Aladdin Sane is one of the most recognisable images of the 1970s
Kanye West wrote: 'David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime.'
Ricky Gervais tweeted, 'I just lost a hero. RIP David Bowie,' while Eddie Izzard wrote: 'Please could every radio station around the globe just play David Bowie music today - I think the world owes him that.'
Billy Idol was one of many people to suggest that Bowie's death was a moment of unusually powerful grief, writing on Twitter: 'Nearly brought to tears by sudden news of David Bowie's passing.'
Cricketer Shane Warne added: 'We can be "Heroes".. You were one of mine. Bowie tunes will be played loud in the Warne house tonight.'
Radio DJ Fearne Cotton said: 'Devastated. There will only ever be one David Bowie. A pioneer, a maverick and a visionary. I've been so inspired by him and his intent on doing what he wants without thought of judgment and views of others. RIP to one of the last icons.'
David Cameron also joined the tributes, saying: '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.'
Icon: Bowie was known for his dramatic costumes and frequent transformations; he is pictured with Twiggy in 1973
Versatile: Bowie pictured left in the music video for 1980's Ashes to Ashes, and right performing in 1990
Couple: Bowie with his wife Iman, whom he married in 1992 and with whom he had a daughter
Mayor of London Boris Johnson described Bowie as a 'genius', saying: 'Terrible news to hear Brixton-born David Bowie has died. No one in our age has better deserved to be called a genius.'
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, added: 'What dreadful news about David Bowie. A hero for so much more than just one day.'
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme he became a Bowie fan during the singer's early rise to prominence.
'I'm very, very saddened to hear of his death,' he said. 'I remember sitting listening to his songs endlessly in the '70s particularly and always really relishing what he was, what he did, the impact he had. Extraordinary person.'
Thousands of fans expressed their grief at the star's unexpected death, sharing his song lyrics online and reminiscing about memories of him - one enthusiast wrote: 'Didn't occur to me that David Bowie could die.'
Despite his relatively low profile over the past few years, Bowie gave no hint that he was gravely ill before the announcement of his death today.
His final music video, Lazarus, featured haunting footage of the singer confined to a hospital bed with his eyes covered by a bandage,with lyrics beginning: 'Look up here, I'm in heaven, I've got scars that can't be seen.'
Tributes: Stars from the world of showbiz and beyond were quick to express grief at the news
Bowie, who was born David Jones in Brixton, South London and brought up in the suburb of Bromley, began his career as a novelty musician before finding fame in 1969 with the hit Space Oddity.
During the 1970s, Bowie was regarded as one of the most radical and ground-breaking musicians in the world, ushering in the glam rock era with his Ziggy Stardust persona.
He continued to mix experimental concepts with traditional pop songs in albums such as Heroes, Low and Diamond Dogs, as well as acting in films such as The Man Who Fell to Earth and The Last Temptation of Christ.
In recent years Bowie's career revived once again despite his keeping a relatively low public profile - three years ago The Next Day was a best-seller, while new album Blackstar - tipped to go straight to number one this week - has received positive reviews.
At the height of his fame in 1970 he declared that he was bisexual, instantly propelling him to the status of gay icon.
Bowie was married twice - he wed first wife Angie in 1970, and the couple's son Duncan was born the next year before they divorced in 1980. He later married supermodel Iman, having a daughter named Alexandria who is now 15.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3393470/David-Bowie-dies-18-month-battle-cancer.html#ixzz3wvIVK4zk
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook