NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/CBS News/AP) — Fans spent the day Monday placing flowers and notes outside the SoHo home of David Bowie, who died Sunday after an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 69.
Bowie’s representative, Steve Martin, said early Monday the rock superstar, actor, painter, and fashion innovator died “peacefully” and was surrounded by family.READ MORE: CDC Reverses Course, Recommends People Wear Masks Indoors Where COVID Rates Are High
The statement read: “While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”
Bowie’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts also had the same news.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, Bowie was remembered as a musical, stylistic and social chameleon who influenced and inspired artists for decades.
He celebrated his 69th birthday just this past Friday, the day he released a new album called “Blackstar.” A new off-Broadway show he produced is also in its final week of performances.
Bowie and his wife, international model Iman, were often seen strolling around SoHo in recent years, where they lived with their daughter, Lexi, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported.
Bowie also loved working in New York. His “Blackstar” album was recorded last year at the Magic Shop studio in SoHo.
“He was really amazing to speak with and hang with,” said studio owner Steve Rosenthal. “He was very friendly to my staff.”
Rosenthal said Bowie was focused and professional.
“There wasn’t a lot of crazy rock star stuff which we’ve gotten over the years,” he said. “It was really an honor to have him.”
Bowie also recorded all or part of a total of 14 studio albums in the city.
“He was just an all-around great artist,” one fan said at the growing makeshift memorial outside his townhouse. “Ahead of his time, always, and just masterpiece after masterpiece he would put out.”
“You just sort of went with him because you knew he was doing something that was like nothing no one else was doing,” a fan named Mark told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams.
“In my 20s, he was like huge for me,” another man said. “He was like air for me.”
“I’ve just never been affected by a celebrity’s death quite so much,” fan Kelly Brit told 1010 WINS’ Steve Kastenbaum.
“I don’t think we’ll ever see anybody like him again,” added fan David Stern.
“He just meant so much,” another woman told CBS2’s Emily Smith.
Tributes poured in for Bowie, with politicians, clerics, actors and an astronaut offering their recollections of the late musician. Many have been personal reflections of the life of the man as well as the star.
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.”
Born David Jones in London in 1947, Bowie fell in love with music at the age of 13. With his early group David Jones and the King Bees, Bowie released his first single, “Liza Jane,” in 1964 when he was 17.
In a 2002 interview with CBS News, Bowie explained how he decided to make a career out of music.READ MORE: 28-Year-Old Man Burned When Gas Explosion Blows Out Garage At Perth Amboy Home
“Until quite late in my teens, I didn’t know if I was going to be a musical or if I was going to be painting,” he said. “I kept going backwards and forwards and I opted for music eventually.”
Bowie rocked his way onto the scene with the hit “Space Oddity” in 1969. Years later, his artistic expression pushed the envelope with the album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.”
Bowie was a master of reinvention – creating characters and personas, including the androgynous and deliberately outrageous Ziggy Stardust, the even more flamboyant extension of Ziggy Stardust in Aladdin Sane, and the hollow and perhaps villainous Thin White Duke.
Bowie made a rare effort at one point to explain his performance methods to TV host Dick Cavett.
“I’m a storyteller and a story writer,” he said. “And I decided I preferred to enact a lot of the material I was writing rather than perform as myself.”
Bowie saw much of his success in the ’70s and ’80s, including his hit “Fame,” which was co-written with John Lennon.
Over the years, the stuttering rock sound of “Changes” gave way to the disco soul of “Young Americans,” to a droning collaboration with Brian Eno in Berlin that produced “Heroes,” CBS News recalled.
Bowie had some of his biggest successes in the early 1980s with the post-disco staple “Let’s Dance,” and a massive American tour.
“My entire career, I’ve only really worked with the same subject matter,” Bowie told The Associated Press in a 2002 interview. “The trousers may change, but the actual words and subjects I’ve always chosen to write with are things to do with isolation, abandonment, fear and anxiety — all of the high points of one’s life.”
His performance of “Heroes” was a highlight of a concert for rescue workers at the World Trade Center site after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“What I’m most proud of is that I can’t help but notice that I’ve affected the vocabulary of pop music. For me, frankly, as an artist, that’s the most satisfying thing for the ego,” he said.
Bowie’s music also influenced generations of artists.
“I can tell you unequivocally if it wasn’t for David Bowie, there would be no Twisted Sister,” said Jay Jay French of the glam metal band Twisted Sister. “The Bowie medley, which are three songs from the ‘Ziggy’ album, were our staple for about five years. You couldn’t come and see Twisted Sister without listening to those songs from that album. It was as simple as that. We loved Bowie, and we changed as Bowie changed.
“There would be no Madonna, no Lady Gaga without David Bowie,” added Joe Levy, contributing editor at Rolling Stone.
Over his 40-plus year career, Bowie released 25 albums.
He also acted in several movies, including playing the Goblin King in Jim Henson’s “Labyrinth” in 1986, and on stage, he won rave reviews as “The Elephant Man” on Broadway from September 1980 until January 1981. “The Elephant Man” was staged in Denver and Chicago earlier in 1980.
And for all his forward-thinking envelope pushing, Bowie also joined other legends to sing classics, such as “The Little Drummer Boy” with Bing Crosby, and “Dancing in the Street” with Mick Jagger.
Bowie kept a low profile in recent years after reportedly suffering a heart attack in the 2000s.
He made a moody album three years ago called “The Next Day” — his first recording in a decade which was made in secret in New York City, CBS News reported.
“Blackstar,” which earned positive reviews from critics, represented yet another stylistic shift, as he gathered jazz players to join him. He released a music video on Friday for the new song “Lazarus,” which shows a frail Bowie lying in bed and singing the track’s lyrics.
The song begins with the line: “Look up here, I’m in heaven.”
Tony Visconti, who produced “Lazarus” and other tracks on “Blackstar,” said on Facebook that Bowie did indeed make the album with a sense of self-awareness about his mortality.
“He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift,” Visconti said on Facebook. “I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.”
Bowie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, but didn’t attend the ceremony.
He has been married to Iman since 1992.
A Bowie tribute concert that had been planned for Carnegie Hall in March will now be performed as a memorial concert.MORE NEWS: Shark Sighted Off Jones Beach Day After Lifeguard Was Bitten
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