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11 January 2016

David Bowie has died from cancer at the age of 69

The singer, instrumentalist, actor, producer, painter and aesthete has died days after the release of his last album, Blackstar.

By New Statesman

David Bowie has died at the age of 69 eighteen months after being diagnosed with cancer. His son Duncan Jones confirmed the news on Twitter, posting “very sorry and sad to say it’s true” along with a photo of him and his father.

Bowie’s last album, Blackstar (styled as ), was released on Friday, the singer’s birthday. It is his 25th studio album. The most recent single from the album, “Lazarus”, deals with themes of death and the afterlife. A music video for the song, uploaded to Bowie’s YouTube channel on Thursday, features the singer on his deathbed.

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“Lazarus”, from Blackstar () (2016)

His long-serving producer, Tony Visconti, has posted about the album on Facebook:

He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.

Bowie, whose real name was David Jones, was born on 8 January 1947 in Brixton.

Over the course of his career, Bowie had 9 Platinum, 11 Gold and 8 Silver albums, and was awarded two Grammys and three Brits. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. John Peel recalled him as being the first singer of the 70s to change the direction of music away from the static hold of progressive rock, and his different shifting, androgynous personas have been credited with constantly advancing music, fashion and aesthetics throughout his forty-five year career.

At the 2014 Brit Awards, Bowie became the oldest receiptant in the history of the prize when he was awarded Best British Male. Collected on his behalf by Kate Moss, his acceptance speech began “I’m completely delighted to have a Brit for being the best male — but I am, aren’t I Kate? Yes.”

“Five Years”, from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)