David Bowie, legendary rocker, dies at 69

Singer/songwriter/producer and rock music icon David Bowie died peacefully on Sunday surrounded by his family following an 18-month struggle with cancer.

He just released his 25th full-length album on his 69th birthday, Jan. 8, titled, Blackstar.

“While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief,” read a statement posted Sunday on the legendary singer’s official Facebook page. as per ETOnline.com

Bowie’s son, filmmaker Duncan Jones, confirmed the singer’s death on Twitter, writing, “Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all.”

Born David Jones in London on Jan. 8, 1947, Bowie changed his name in 1966 after The Monkees’ Davy Jones achieved fame. Bowie’s groundbreaking music career spanned 40 plus years with his potent mix of glam rock, soul, punk rock, hard rock and dance. With his 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Bowie made a musical and artistic innovation creating created his glitzy, asexual alter ego Ziggy Stardust, a space alien and rockstar all rolled into one fantastical persona.

In what was thought to be a publicity stunt in order to promote the album, during a magazine interview in January 1972, Bowie revealed he was homosexual. Bowie then dyed his hair orange and began wearing women’s clothing. Whether it was a publicity stunt or not, the album was a smash success.

Three years later, Bowie successfully crossed over into the American mainstream music scene with the No. 1 single “Fame” off the top 10 album Young Americans, notes Entertainment Tonight. He also had success with the 1976 experimental art rock album Station to Station, which made it to No. 3 on the charts and featured top 10 hit “Golden Years.”

His other memorable songs include, 1977’s “Rebel Rebel,” 1975’s “Young Americans,” 1983’s “Let’s Dance” — his only other No. 1 U.S. hit – 1983’s “China Girl,” in addition to his collaborations with Tina Turner, Queen, Mick Jagger and others.

Always the innovator, Bowie was also the first rock star to embrace the Internet while it was still in its infancy when he launched BowieNet in September 1998.

Bowie and his music remained quiet between 2002 and 2012, but he resurfaced musically in 2013 with The Next Day, which blew up on social media causing it to catapult to No. 2 on the Billboard 200, making it his highest charting album ever. Subsequently, fans clamored for an accompanying tour, but Bowie, maintained a low profile and was rarely seen.

In addition to Jones, Bowie is survived by his wife, the model Iman, who he married in 1992.

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