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David_Bowie_-_TopPop_1974_11Merely days after the death of one music legend, Motorhead’s Lemmy comes the devastating news that pop icon David Bowie (David Robert Jones) has died after an 18 month battle with cancer.

The world was informed late this afternoon (January 11) Australian time via Bowie’s official Facebook and Twitter pages with the following post:

“January 10 2016 – 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 has been the focus of death hoaxes in the past and it was hoped that this may again be the case. However,  Bowie’s publicist first confirmed the death, followed soon after by David’s actor/director son Duncan Jones. Duncan tweeted, “Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all.”

A grieving music world has flooded social media with tributes. Longtime Bowie guitarist Earl Slick has just posted to his Facebook page:

“First and foremost, to Iman, Duncan and Lexi my heart goes out to you.
To the man that had given me so much over the last 40 years I am beyond words at the moment .
good bye David.
Sleep tight my friend.

One of Bowie’s most famous collaborators and close friend Iggy Pop Tweeted: “David’s friendship was the light of my life. I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is. – Iggy Pop”

Ricky Gervais, who had just finished hosting the Golden Globes tweeted “I just lost a hero. RIP David Bowie.” Bowie famously appeared in Gervais TV show Extras in which he sang the hilarious ‘Chubby Little Loser’

At the time, it was not known if Bowie’s ex wife Angie Bowie was even aware of the death as she is currently inside the UK Big Brother House as one of the celebrity participants. It has since been confirmed that she has been informed of David’s death and has decided to stay in the BB house. We send our deepest condolences.

Bowie fans were overjoyed with the release of a new album Blackstar on January 7 and there was hope that he may grace the stage once again. Reviewers worldwide who have been dissecting the album have spoken of Bowie facing his own immortality. Eerily the website Pitchfork ended their Blackstar review with the words, “Bowie will live on long after the man has died. For now, though, he’s making the most of his latest reawakening, adding to the myth while the myth is his to hold.”

We here at Australian Musician join the world in mourning the death of one of the truly great recording and performing artists. It was only a couple of months ago that we marveled at the ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition at ACMI in Melbourne, where we could see actual costumes, hand written lyric sheets and other historically significant personal items from the man. The road to modern day rock n roll is littered with millions of songs, events, and personalities. However, along the way there are a few significant milestones which really shaped the genre. Chuck Berry brought electric guitar to the pop. Haley and The Comets gave us ‘the hit’. Elvis was the star factor. The Beatles brought the mania, then later pioneered recording techniques and ‘the album’.  The Stones offered us white boy blues in a bad boy image. Dylan gave us social commentary. Jim Morrison was the poetry. Bowie? David Bowie gave us the rock show, the visual, the costumes, the makeup, the characters, the glamour … glam! He merged art with pop. He gave us the mystique, the sexual ambiguity, the element of surprise, the chhh changes! He was a pioneer, the man who fell to earth, the starman, ziggy, the thin white duke, an innovator and musical visionary. RIP David Bowie.

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