David Bowie Dead at 69 After 'Courageous 18-Month Battle with Cancer'

David Bowie has died at 69 after a battle with cancer

Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

David Bowie died of cancer Sunday in New York, PEOPLE confirms. The music legend was 69.

The news was released late Sunday on his official Facebook page.

A statement to fans read: “Jan. 10, 2016 – David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer. 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 son Duncan took to Twitter to confirm the news himself shortly afterwards, writing: “Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all.”

The “Starman” singer is survived by his supermodel wife Iman, their child Alexandria “Lexi” Zahra, and his son Duncan, from his first marriage to Angela Bowie.

During a career spanning more than 40 years, he released 25 albums, including Blackstar, which hit stores last Friday – his birthday.

Bowie began playing music at 13, starting on saxophone and playing in a number of bands around London. He made his first foray into the music charts in 1969 with the iconic single Space Oddity, with the song telling the travels of the fictional astronaut Major Tom.

His album Hunky Dory (1971) featured the classic “Changes” and “Life on Mars,” but it was The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), which shot him to superstardom.

Bowie broke through with American audiences with “Fame,” (1975), a collaboration with John Lennon featured on his album Young Americans. Other songs that he is remembered for include “Let’s Dance,” “Heroes,” “Rebel, Rebel,” “Modern Love,” “Life on Mars?” “Starman” and “Suffragette City.”

Bowie also enjoyed success in the acting world, starring as an alien in The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) and the goblin king Jareth in Labyrinth, as well as playing the lead in The Elephant Man on Broadway in the 1980s.

Music stars including Madonna, Cher, Kanye West and many more flooded Twitter with tributes to the legendary singer following the news.

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