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Legendary Rock Star David Bowie Dies At 69

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David Bowie in 2010. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
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Legendary rock musician David Bowie has passed away after an 18 month battle with cancer. His death came just two days after his 69th birthday."David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer," read a statement from his official Facebook page. "While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief."

Born David Robert Jones in London, Bowie recorded 26 albums in his long and eclectic career, which saw him tackle genres as varied as glam rock, dance, punk, electronica, and experimental music. His critical and commercial breakthrough was 1972's The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, which was also the genesis of his titular alien rockstar persona. Other major albums from his body of work include Hunky Dory (1971), Aladdin Sane (1973), Low (1977), and Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (1980). He recorded music until the very end, releasing Blackstar last week to critical acclaim.

Bowie would also collaborate with many musicians on their projects, producing Transformer for Lou Reed, Raw Power for The Stooges, and The Idiot and Lust For Life for Iggy Pop. He wrote "All The Young Dudes" for Mott The Hoople, and, most famously, sang with Freddie Mercury and Queen on "Under Pressure."

He would also turn his unique persona into many notable film roles, beginning with Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976), playing an alien who crash lands on earth. Other major roles included Maj. Jack "Strafer" Celliers in Nagisa Oshima's Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983), Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation Of Christ (1988), and Jareth the Goblin King in Jim Henson's Labyrinth (1986).

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Initially there was rampant speculation that the sad news of Bowie's death was a hoax, but his son, director Duncan Jones, confirmed his father's passing on Twitter:

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British pop singer David Bowie in concert at Earl's Court, London during his 1978 world tour. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)