David Bowie, an icon in his era, and one of the most influential musicians of late, has died of cancer at the age of 69. A statement was issued on his social media accounts, saying he "died peacefully, surrounded by his family" after an "18-month battle with cancer".
A pioneering chameleon of performance imagery, Bowie straddled the worlds of hedonistic rock, fashion, art and drama for five decades, pushing the boundaries of music and his own sanity to produce some of the most innovative songs of his generation.
He's been billed as an innovator who brought the notion of "the other" into the mainstream: from Warhol-type imagery to science fiction, androgyny and bisexuality. Bowie's costumes and gender-bending personas — from Ziggy Stardust to Aladdin Sane — consistently pushed the envelope.
Tributes have been paid from around the world to the "extraordinary artist" whose last album was released days ago.
Sir Paul McCartney described him as a "great star" who "played a very strong part in British musical history".
Bowie's son Duncan Jones, who is a Bafta-winning film director, wrote on Twitter: "Very sorry and sad to say it's true. I'll be offline for a while. Love to all."