It is with an incredibly heavy heart that we bring you the news that rock icon–honestly a rock legend–David Bowie has passed away. A solemn message posted on David Bowie’s social networks reported the news just after what was 11 p.m. PST in Los Angeles.
Shortly after, Bowie’s publicist Steve Martin confirmed the news to the CNN and his longtime business manager Bill Zysblat confirmed the same to the L.A. Times. Around the same time, his son Duncan Jones confirmed the news via his twitter.
Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all. pic.twitter.com/Kh2fq3tf9m
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) January 11, 2016
Though little has been said publicly about Bowie’s health since his infamous heart problem stemmed from a blocked artery he needed surgery for that derailed his 2004 Reality tour, apparently he had been privately fighting a losing battle with an undisclosed form of cancer. Since the 2004 health scare, the musician has not toured and only made a couple of sporadic appearances live at all. His last of being in 2006 at a New York City benefit for Keep a Child Alive. In the meantime, he kept a low profile, occasionally collaborating with bands like TV on the Radio and Arcade Fire and releasing two albums: the 2013 release The Next Day and ★ (pronounced Blackstar). The latter of which, came out literally two days ago on January 8th, 2016, the same day as his 69th birthday.
Bowie leaves behind a legacy impossible to match by any living artist. Beloved by fans the world over, the forward-thinking, sometimes visually outrageous artist had an unparalleled career mutating and evolving his sound over some four decades. He became a model for all that followed him as the most desired combination possible of uncompromising art but also impressively relevant popular success. His albums The Man Who Sold the World, Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Low, Let’s Dance, Tin Machine, Outside, and many many more became touchstones of modern rock and alternative music, influencing artists in every corner of music. His music was covered by everyone from Nirvana to Beck to Warpaint. And, he made a career of collaborating and/or producing of some of the most brilliant musicians in music history. His collaborations include “Under Pressure” with Queen, Lou Reed’s Transformer, several Iggy Pop albums and songs and “I’m Afraid of Americans” with Trent Reznor just to name a few. He also had an incredible knack for picking brilliant guitar players. Amidst his regular guitar collaborators were Mick Ronson, Carlos Alomar, Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Reeves Gabrels among many others. Not to mention his longtime friend, bass player and producer Tony Visconti (famous for production himself) and even at times the legendary Brian Eno as a keyboardist.
Bowie also had a heralded and impressive acting career, performing in such seminal films as The Man Who Fell to Earth, Labyrinth, The Last Temptation of Christ, Basquiat and his final performance as Nikola Tesla in Christopher Nolan’s brilliant The Prestige. Currently, a musical co-written by him and Tony Winner Enda Walsh is being performed off Broadway with actor Michael C. Hall in the starring role.
We’ll update you here as more details become available.
In his family he leaves behind an ex-wife Mary Barnett and their son Duncan Jones as well as his wife supermodel Iman and their daughter Alexandria Jones. We try not to editorialize much in our news coverage here, but it’s safe to say the entire world of music just got a little less brighter. All our love and respects to his family and friends.
Check out our complete retrospective on the diverse and always-fascinating career of David Bowie with the following links.
- mxdwn Movies takes a look at his roles on the silver screen
- mxdwn Television profiles his small-screen appearances
- mxdwn UK analyzes the impact the Thin White Duke had on British music
- mxdwn Games reports on Square Enix rereleasing Omikron: The Nomad Soul, a game which Bowie appeared in, for free
- mxdwn Music profiles the most important points in his career
- mxdwn Music discusses his greatest and most important musical collaborations
- mxdwn Music takes a look at the reaction of the music world to his death
- mxdwn Music lists the best covers of his music
- mxdwn Music gives an in-depth analysis of some of Bowie’s covers of other artists