David Bowie has passed away at the age of 69 after a quiet and swift 18-month battle with cancer. His final album, Blackstar, was released last week on 8th January, Bowie’s birthday, and will stand as a hauntingly beautiful farewell.
Bowie’s death strikes many of his fans by surprise — while it was technically no sworn secret that the legendary musician had been undergoing cancer treatment, it was also an understated and seldom discussed struggle. His final correspondence with the likes of Brian Eno and a now-prophetic Lazarus video that shows Bowie in a hospital bed confirms he knew of this coming fate, that he was approaching his next plane of existence.
We’re at a profound loss of words to discuss the life of one of the most iconic and unrepentantly outlandish pop musicians. Everyone has already heralded the news of his passing and you can find his richly detailed history on myriad sources around the Internet. David Bowie has always been that androgynous, alien-esque, wildly imaginative musician who could do damn near anything, and every music minded person from their mid-teens to their 70s has known that. Rather than delve into the minutiae of what we already know, we’re choosing to share some of the best memories and tributes we’ve seen.
He’s passed away as a human, but like every musician with a repertoire that truly speaks for itself, his influence achieves him a sort of immortality only a few are lucky enough to attain. Rest in peace, David. We love you so much. Thank you for being here.
A 1967 letter from Bowie to his first American fan, a 14-year-old named Sandra. [h/t: @paul1kirby on Twitter]
Via Complex UK: Bowie was one of the first to challenge MTV to include Black music on their network.
Via Pitchfork: Brian Eno remembers Bowie, his touching farewell.
Via Pitchfork: The Roots, The Mountain Goats, Perry Farrell, Cyndi Lauper, Jakob Dylan, Ann Wilson (of Heart), and longtime collaborator Tony Visconti will pay tribute with a concert at Carnegie Hall on 31st March.
Via The Atlantic: David Bowie was an innovator in more than just music.
Via Entertainment Weekly: Fans gather at David Bowie’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star to mourn the artist’s passing.