Iconic musician and actor David Bowie, a.k.a. Ziggy Stardust, died January 10 following an 18-month battle with cancer which he and his family had kept private.
The news was confirmed on the glam-rock icon’s official Facebook page as well as by his son, director Duncan Jones, who tweeted, “Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all.”
Bowie had just celebrated his 69th birthday on January 8, the same day he released his 25th studio album, Blackstar. He is survived by his wife, the supermodel Iman, his son Duncan Jones, and his daughter, Alexandria “Lexi” Zahra Jones who is 15.
David Bowie’s videos have smashed all viewing records following the announcement of his death this week. His videos were watched 51 million times on January 11, easily breaking through the previous one-day record — which was achieved by Adele on October 23 when her single “Hello” was viewed 36 million times.
This total was helped in large part by Bowie’s final single, “Lazarus,” showing the singer in a hospital bed before he disappears into a cupboard. The song has the opening line “Look up here, I’m in heaven / I’ve got scars, that can’t be seen”. If you haven’t yet seen it – do yourself a favor and watch it now. It’s eerie, beautiful, groundbreaking and extremely sad, all at the same time.
Rock stars and fans flooded the internet with tributes and heartfelt condolences. Over 4.3 million tweets to #RIPDavidBowie were sent on January 11 alone.
“I can tell you unequivocally if it wasn’t for David Bowie, there would be no Twisted Sister,” Jay Jay French told CBS. “The Bowie medley, which are three songs from the The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars album, were our staple for about five years. You couldn’t come and see Twisted Sister without listening to those songs from that album. It was as simple as that. We loved Bowie, and we changed as Bowie changed.”
Check out this video of TS doing Bowie’s Suffragette City, below.
“It’s hard to know exactly what to say when you hear of someone’s passing,” Alice Cooper said. “I know that I have certainly lost one of my lifetime rock and roll theatrical comrades in David Bowie. We both started in theatrical rock ‘n’ roll at the same time, and in some cases we challenged each other to go farther and push the envelope.
“The loss of David Bowie will be hard to swallow for everyone. He leaves behind a rich history of musical and cultural experimentation and invention that will rarely be seen again, if ever. He was one of a kind.
“The man that fell to Earth has gone back to the planet that he came from. Condolences to his family and fans.”