David Bowie — an English singer, songwriter, and actor — died on Jan. 10, just two days after he turned 69 years old and released his final album, Blackstar. His Facebook page confirmed that he succumbed to cancer, an illness he battled for over a year.
“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer,” the statement on Bowie’s social media page read. “While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”
His son from his first marriage, Duncan Jones, also confirmed the sad news via Twitter.
Born David Robert Jones in Brixton, London, Bowie had a fascination for music from an early age. He was initially influenced by Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Frankie Lymon, and the like. After declaring he wanted to become a pop star and playing in several bands, the colorful artist snagged his first UK top five hit, “Space Oddity,” in 1969. Early on, Bowie’s adventurous sound and androgynous style became his signature, although both of these aspects of the singer would evolve over time.
Other notable releases during his 50-year-long career included hit songs like “Starman,” “Ashes to Ashes,” and “Fame”; and acclaimed albums such as Young Americans and Let’s Dance.
Bowie married Somalian supermodel Iman in 1992. The couple had one daughter, Alexandria “Lexi” Zahra Jones, in 2000. Bowie also has a son, director Duncan Jones.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and sold an estimated 140 million records worldwide throughout his career.