The world was greeted this Monday morning with some incredibly sad news: rock ‘n roll icon David Bowie had passed away at the age of 69 after an undisclosed 18-month battle with cancer. As the news spread across the globe, some of the music’s biggest and most influential names expressed their sadness through moving tributes. To see this vast number of legendary musicians express their gratitude for Bowie’s career is a testament to his never-ceasing creativity and once-in-a-millennium musical genius.
“David’s death came as a complete surprise, as did nearly everything else about him. I feel a huge gap now.
We knew each other for over 40 years, in a friendship that was always tinged by echoes of Pete and Dud. Over the last few years — with him living in New York and me in London — our connection was by email. We signed off with invented names: some of his were mr showbiz, milton keynes, rhoda borrocks and the duke of ear.
About a year ago we started talking about Outside — the last album we worked on together. We both liked that album a lot and felt that it had fallen through the cracks. We talked about revisiting it, taking it somewhere new. I was looking forward to that.
I received an email from him seven days ago. It was as funny as always, and as surreal, looping through word games and allusions and all the usual stuff we did. It ended with this sentence: ‘Thank you for our good times, brian. they will never rot’. And it was signed ‘Dawn’.
I realise now he was saying goodbye.”
“Very sad news to wake up to on this raining morning. David was a great star and I treasure the moments we had together. His music played a very strong part in British musical history and I’m proud to think of the huge influence he has had on people all around the world. I send my deepest sympathies to his family and will always remember the great laughs we had through the years. His star will shine in the sky forever.” – Paul Photo of Paul and David Bowie by @LindaMcCartney 1985 #PaulMcCartney #DavidBowie A photo posted by Paul McCartney (@paulmccartney) on
Win Butler of Arcade Fire:
MESSAGE FROM IGGY: “David’s friendship was the light of my life. I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is. – Iggy Pop”
— Iggy Pop (@IggyPop) January 11, 2016
Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off it’s axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost it’s orbit. That said—I am certain that wherever Bowie is now—I want to be there someday.
David was always an inspiration to me and a true original. He was wonderfully shameless in his work. 1/2 — Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) January 11, 2016
We had so many good times together. He was my friend, I will never forget him. 2/2 pic.twitter.com/9xfPj88x8b
— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) January 11, 2016
Bradford Cox of Deerhunter:
We need Bowie. Our culture needs him now more than ever. As a musician, he is a kind of perpetual beacon. I’ll often ask myself when I’m working on a record, What would David Bowie do? He had this ability to explore his influences and things that fascinated him and somehow photograph them through his special Bowie lens and create something totally startling and new.
Planet Earth is blue – Bono A photo posted by U2 Official (@u2) on
What a honor, what a soul. David Bowie, Spirit of Gold. RIP. — Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) January 11, 2016
Queens of the Stone Age:
See you in Valhalla Black Star A photo posted by QOTSA (@queensofthestoneage) on
El-P of Run the Jewels:
Gerald V. Casale of DEVO:
The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle:
David Bowie’s music, over the years, has meant more to me than I can say. We have lost someone who imparted comfort and strength to us.
— The Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats) January 11, 2016
David Bowie was one of my most important inspirations, so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime. — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) January 11, 2016
RIP David Bowie. A true InspIration pic.twitter.com/My0BrfSqgS
— PIXIES (@PIXIES) January 11, 2016
Mac McCaughan of Superchunk:
One of the 1st LPs I bought. He’d already covered more terrain than most ppl do in a career. #BOWIE #NP #RIP A photo posted by Mac McCaughan (@macsuperchunk) on
Producer Justin Meldahl-Johnsen:
I suppose we all thought he was immortal. The truth is hard to bear. Yet his music will stretch forward in time with incredible power.
— J. Meldal-Johnsen (@justinmj) January 11, 2016
bowie was beyond human. he taught us all how to lose ourselves a little bit, to reach up with open fists to heavens unknown. — ZOLA JESUS (@ZOLAJESUS) January 11, 2016
As John & I had very few friends, we felt David was as close as family. Sweet memories will stay with us forever. pic.twitter.com/WoZsztnm4E
— Yoko Ono (@yokoono) January 11, 2016