David Bowie cloaked much about his public persona and kept nearly every aspect of his personal life strictly private. But the fact he kept an 18 month battle with cancer completely under wraps made the news that he died from the disease even more stunning. Bowie's son Duncan released the information Monday (1/11) in his social media accounts through a simple, straightforward announcemet that read "David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you share in the loss, we ask that you respect the family's privacy during their time of grief." The 69 year old artist just Friday released his final album on his birthday with the absolute lack of fanfare that had become typical in the fiercely private artist's recent decades. The scope of his influence was so wide that tributes began flooding in immediately from all sectors of the arts and beyond.
His close friend and musical collaborator Brian Eno wrote 'Words cannot express: RIP David Bowie. David's death came as a complete surprise, as did nearly everything else about him. I feel a huge gap now.'
Pual McCartney said he will '...always remember the great laughs. David was a great star and I treasure the moments we had together.'
Brian May, who collaborated on Under Pressure with Queen and Bowie, called David 'a fearsome talent'.
The Rolling Stones saluted their departed friend as 'an extraordianry artist' and 'true original'.
Gene Simmons of Kiss said Ziggy Stardust songs were a major influence.
Madonna Tweeted 'So lucky to have met you!!! Hot Tramp, I Love You so!'
Foo Fighters posted a pic of them with Bowie captioned 'Rest in Peace, David'
Billy Idol posted the news left him 'Nearly left to tears'.
Iggy Pop called his freindship with Bowie 'the light of my life', adding, 'I never met such a brilliant person. He was the best there is.'
Bruce Springsteen hailed Bowie as a 'visionary artist' and expressed appreciation that David was an early fan of the E Street Band (one of Bowie's lesser known covers is a great version of It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City).
Pete Townshend wrote an eloquent homage to Bowie that included, 'For those who were his fans he was a charismatic and exotic creature and still gloriously beautiful even as he approached 70. But face to face he was funny, clever, well read, excited by the arts, and really good company. He was simply a joy to be around, so good at making everyone feel at ease... We have lost a monumental figurehead of the British arts scene. We have also lost a wonderful clown whose combined sense of mischief and creativity delightedly touched our hearts. He was my Salvadore Dali'.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron wrote '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'
Born David Robert Jones on January 8, 1947 and disinclined to go under the name Robert Jones, David changed his last name out of defference to avoid being confused with Davy Jones of The Monkees. His landmark albums always pushed the envelope in terms of music, themes and lyrics, gaining him wide appreciation among artists in fields other than music and opening opportunities for him to work on stage and screen. As with his music, his film and theatrical work was ambitious and challenging both to the artist and his audiences. Some consider his biggest triumph The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, his 5th album, released in the Spring of 1972. The thematic 11 track album chronicled the rise and demise of an alter-ego Rock star, became a catalyst for the emergence of Glam Rock and is counted as among the most influencial albums to generations of musicians since.