LONDON - Music icon David Bowie died on Sunday, two days after his 69th birthday, said an announcement on his official Facebook page.
He “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 singer, songwriter, actor and artist had marked his birthday last Friday with the release of a new album, Blackstar, which critics praised as the latest masterpiece in a long and innovative career, said Reuters.
He also released the video for a single, Lazarus, in which he is lying in what appears to be a hospital bed with his eyes bandaged.
Born David Jones, Bowie rose to fame with Space Oddity, his 1969 sci-fi single, and The Man Who Sold The World, his 1970 album mixing art rock and heavy metal. He had personae including his jumpsuit-wearing alter ego Ziggy Stardust.
Bowie's son, film-maker Duncan Jones, confirmed his father's death on Twitter. He posted a black-and-white photo of Bowie carrying him when he was a baby.
British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: “I grew up listening to and watching the pop genius David Bowie. He was a master of re-invention, who kept getting it right. A huge loss.”
Other stars paid tribute to Bowie, including Sonic Youth founder Kim Gordon, US singer Josh Groban and British musician Rowetta.