A message posted to Bowie’s social media accounts which read: “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 news come just after the iconic, gender-bending musician celebrated his birthday with his 27th studio album release. The album was part of a larger project from Bowie that included a stage musical, "Lazurus" that just last winter quickly became the fastest-selling show the Off Broadway New York Theater Workshop has produced in its 36 years.
But those genre defying projects are just the latest in a five-decade career that refused to be categorized. Bowie made an impact in the worlds of glam rock, art rock, soul, hard rock, dance pop, punk, electronica, film, television, and theater. Adopting various personas such as Ziggy Stardust and The Thin White Duke, Bowie encouraged freedom of expression and gender fluidity. For an idea of how malleable his style was, look no further than his equally important collaborations with the likes of Bing Crosby, Queen, and some of Jim Henson’s Muppets.
Bowie is survived by his wife, Iman, his children—director Duncan Jones and 15 year-old Alexandria Jones—and a deep bench of classic songs including “Fame,” “Golden Years,” “Let’s Dance,” “Space Oddity,” “Heroes,” “Changes,” “Under Pressure,” “China Girl,” “Modern Love,” “Rebel, Rebel,” “All the Young Dudes,” “Panic in Detroit,” “Fashion,” “Life on Mars” “Suffragette City” and “Ashes to Ashes.”