Legendary singer and actor David Bowie dead at 69

It’s a tragic day in the pop culture world.

The legendary singer’s representative has confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that David Bowie, singer, songwriter, producer, and actor, has died at the age of 69. He died of cancer on January 10, 2016. This comes as quite a shock as very few people knew he was battling the illness for the past 18 months.

A statement posted on the artist’s official social media accounts reads, “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.”

The career of the legendary and prolific artist spanned more than five decades and influenced countless other artists. Unlike many musicians, Bowie changed his style constantly and continued to evolve throughout his long career. He was wildly successful in multiple genres including glam rock, art rock, soul, hard rock, dance pop, punk and electronica. Always looking to experiment with his craft, Bowie helped popularize the idea of the concept album and even created a alternate persona for himself in the form the flamboyant, androgynous Ziggy Stardust.

Not only a brilliant musician, Bowie was also an accomplished actor for almost as long. In one of his earliest roles, he starred as an alien seeking help for his dying planet in Nicolas Roeg’s surreal The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). He played artist Andy Warhol in the 1996 film Basquiat and, more recently, the brilliant physicist Nikola Tesla in Christopher Nolan’s 2006 film, The Prestige. However, most people will probably remember him best for his portrayal of Jareth the Goblin King in the 1986 cult favorite Labyrinth, directed by Jim Henson. His look, as well as the infectious song “Magic Dance”, arguably encapsulates the late artist, if that’s possible, and have become somewhat iconic in the years since the movie’s release.

His career went quiet for a while between the years 2004 and 2012. He did earn a lifetime achievement Grammy Award in 2006, but never performed onstage again. However, surprisingly, he re-emerged in 2013 with the release of a new album “The Next Day” which was a critical and commercial hit. His career pressed on this December as he opened the rock musical “Lazarus” in New York City starring Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall in which Bowie revisits the character he played in The Man Who Fell to Earth. Most notably, though, Bowie just released yet another album, “Blackstar”, on Friday, just days before his unfortunate passing. Unsurprisingly, the album has been praised by critics.

He leaves behind his wife, model Iman, whom he married in 1992 and daughter Alexandria and son, director Duncan Jones. Bowie’s talent apparently rubbed off on Jones as the young man directed the fantastic 2009 film Moon and the acclaimed Source Code (2011). Furthermore, his film version of the immensely popular video game series Warcraft will be released this year.

We may never see an artist as versatile and influential as you, Mr. Bowie. You broke the mold when you came into this world. May you rest in peace.

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Glen Ilnicki
Glen Ilnicki 271 posts

Glen has been reading comic books and playing video games his whole life. His unhealthy passion, however, is for film. He currently resides in Ottawa, Canada.