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Rock Icon David Bowie dead at 69

By Ruchel Louis Coetzee
Posted On Jan 11, 2016
Rock Icon David Bowie dead at 69

Rock legend David Bowie fought back from six heart attacks in the past year to release his final album, Blackstar, last week. So it is with great sadness to hear this morning that he passed away at 69 after an 18-month secret battle with liver cancer. What his final album symbolizes is hope and fortitude against all odds – something Bowie has demonstrated throughout his life. Belgian theater director, Ivo van Hove, who worked with the singer on his Off- Broadway musical, Lazarus, says “Bowie was still writing on his deathbed, I saw a man fighting. He fought like a lion and kept working like a lion through it all.”

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So who was this legendary lion?  Born and raised in South London, Bowie rose to fame in the early 70’s by challenging the core beliefs of rock music at the time with his music and androgynous alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. And although Ziggy was short lived, Bowie throughout his career actively sought to constantly reinvent and challenge the boundaries of music and art. By 1975, Bowie achieved his first American cross-over hit single, Fame, together with the hit album Young Americans receiving critical praise. From memorable collaborations with Queen, Under Pressure (1981), and Brian Eno with the so-called “Berlin Trilogy,” to acting roles in movies as himself in, The Man who Fell from Earth,(1976) to Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorcese’s, The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Bowie’s unique influence spanned the globe over four decades. He sold an estimated 140 million records worldwide, was a shrewd businessman, was awarded nine Platinum and five gold certificates in US and was inducted into the Hall of Rock and Roll in 1996. Bowie will continue to touch lives long after his death. Our hearts go out to his family at this sad time.