Just three days after social media celebrated David Bowie Day in recognition of the singer’s birthday and new album release, the 69-year-old singer’s son announced that his father died peacefully in his sleep Sunday.
Bowie, born David Robert Jones, died after an 18-month battle with cancer, his son, Duncan Jones, confirmed on Facebook.
“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,” the Facebook post read.
Bowie’s career spanned more than 40 years and included such hits as “Let’s Dance,” “Space Oddity,” “Heroes,” “Changes,” “Under Pressure,” “China Girl,” “Modern Love,” “Rebel, Rebel,” “All the Young Dudes,” “Panic in Detroit,” “Fashion” and “Life on Mars.”
Bowie’s music career naturally led to an acting career, and he most notably starred as Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth. He also had roles in Just a Gigolo, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence and The Last Temptation of Christ.
In the video released for Bowie’s most recent song, “Lazarus,” Bowie said, “You know, I’ll be free, just like that bluebird, now, ain’t that just like me. Oh, I’ll be free.”
Tony Visconti, producer of his last album, Blackstar, said it was a work of art alluding to his impending death.
“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,” Visconti said.