Legendary artist David Bowie died Sunday at the age of 69. A statement on Bowie’s 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.”
Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones, also confirmed the news in a tweet early Monday morning, sharing a black-and-white photo of the father and son.
Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all. pic.twitter.com/Kh2fq3tf9m
Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, was released Friday, on his 69th birthday. It is the 25th album from the seminal artist, songwriter and producer who rose to fame with 1969′s Space Oddity, and in the early 1970s became internationally known with his Ziggy Stardust alter-ego following the 1972 launch of the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
Although Ziggy Stardust peaked at Number 75 on the Billboard 200 charts in the United States, the publicity surrounding the album made Bowie a household name. It is widely considered by rock critics to be one of the best – and most influential – albums of all time.
Bowie was born David Jones in Brixton, London, England on January 8, 1947. He adopted the surname Bowie after Davy Jones rose to fame as a member of The Monkees. Bowie’s career spanned nearly 50 years, during which he sold an estimated 140 million albums. He won two Grammy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, and three Brit Awards, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 17, 1996. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Bowie 39th on their list of the 100 Greatest Rock Artists of All Time.
In 2013, Bowie released The Next Day, his first album in a decade. It debuted at Number 2 on the Billboard 200, becoming Bowie’s highest-ever charting album in the United States with 85,000 copies sold. It debuted at Number 1 in the UK, selling more than 94,000 copies.
An off-broadway production called Lazarus, for which Bowie composed several songs, is currently running. According to the New York Times, the show is the fastest-selling show the storied New York Theater Workshop has produced in its 36-year history. “Lazarus” is one of seven tracks that appears on Bowie’s Blackstar album.
Bowie was to be honored with a concert at Carnegie Hall on March 31 featuring the Roots, Cyndi Lauper and Perry Farrell, among others.
Bowie is survived by his wife, supermodel Iman, whom he married in 1992, and two children: Duncan Jones (from Bowie’s marriage to model Angela Barnett) and Alexandria Zahra Jones, born in 2000.