NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Tributes are pouring in for David Bowie, with musicians, politicians, clerics, actors and others offering their condolences for the late star.
Bowie’s representative Steve Martin said the singer, songwriter, actor, painter and fashion innovator died “peacefully” Sunday surrounded by family after an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 69.
A makeshift memorial has been growing outside Bowie’s townhouse on Lafayette Street in SoHo, where he lived with his international model wife, Imam, and their daughter, Lexi.
Bowie’s son, director Duncan Jones, posted a picture of his smiling father, with the line, “Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all.”
Many of the tributes for the legendary musician have been personal reflections of the life of the man as well as the star.
Madonna tweeted that she was devastated, saying he was an artist that changed her life. She said Bowie was her first concert.
Members of the Rolling Stones said they are “shocked and deeply saddened” by Bowie’s death.
The band said in a statement that “as well as being a wonderful and kind man, he was an extraordinary artist, and a true original.”
Stones frontman Mick Jagger also offered a tribute personally.
Bowie and Jagger teamed up in 1985 for “Dancing in the Street,” a cover of the Motown classic that was a top 10 hit in Britain and the U.S.
Former Beatle Paul McCartney also paid tribute, calling Bowie “a great star.”
“His music played a very strong part in British musical history and I’m proud to think of the huge influence he has had on people all around the world,” McCartney wrote on his website.
Yoko Ono also issued a tribute, which she tweeted and posted on her “Imagine Peace” website. John Lennon co-wrote Bowie’s hit “Fame,” and Bowie remained close to Ono and son Sean Lennon after John Lennon’s assassination on Dec. 8, 1980.
“John and David respected each other. They were well matched in intellect and talent. As John and I had very few friends we felt David was as close as family,” Ono wrote.
“After John died, David was always there for Sean and me. When Sean was at boarding school in Switzerland, David would pick him up and take him on trips to museums and let Sean hang out at his recording studio in Geneva,” Ono continued. “For Sean this is losing another father figure. It will be hard for him, I know. But we have some sweet memories which will stay with us forever.”
Cher issued two tweets, one recalling a performance with Bowie.
U2 posted a tweet with a simple message referencing a lyric from “Space Oddity.”
Bruce Springsteen remembered Bowie as an early backer of his own music.
Kanye West hailed Bowie as one of his “most important inspirations” in a tribute to the singer on Twitter. He said Bowie was “so fearless, so creative, he gave us magic for a lifetime.”
British rocker Billy Idol also took to Twitter to describe his loss, saying he was “nearly brought to tears” by the sudden news of Bowie’s passing, adding “RIP.”
Pharrell Williams called him a true innovator and true creative.
Peter Gabriel said he was “shocked” to learn of Bowie’s death.
“We will miss him badly,” he said.
On Twitter, Cyndi Lauper called Bowie “a great artist” who “lead the way for so many of us.”
Comedian Ricky Gervais, who persuaded his idol to appear on his television show, “Extras,” wrote on Twitter: “I just lost a hero. RIP David Bowie.”
Mia Farrow also paid a simple tribute.
Author J.K. Rowling tweeted: “I wish he could have stayed on earth longer. RIP.”
The White House saluted Bowie’s immense contribution to art, music and film in the U.S. and abroad.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said he was not sure whether President Barack Obama was a Bowie fan. But he said the broad outpouring of reaction to Bowie’s death illustrates how his loss will be felt.
Earnest said people all across the world have said they were inspired by Bowie’s life and work.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said Bowie’s death is “a huge loss.” He tweeted Monday that he had grown up listening to and watching Bowie and called the singer a “master of reinvention” and a pop genius who kept on getting it right.
Germany’s Foreign Ministry said Bowie is “now among heroes” and thanked the one-time West Berlin resident for “helping to bring down the wall.”
The ministry’s post on its Twitter feed includes a link to a video of Bowie performing “Heroes,” which contains the line “I can remember/Standing, by the wall.”
The ministry wrote: “Good-bye, David Bowie. You are now among #Heroes. Thank you for helping to bring down the #wall.”
Bowie lived in West Berlin in the late 1970s. Mayor Michael Mueller said Monday that “Heroes” became “the hymn of our then-divided city and its longing for freedom.”
Mueller said that “Berliners are mourning a musical genius and one of their most famous fellow citizens.”
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who described himself as a huge fan, said Bowie would be “deeply mourned.”
“From the time I saw his Ziggy Stardust concert as a student, I thought he was a brilliant artist and an exciting and interesting human being,” Blair said in a statement. “It was a great privilege when I got to meet him later in life.”
The Vatican’s culture minister paid tribute to Bowie by tweeting the lyrics to his song “Space Oddity.”
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi wrote on Twitter Monday: “Ground Control to Major Tom Commencing countdown, engines on check ignition and may God’s love be with you.”
British astronaut Tim Peake tweeted his sadness from outer space aboard the International Space Station, while London Mayor Boris Johnson said “No-one in our age has better deserved to be called a genius.”
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