Tuesday 31 May 2016

David Bowie dies after 18-month cancer battle, aged 69: World pays tribute as latest record set to top charts

David Bowie's ex-wife Angie made decision to remain in Celebrity Big Brother house after being informed of his death

Caitlin McBride, Garreth Murph, Brian O'Reillyand Louise Kelly

Published 11/01/2016 | 06:54

David Bowie in 2009 and (inset) pictured with wife of 24 years, Iman
Musician David Bowie and supermodel Iman attend the DKMS' 5th Annual Gala: Linked Against Leukemia honoring Rihanna & Michael Clinton hosted by Katharina Harf at Cipriani Wall Street on April 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for DKMS)
David Bowie
British singer David Bowie performs on stage during a concert organized by NRJ radio station at place de la Nation in Paris on September 21, 1991
17th May 1971: English pop star David Bowie with singer Dana Gillespie. (Photo by Michael Stroud/Express/Getty Images)
May 1973: In a black and white horizontally striped jacket with wide lapels glam rock star David Bowie. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
20th October 1973: David Bowie performing in his 'Angel of Death' costume at a live recording for a Midnight Special TV show made at The Marquee Club in London to a specially invited audience of Bowie fanclub members. (Photo by Jack Kay/Express/Getty Images)
March 1965: Brixton born pop singer and songwriter David Jones, who found major success in the 1970's after changing his name to David Bowie, has his hair ruffled by Barry Langford. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
David Bowie performs on stage on the third and final day of "The Nokia Isle of Wight Festival 2004" at Seaclose Park, on June 13, 2004 in Newport, UK. The third annual rock festival takes place during the Isle of Wight Festival which runs from June 4-19. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)
David Bowie performs on stage on the third and final day of "The Nokia Isle of Wight Festival 2004" at Seaclose Park, on June 13, 2004 in Newport, UK. The third annual rock festival takes place during the Isle of Wight Festival which runs from June 4-19. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)
Rock music superstar David Bowie (R) and his wife, supermodel Iman smile as they pose for photos after Bowie received a star on the world famous Walk of Fame 12 February in Hollywood, CA. Bowie, whose changing persona has marked him as one of rock music's most dynamic performers over the last three decades, recently released his latest album "Earthlings." (Photo credit should read VINCE BUCCI/AFP/Getty Images)
David Bowie poses at Rules Restaurant after receiving a presentation of six discs from RCA Records to mark the occasion of having six albums in the charts in 1973
Model Iman and musician David Bowie arrive at the Vanity Fair party for the Tribeca Film Festival April 20, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Musician David Bowie (R) and his wife, model Iman (L) arrive for the MTV Video Music Awards at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York on 09 September, 1999
British rock singer David Bowie performs with an acoustic guitar on stage, in costume as 'Ziggy Stardust,' circa 1973. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

David Bowie’s final album Blackstar – released on his 69th birthday last Friday – is set to storm the music charts in the wake of the death of the music legend.

Earlier today, Bowie's publicist confirmed today that the British singer died after an 18-month battle with cancer.

David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer," the statement read.

"While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief."

British rock singer David Bowie performs with an acoustic guitar on stage, in costume as 'Ziggy Stardust,' circa 1973. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
British rock singer David Bowie performs with an acoustic guitar on stage, in costume as 'Ziggy Stardust,' circa 1973. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

David's cancer diagnosis was previously unknown, and at the moment there are no further details on the kind of illness he was battling.

Rumours about the singer's health have plagued Bowie since he bowed out of the spotlight following a heart attack in 2004.

He collapsed backstage at a gig in Schessel, Germany, and was forced to undergo emergency surgery on a blocked coronary artery.

He made very few public appearances since then, with his final live performance taking place nearly a decade ago, when he joined Alicia Keys on stage at the Black Ball fundraiser at New York's Hammersmith Ballroom for a rendition of Changes in 2006.

The Heroes singer resurfaced in April 2009 to attend the premiere of his son Duncan Jones's film Moon in New York, and at the CFDA Fashion Awards in June 2010 alongside second wife Iman, before dropping back out of the public eye until the release of The Next Day in 2013 - his first original album in 10 years.

GALLERY: In pictures: David Bowie's incredible 1987 Slane Castle performance

Scrutiny of his health intensified at that time, with long-time producer Tony Visconti denying reports the singer was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

"He is as sharp as a tack. He is sharper than ever. This boy has not lost a single brain cell," Visconti told the Sunday Telegraph.

David Bowie performs on the first night of his UK tour at the MEN Arena on November 17, 2003 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
David Bowie performs on the first night of his UK tour at the MEN Arena on November 17, 2003 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

"People thought he was dying. He's not dying any time soon, let me tell you... He couldn't have done two years' work if he was a sick man. He's very healthy, he's very fit. He had the heart operation (in 2004) and that's it. He's long since recovered from that," Visconti added.

The star celebrated his 69th birthday on January 8, the same day his latest seven-song album – which was positively received by critics – was released.

Blackstar CDs have now sold out on Amazon and is rapidly gaining on its competitors in the charts.

Bowie, born David Jones in post-war Brixton, south London, kicked off his music career in the R&B boom of the early Sixties.

His illustrious career spanned over 40 years with his breakout year in 1972 with The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.

The star made a habit of confounding the critics - killing off his most famous creation, Ziggy Stardust, at the height of his fame - and reinventing himself in roles including glam rocker, soul singer and hippie songwriter.

In 1969 he made his first appearance in the charts with Space Oddity.

A string of albums followed, before 1972's The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars made him an international star.

GALLERY:

The 1980s saw him combine his pop career with appearances in films including Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence and Absolute Beginners.

Other hits include Let’s Dance, Heroes, Changes, Under Pressure, China Girl, All the Young Dudes, Panic in Detroit, among countless others.

He had kept a low profile in recent years after reportedly suffering a heart attack in the 2000s, and his last live performance was at a 2006 charity show in New York.

Bowie made a surprise comeback in 2013 when he suddenly released a new single on his 66th birthday with an album out just weeks later, his first for 10 years.

He is survived by his wife of 24 years, legendary supermodel Iman. He has two children Alexandria Zahra Jones (15) and Duncan Jones (44).

His son, a filmmaker who operates on Twitter under Zowie Bowie, confirmed the news this morning in a tweet, "Very sorry and sad to say it's true. I'll be offline for a while. Love to all."

David Bowie's ex-wife is currently taking part in Celebrity Big Brother and has just been informed of his death, Channel 5 has said.

Angie Bowie has made this decision this afternoon to remain in the programme for the foreseeable future.

“The decision to remain in the House is entirely her choice, and she has been given the option to leave at any time she changes her mind,” the Channel 5 statement read.

Angie made tabloid headlines during her time on the programme this far with a series of damning comments about the singer.

Meanwhile, stars, politicians and fans rushed online to pay their respects to the late star.

READ MORE: Tributes pour in for late David Bowie

Watch David Bowie's final video here:

 

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