HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com/AP) — After the announcement Monday that glam rock icon David Bowie had died after a battle with cancer, celebrities and former collaborators celebrated his legacy.
Bowie’s hits included “Space Oddity,” “Fame,” “Heroes” and “Let’s Dance.”
He died “peacefully” and was surrounded by family, representative Steve Martin said early Monday. The singer had fought cancer for 18 months. He died Sunday at 69.
Long before alter egos and wild outfits became commonplace in pop, Bowie turned the music world upside down with the release of the 1972 album, “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” which introduced one of music’s most famous personas.
Ziggy Stardust was a concept album that imagined a rock star from outer space trying to make his way in the music world. The persona — the red-headed, eyeliner wearing Stardust — would become an enduring part of his legacy, and a touchstone for the way entertainers packaged themselves for years to come.
Jim Yukich directed Bowie’s “Modern Love” music video that became a hit in the early days of MTV.
“I expected this artsy guy that’s changed fashion and life for 20 years, and he came in and you felt like you knew him for 20 years he was so warm,” Yukich said.
Drummer Robin DiMaggio, who began collaborating with Bowie in 1990, said he will remember the music legend primarily for his personality off the stage.
“He was just a loving human being,” DiMaggio said. “And that’s the thing about David Bowie. He’s not a human. He’s a human being.”
News of Bowie’s death shocked him, he said.
“It blew me away,” DiMaggio said. “It gave me a recollection of everything I’ve gone through with him, and really put perspective on how incredible his career span has been. I don’t think there will ever, ever be another David Bowie.”
On Friday, Bowie released what would be his last album, “Blackstar.”
“It will probably be his biggest record ever,” Yukich said. “Because people are going to buy it now, and see what they missed basically over all the years and his whole catalogue will grow.
Legendary KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer was friends with David Bowie for 45 years and convinced Bowie to come to LA for the first time, showing him around even taking him to some wild parties.
He told CBS2’s Brittney Hopper we all “lost a great entertainer and a great human being and the best songwriter ever.”
Several celebrities also posted tributes to Bowie on Twitter after learning of his passing.
British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that Bowie’s death is “a huge loss.” He wrote he had grown up listening to and watching Bowie and called the singer a “master of reinvention” and a pop genius who kept on getting it right.
The Rolling Stones wrote they were “shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death of our dear friend David Bowie. As well as being a wonderful and kind man, he was an extraordinary artist, and a true original.”
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