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David Bowie, rock icon, passes away at age 69




A woman with a tattoo of David Bowie reacts as she pays her respects in front of the British singer, painted by Australian street artist James Cochran, aka Jimmy C, following the announcement of Bowie's death, in Brixton, south London, on January 11, 2016. British music icon David Bowie died of cancer at the age of 69, drawing an outpouring of tributes for the innovative star famed for groundbreaking hits like
A woman with a tattoo of David Bowie reacts as she pays her respects in front of the British singer, painted by Australian street artist James Cochran, aka Jimmy C, following the announcement of Bowie's death, in Brixton, south London, on January 11, 2016. British music icon David Bowie died of cancer at the age of 69, drawing an outpouring of tributes for the innovative star famed for groundbreaking hits like "Ziggy Stardust" and his theatrical shape-shifting style.
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
A woman with a tattoo of David Bowie reacts as she pays her respects in front of the British singer, painted by Australian street artist James Cochran, aka Jimmy C, following the announcement of Bowie's death, in Brixton, south London, on January 11, 2016. British music icon David Bowie died of cancer at the age of 69, drawing an outpouring of tributes for the innovative star famed for groundbreaking hits like
Rock legend David Bowie performs on stage at the Forum in Copenhagen late 07 October 2003.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
A woman with a tattoo of David Bowie reacts as she pays her respects in front of the British singer, painted by Australian street artist James Cochran, aka Jimmy C, following the announcement of Bowie's death, in Brixton, south London, on January 11, 2016. British music icon David Bowie died of cancer at the age of 69, drawing an outpouring of tributes for the innovative star famed for groundbreaking hits like
Pop singer David Bowie at a train station on July 9th, 1973:
Smith/Getty Images
A woman with a tattoo of David Bowie reacts as she pays her respects in front of the British singer, painted by Australian street artist James Cochran, aka Jimmy C, following the announcement of Bowie's death, in Brixton, south London, on January 11, 2016. British music icon David Bowie died of cancer at the age of 69, drawing an outpouring of tributes for the innovative star famed for groundbreaking hits like
9th July 1973: Pop singer David Bowie is seen off at the station by his wife Angie.
Smith/Getty Images


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Was there ever a more tireless icon than David Bowie? 

The superstar passed away on Jan. 10, just two days after the release of his latest studio album, "Blackstar." He was 69 years old.

Bowie's family reported that he had battled liver cancer for the past 18 months. The diagnosis was a secret, so news of the artist's death shocked fans. But throughout his last months, Bowie was as industrious and committed to his art as ever. It seems that right after the release of his 24th studio album, "The Next Day," in January 2013, he immediately got back to work writing "Blackstar." The album was recorded over a three-month burst in early 2015. 

Not only that, David Bowie used much of the music in "Blackstar" for the off-Broadway musical, "Lazarus," produced by New York Theatre Workshop and starring Michael C. Hall. And he filmed two surreal music videos for tracks from "Blackstar" — the title track and "Lazarus," which now seems a very intentional swan song from a man who knew he was dying. 

From the 1969 release of "Space Oddity" — released to coincide with the Apollo 11 moon landing — to his transsexual art rock of the 1970s and '80s, to his appearances in cult films like "The Man Who Fell To Earth" and "Labyrinth," Bowie moulded the culture of each decade he's worked in. That held true until the very end.

The Frame invited some key voices to weigh in on David Bowie's career and influence. Listen to highlights below:

SASHA FRERE-JONES

MARK MOTHERSBAUGH

LEA DeLARIA

BEN BRANTLEY



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