HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Legendary singer David Bowie died at the age of 69 on Sunday. He was reportedly battling cancer for the past 18 months.
“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,” read a statement posted on the artist’s official social media accounts.
The singer/ songwriter, producer — born David Robert Jones in Brixton, London — turned 69 just two days ago. He came up with David Bowie as not to be confused with Davey Jones of “The Monkees.”
His son, film director Duncan Jones, tweeted just before 11 p.m.
Bowie, who first achieved fame in the early 70s, helped usher in the glam rock era. He could be androgynous and rock high heels at the same time reaching the rafters with his gravely and rich voice alternating between bass and falsetto — sometimes in the same song. Through his career he was never afraid to take risks — he excelled in pop, hard rock, metal, dance pop, punk.
To the surprise of both their fans, he even went on a 1977 Bing Crosby Christmas TV special — “Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas” and sang “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” opposite the legendary crooner. The pairing was inspired and is still talked about decades later.
Bowie also had many acting credits, often playing a variation of his real life persona, cooler-than-cool rock icon.Those credits include “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” :Just a Gigolo,” “The Hunger,” “Labyrinth,” “Basquiat” (where he played Andy Warhol) and “The Last Temptation of Christ” (where he played Pontius Pilate.)
He may have also been the world’s most famous bisexual. He said he was gay in a 1976 interview and later said he should have neverl labeled his sexuality even calling himself “a closet homosexual.”
He was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 1996. In his career, he is believed to have sold more than 140 million albums.
In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him 29th in the list of 100 Greatest Rock Artists of All Time. Between the US and the UK he had 14 platinum albums and 18 gold records.
His biggest hits — to name just a few — included “Ziggy Stardust,” “China Girl,” “Let’s Dance,” “Changes,” “Life on Mars,” “Heroes,” “Young Americans,” “Space Oddity,” “Oh, You Pretty Things,” “Suffragette City,” “Modern Love,” “Fame,” “Golden Years” and “Under Pressure.”
Not a fan of artists’ sampling his music, he and Queen sued Vanilla Ice in 1990 for the latter sampling “Under Pressure” in the song “Ice Ice Baby.” The suit was settled monetarily out-of-court.
Bowie was at the time of his death married to supermodel Iman. They married in 1992. He was previously married to Angie Bowie from 1970 – 1980.
According to his IMDB.com page, Bowie even had some uncredited writing jobs on TV’s “American Horror Story.”